Water gilding is performed by wetting the surface of the frame and reactivating the glue used in the underlying bole layer. By starting at the highest points of the frame, we prevent previously gilded areas from being stained by flowing water.
Once all the chosen areas have been gilded, usually the leaves, the hollows and back edge, we leave a little time before the burnishing begins. This ‘catch-time’ is extremely important as burnishing too soon can result in loss of gilding and burnishing too late results in an inferior finish.
On the remaining sections of the frame, we carried out oil gilding by applying gold leaf to areas coated in oil gold size and then left until the size takes on a certain tack during drying. The finished product is dependant on timing the procedure accurately – applying the gold too soon and it will not dry, but too late and the gold will not adhere to the surface.