Gilding on Furniture

Gilded Finishes

panels in gilding room
Panels for fitted funiture in the gilding room

Christina has been involved in gilding large surfaces for built-in furniture.  This includes fitted Wardrobes for dressing rooms and units for living rooms finished in gold and silver.

Individual pieces can be entirely gilded or details picked out.

The furniture has to be made first and the parts assembled as much as possible. Large panels are cut to size and the surfaces prepared for gilding.

The Gilding Room

A clean and dust free environment is essential for the gilding to be a success

Gilding racks
Gilding racks

This project had many panels on the go and the racks were brought in for the purpose.

Once everything is dry and hard the leaf is polished and, in this case, varnished.  They would have daily use as many of them were wardrobe doors.

Dust has to be kept away at every stage to acieve a smoothe finish. It doesn’t show in my photos, but the joins in the leaves do show and enhance the look of the finish.

Reflection when gilding can be hard on the eyes

Gilding silver leaf panels
Gilding silver leaf panels

Gold and silver leaf comes in several shades and different finishes can be achieved.

This is a silver leaf – The reflections were so bright!  You had to position yourself so as not to be blinded by them.

It’s a delicate process throughout and needs a light but positive touch.

Since working on this I have done some more gilding including a little set of shelves with random gold and silver pieces. Looks rather good.

This is a close up of the effect:

gilt detail
The finish feels perfectly smoothe

The image at the top shows the unit in place in my bathroom.

Use a touch of Gilt to great effect

painted panel gilt detail
Gilt highlights give the finishing touch

Gilding can also be incorporated to highlight areas and used sparingly it won’t dominate. I used it on a painted door done in a medieval style. This panel shows how a touch of gold can give a rich feel to the piece.

Gilding can be used to great effect on all sorts of furniture and fittings and doesn’t have to be old-fashioned or fuddy-duddy. It has even been used for wall finishes  and there were some fabulous examples made in the ‘Art Deco’ style, such as those at Eltham Palace.

It’s surprising what amazing modern styles are achieved using gold leaf in the design.