Practiced since Antiquity and synonymous with a certain luxury, as Louis XIV will demonstrate with the sumptuous decorations of the Palace of Versailles, gilding is a technique to cover wood, metal, glass, ceramic, stone or marble with gold. There are as much techniques of gilding as materials able to receive it.
The gilding on wood, after it had been prepared, can be done thanks to the antique technique of the water gilding but also, since the 19th century, by the gilding paste. For gilding on glass and ceramics, fusion gilding (gold adheres to the object heated at high temperature) is the most used. Gilding on stone and on marble consists of the isolation of the support by a varnish on which will be applied the gold leaves.
Metals (copper, brass, bronze) can be gilded in four ways. This is fire-gilding, a mixture of mercury with molten gold, electroplating, more economical, gilding paste, which allows to cover large size objects, and finally gilding with varnish, which is actually the application of a yellow varnish.