Gold Leaf Gilding is the art of applying a thin layer of gold to a surface. It forms an important part of framemaking and it is employed in general woodworking, cabinet-work, decorative painting and house ornamentation. The images besides shows the water-gilding process, the most traditional and complex techniques of antique gilding in which gesso and a rare kind of glue are applied to a surface.
Gold leaf is applied with a fine brush, and the final product is burnished with agate. Gilding can take several forms. Most custom gilding today employs “oil gilding,” a technique in which a “size” (similar to a varnish) creates a tacky surface to which the thin sheets of gold can adhere. This kind of gilding is more used to gild wood sculptures or metal sculptures similar to the ones you can see in the images below.