Water Gilding - Applying The Gesso
Traditional Water Gilding
We first paint the moulding with eight coats of gesso plaster. This is then smoothed with water and sanded to an even finish, as smooth as glass. Six coats of warm terracotta bole are added and carefully sanded to the same perfect finish.
We are then ready to apply the 23ct golf leaf, using a squirrel hair tip and a very weak water size. As the water dries the leaf is gently pressed down. Next day, when the size is completely dry, we burnish the leaf to a high shine. This is carefully distressed and the gold finish is protected by a thinned lacquer. Then waxes and rottenstone are applied to achieve the desired effect of ageing.