When I took the workshop with David Huang he described how he applies gold leaf on the inside of the vessel and luckily silver leaf costs a lot less than gold leaf but... it can be an intimidating technique. I went to some of the online metal groups I follow and posted some questions about how to apply the leaf. I received some good suggestions and links to online videos which I watched. I then ordered my supplies.
What does one need - the varnish which the leaf will stick to, the silver leaf, a small brush to apply the leaf with and a very soft brush to "burnish" the leaf with.
Last night I removed the silver paste and cleaned the stars well. I then applied the varnish which must "dry" to a tacky point, so I did the application at around 11:00 pm last night and this morning it was just right so I could apply the leaf.
The instructions say to take the leaf on the tissue paper and lay it down on the varnish. Then using the brush, the leaf will stick to the varnish and you can use the brush to remove the leaf from the areas were the varnish is not - then what is on the brush can be applied back to the varnish. Well, the stars present a problem, they are rather far apart and with the texture around the stars, I did not want the leaf, despite the lack of varnish there, to get stuck in these tiny pits. So using my brush, I "pulled" little pieces of leaf off the tissue and applied it in pieces to the stars. Doing it this way, I only used ONE piece of leaf. I then had to let it "dry" so the leaf won't rub off while burnishing. I came back a few hours later and did that.
Next I had to clean up the leaf left around the stars and even touch up the patina. I have now sealed it and the colors have popped.
Here are pictures of the leaf being applied to the stars.