Gilding techniques

There are different types of products that make applying gold possible, hence different methods. Here are the 4 main methods:

- Water-based gilding:

This technique is the oldest, dating back to Antiquity. It is impossible to use without prior training, as it involves applying many thin layers of various products before the gold-leaf can be used. This technique requires loose gold-leaf and uses ingredients such as glue made from rabbit skin, chalk and pigments. This technique allows the gilded surface to be polished, which gives it a shiny finish.

- Application milk:

This technique is quite simple, requiring only an application of the milk with a brush and 15 to 30 minutes drying time and can be used either on loose or transfer gold-leaf. The finish is mat, and it is the cheapest option, though the results are not very hard-wearing.


Application milk


-  Mixtion or gold size:

Suitable for both loose and transfer gold-leaf, this product takes 3 to 12 hours to dry. It fell into disrepute a few years ago, since it originally contained lead, which had to be removed, due to some cases of poisoning. The quality of the product was affected by this, but in recent years improvements have been made to the formula. The main advantage of this technique is that it allows the thinnest of layers to be applied under the gold, thus reducing the visibility of the glue (streaks, fingerprints). The finish obtained with this method is mat.




- Kölner products:

The newest technique involves a range of acryl-based products developed over the last 25 years. The finish can be either mat or shiny. Transfer gold must be used, as pressure is needed for the gold to adhere. The product (instacoll) is applied using a brush and left to dry for 30 to 40 minutes, leaving a time frame of approx. 2 hours for application. The main innovation (and advantage) of this method is that once the glue has dried, it can be activated using a special solution for up to a month after application, allowing the work to be carried out over a longer time period or in stages. This is the type of product that we provide you with.


Kölner products


Project with Kölner products

Project with Kölner products