Gilding is the art or process of a number of decorative techniques for overlaying gold or silver leaf to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal to give a thin coating simulating gold.
Gold leaf is sold in booklets ( 80 x 80mm) of 25 leaves, separated by tissue paper, in both loose leaf and transfer leaf.
6.25 booklets of Gold Leaf 80 x 80mm, will cover an area of 1 sq mt
Loose leaf is extremely thin leaves of gold sitting between thin rouged paper. This leaf is difficult to handle as it tears easily so it is suggested to use a flat brush made of soft squirrel hair called a Gilders Tip to pick up the leaves.
Loose leaf is used to gild onto moulded and embellished areas where the gold is required to sit in all the cracks and crevices.
Loose leaf is also used for water gilding and in glassware.
Transfer leaf is the same gold as loose leaf, but it is lightly pressed onto the backing paper allowing easier handling.
Transfer leaf is preferred for gilding flatter surfaces and areas that don't have any raised embellishments.
It is used for sign work and for gilding outdoors, or on ceilings and walls where the loose leaf would be far too difficult to handle.