Gilding Conservation

With water gilding, we find areas where the gesso has been chipped and large areas are missing completely. We find lifting and flaking gesso. In order to conserve we can consolidate by injecting in the localised area, but we frequently find that re-sizing and making good the area is more appropriate. This is done to match and blend in with the existing surfaces to retain the original finish.

Water gilded chairGesso repair showing after consolidationCarved detail in white GessoFine gilt chair with tapestry

All areas that are re-gessoed are matched and toned into the original gilded areas. Any new areas will be blended and toned to match the original. We also apply bole colour as necessary before applying the appropriate matching gold leaf. This is re-sealed with a toned wax finish to protect the gold from further deterioration.

All work carried out will be fully documented for the client.
Bole colour detail showing
Carved detail in Bole colour
Creasing rail detail
Top leg detail prior to conservation
Gilt damage