Adding a luxury finish to items such as picture frames, ornaments and furnishings, gilding is a traditional technique that is still very much in demand today.

Examples can be seen in buildings ranging from period properties like museums, ecclesiastical buildings and historic houses, to more modern properties such as high-end commercial or private institutions.

Gilding is an art and, at Farcroft Restorations Group, our building restoration team is experienced in applying this specialist finish to both interior and exterior features.

Antique Gilding

A gilded finish is often mistakenly assumed to recreate the look of polished gold when, in reality, it encompasses a wide range of tones and lustre.

Gold leaves can vary from a fresh, yellow glow to a brassier, warm gleam, allowing for many different finishes that can be chosen to suit.

This variety is beneficial when it comes to the restoration of antique gilded features, where replicating the tone and lustre of the finish is an essential requirement.

With an expert eye, our gilding restorers can recreate the aged appearance of antique architectural features, matching the gold leaf to the style and period of the décor for a flawless repair.

Gold leaf application

There are various methods of applying gold leaf to surfaces, and the most appropriate choice will always depend on the desired result.

Oil gilding

Oil gilding, in which the surface area is first prepared with oil then the gold leaf layered directly on top, is the quickest method, and results in a stunning matt gold finish.

Often the most practical choice for exterior gilding work, oil gilding is particularly suited to features such as external plaques and metalwork.

Water gilding

Where a shiny, glazed finish is required, water gilding is often the most appropriate method, as it allows the gold leaf to be burnished (polished) to a high sheen.

Water gilding can only be used inside a property, and is a more time-consuming process, but this investment of time and energy results in a refined, glimmering finish befitting of the most luxurious interior decoration.

More in-depth information about our gilding processes is available on our Frame Restoration page.

Years of expertise have led us to develop specialist techniques, enabling us to undertake many different types of restoration


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