Gilding is the application of thin sheets of metal (often genuine gold) as a means of surface decoration. Gilding is commonly seen on decorative items such as picture frames, mirrors, furniture, and fine art such as illuminated manuscripts, sculpture and icons.
Architectural uses include interior and exterior applications and signage. There are two primary methods of gilding – water gilding and oil gilding.
Traditional water gilding is the most difficult and highly regarded form of gold leafing.