RUPERT COKE | Architectural Gilding
Dado rail at Holkham in Norfolk


Architectural Gilding

Architectural or oil gilding is the most widely used gilding method. Using 23½ carat gold leaf, the process can be used on most surfaces — including wood, metal and plaster.

Oil gilding is mostly used for architectural embellishments or any outdoor features such as railings, statues, church domes, etc.

The surface has to be non-porous so the first stage is usually to seal with paint or polish. Then a sticky oil based size is used, brushed over the surface and left to cure. When the size is tacky, the gold leaf is applied.