Gilding Is Easier than You Think
Peter Gedrys gives a step-by-step tutorial on oil, or mordant, gilding.
Synopsis: 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.
The art of adorning a surface with gold leaf has been practiced for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians realized that if they beat this very malleable metal into ultrathin leaves, it could be affixed to any surface and give the illusion that the object was solid gold.
Gold leaf was used regularly during the 18th century to…