Gilding, the application of pure gold leaf is demanding of skill, time and patience, but its subtlety of colour and depth of tone give the most rewarding finish.  Customers can choose from the numerous colours of gold leaf ranging from lemony yellows to rich reddish golds, as well as white gold, moon gold and silver, together with an array of bole colours, therefore there are endless results to be had.

Here, at Bespoke Framing, we can either water gild or oil gild frames, depending on finish required.

Firenze 23.75 carat gilded frame
Firenze 23.75 carat gold gilded frame with yellow & red bole

Water Gilding

Water gilding is perhaps the most universally acceptable and applicable finish for frames. It provides the perfect abstract colour with which to isolate the image from its surroundings and it is equally suitable for oil paintings, watercolours, prints and shadow boxes.  Bespoke Framing uses traditional methods which can be traced back to Ancient Greece which include the following processes:-

Coat with size, made from rabbit skin glue
Stuctural joins are re-inforced with strips of cloth - intelaggio
Up to 14 coats of gesso are applied
Surface of frame is smoothed & water-polished
Clay bole is painted onto frame (colours can be mixed for various effect)
Gold leaf is applied
Frame can then be burnished, or gold rubbed back slightly depending on the finished effect required

Salvador Dali signed print in gilded moongold frame
Salvador Dali Signed Print -22 carat moongold
White Gold - unburnished Gilded Frame
Original watercolour - Nanjing white gold watergild
Caplain white gold gilded frame
Caplain 19 carat watergild
Venezia - 23 carat - gold
Venezia - 23 carat - gold

We work mainly with Italian gold leaf in many variations ranging from 9 carat to 24 carat gold, moongold, platinum, silver etc and as a result, we can offer a large variety of tones.

Dancing Horses - moongold gilded frame
Dancing Horses - moongold gild

We also use a variety of bole colours ranging from traditional red and yellow, through to black, blue, green often mixing our own to suit the finish required.  We are always striving to find the right colour for each piece and can combine to achieve the correct shade needed.  We welcome ideas and work together with artists/customers to create the right frame.

Finally, for more images of our gilding, check out our regularly updated gilding gallery

Gilded Frame - Susan Gray Landscape
Moongold with stone paint finish

Oil Gilding

This is a wedding invitation that the Groom's Mother wanted framing as a wedding present.  We used the 'harlequin' pattern from the card on the frame, matching the red and gold colours.  Here's how it was done - such fun!

If you have an unusual idea for your framing, call us - we love a challenge!

Scroll to Top