Finishing expert Peter Gedrys gives a step-by-step tutorial on gilding, the art of adorning a surface with ultra-thin layers of gold leaf. This material was used regularly during the 18th century to decorate parts of furniture such as finials, shells, and fans; contemporary furniture designers also use gold leaf. Here, Gedrys demonstrates a method known as oil, or mordant, gilding. He shows how to prepare the surface, apply a smoother known as gesso, apply the leaf, and finish it. He also shows methods for subtle aging or adding an antique finish.

From Fine Woodworking #204