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Last edited 06 May 2022
Gilding Techniques, Care and Maintenance, published by Historic Environment Scotland in January 2007 states: ‘Gilding is the application of thin layers of metal, most commonly gold, onto a surface. It is often to be found as decoration for picture frames and furniture, but architectural gilding can also be found on detailing in the decoration of rooms, or on external details such as heraldry and inscription panels.’
It goes on to state: ‘Gilding appears as a solid surface whereas paint will appear more granular, streaky and dull in appearance by comparison. Whilst gold leaf does not tarnish, paint oxidises and consequently becomes a green-brown colour on ageing. This makes gold leaf relatively easy to identify. True gilding retains its characteristic metallic sheen long after paint has lost its original shine. If there is doubt over whether or not gilding is present, the situation should be treated with caution until a professional opinion can be obtained.’
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