Oil gilding

DEFINITION

Also known as mordant gilding, this is attaching gold leaf to a non-absorbent surface which has been coated with a mordant size (an adhesive) ? either a slow-drying type containing linseed oil, or a quick-drying type sometimes called japan gold size. The leaf must be applied only when the mordant size is no longer wet, but is somewhat sticky or tacky. If the surface is absorbent, it must first be sized with some kind of shellac, varnish, or paint. Oil gilding is generally easier than water gilding. One advantage is that oil gilding can be applied to wood or stone without first coating them with gesso. However, it cannot be burnished (water gilding can be), and it is not so long-lasting (the oil likely to darken or to show some other decay).Also see fire gilding and gilt.

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