The term gilding covers a number of decorative techniques for applying fine gold leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal to give a thin coating of gold. A gilded object is described as "gilt", when applied over wood, it's called Gilt Wood.
If gilding is on wood, the surface was often first coated with gesso. "Gesso" is a substance made of finely ground gypsum or chalk mixed with glue. Once the coating of gesso had been applied, allowed to dry and smoothed, it was re-wet with a sizing made of glue and water. Water gilding, which allows the surface to be subsequently burnished to a mirror-like finish, the gold leaf was layered on the gesso and left to dry. Water gilding in the Old World was quite an art and has a glow not achieved from simply applying gold leaf. Sharing with you a few examples of gilt wood...
|Collection of mounted Antique Gilt Wood Crosses...|
Fabulous setting from bellafayegarden
|Antique Gilt Wood Altar Pricketts...|
|Beautiful Gilt Architectural Putto in Paris...|
|Gilt wood Sunburst Mirrors from alexmacarthurco.uk|
|Pair French Bergeres from Bella Cottage...|
|Beautiful French Gilt Wood Bench from Bella Cottage|
|Antique French Gilt Wood Mirrors from Antique Diva...|
|18th c Carved Gilt Wood Angel or Putto from 1st Dibs...|