Gold leaf has always been used both in architecture and in furniture to create grandeur and opulence.
Our services encompass the traditional techniques of both oil and water gilding, as well as other gilt effects.
The picture above right shows oil gilding, where a size is applied to the prepared surface, and gold leaf is applied to the almost tack free surface at the optimum moment, after several hours of drying time.
The example top left is of water gilding. This process involves the careful preparation of the item using 'gesso' to provide a surface that is completely smooth and free from faults. This surface is activated by wetting the gesso to accept the wafer thin gold leaf, which is then applied using specialist tools. The gold adheres to the glue which binds the gesso. Many hours later, the surface is ready to be burnished, using agate burnishing tools, to a beautiful mirror finish. The finished item will then take on the appearance of a highly polished solid gold object.
The skilled process known as "distressing" is vital in sympathetic conservation of antique pieces to blend in repairs, and to impart a patina to re-gilded and newly gilded items.