Gilding and Gold Leaf

Restoring gilded mirrors and frames

Rose Ratcliffe – 3rd December 2015

Matthew restored a pair of Louis XVI chairs for us. The gilding on them was so badly damaged in places, that the white marks and chips made it look like we'd found them on skip. My husband wanted to throw them out; I'm glad I persuaded him that it was worth having them restored. Thanks again workshop boys.

All that glisters is not gold - sometimes it's silver leaf

Gilding is the process of applying gold leaf to wood or metal surfaces, and unlike paint, the finish can be burnished to an extremely high lustre. Gilding is commonly used on mirror frames and pier glasses and over the years can become easily tarnished, dirty or damaged.

We are able to sensitively match damaged areas to the original and replace chipped areas of gesso - a mixture of plaster of Paris and glue - used to form the base onto which the gilt is applied.

Gold or silver leaf

People gild all sorts. We've restored the gold or silver leaf decoration to so many items, you'd be amazed. From tea-caddies to mirrors and frames, to decoration and embellishment on chairs, chaise longues and 4 poster beds. We've access to a range of gold and silver leaf with secret techniques to age and blend it in so seeing what's been repaired is tricky to spot.

Workshop Opening Hours

PAYING US A VISIT TO DISCUSS A POTENTIAL RESTORATION PROJECT

If you want to pop-in to discuss a potential repair, rather than emailing with photos or telephoning, then please stick to weekdays as our restorers only work Monday to Friday and our general shop staff are not restoration experts.

DROPPING OFF FOR REPAIR OR COLLECTING COMPLETED ITEMS

If we've already given you an estimate for the repair or restoration of your furniture and asked you to bring it into the workshop, you can do so from our Islington workshop, 7 days a week, Monday - Saturday 10-6 and Sundays 11-5. Similarly, if we've completed the restoration and told you it's ready, you can also collect during these times, without appointment.

IMPORTANT - You can't leave items without our having already given you a price and scheduled your work, as our workshop has limited storage space - so please don't bring things in on spec and hope to be able to leave them. You'll get turned away and then be cross with us - and we don't want that ;)

Got a question about gilding, gesso or gold leaf?

We can help - ask for a free estimate now!

Start off by emailing us some photos, as we can usually provide an estimate from them - and after that, if you would prefer to arrange for us to visit your home or office you can contact us; Click below or send photos to • [email protected], by 'phone on • +44 (0) 20 7359 4281, or in person by visiting our workshop at • 121-122 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QP

Email Us

Still unsure?

Not sure if it's something we would restore? Don't feel embarrassed to ask. If you're not sure what you've got, can't identify the wood, don't recognise the age or period - don’t worry, that's our job, not yours and we're very good at it too! We're here to provide you with free, honest advice. We'll tell you what it is, where it's from and whether or not it's worth restoring. We really can restore most things - you'd be surprised at the state of things we've been able to rescue. Click the Email Us button on the left for a free estimate or read more by clicking the button below.

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