Gilding is the application of thin sheets of beaten metal (usually gold) to a solid surface as a means of surface decoration.

The basic techniques employed in gilding have barely changed since the building of the pyramids. Over time methods have been developed to vary the colour, texture, lustre and durability of gilding and also to allow its application to different surfaces. The air of mystery surrounding the craft is largely due to generations of gilders guarding the trade secrets which gave them their livelihood. Indeed some secrecy still lingers, even today.

In architectural decoration there are two main types of gilding: oil or mordant gilding and water gilding. At Carte Blanche we mainly carry out oil gilding but we have access to some of the best gilders in the country so should you have specific needs such as water gilding or eglomisé please ask.

Oil gilding is used for general decoration and with appropriate preparation oil gilding can be applied to most building surfaces, both indoors and out. We can offer a variety of colours of both gold and metal leaf, metal leaf being the more cost effective option. Gold and metal leaf can be patinated and coloured, distressed or left just as it is. We at Carte Blanche often incorporate gold and metal leaf in our wall finishes, and furniture finishes, it is one of the most dramatic embellishment materials available to us and the perfect complement to many other decorative finishes.