Gold leaf and gilding have been around since the Egyptians built the pyramids. Not hard to see why as gilt frames fit effortlessly into both traditional and contemporary interiors schemes.

We thought we’d give you a glimpse behind the scenes at Omelo as we put together one of our own gilt-framed mirrors.

Step 1. Preparation is key

Gilding step 1 - Preparation is key

The colour bole (clay) used to prime the frame surface will determine the overall appearance of the finished product as it acts as an undertone to the leaf. For example, a red colour beneath gold will give a warm, rich finish.

We apply several layers of red bole to our chosen frame…

Gilding step1 - Preparation is key (2)…and then polish it. It is on this smooth surface that the gold leaf is laid, either by water or by oil gilding.

Step 2. Apply adhesive size

Gilding step 2 - Apply adhesive 'size'We apply the chosen adhesive size to the frame in thin, even coats. The size will dry to a ‘tack’ and it is then ready to receive the leaf.

Step 3. Applying the leaf

Gilding step3 - Applying the leafThe leaf is applied via transfer or using a gilders tip, ensuring to tamp the leaf into the intricate areas of the frame.

After all the leaf is laid, the frame is left for a few hours to allow the size to dry out beneath the leaf.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

gold convex mirror

We then brush away all the loose skewings (odd bits of leaf that are attached on the overlaps) which can be seen in the image to the left.

If there are any gaps in the leaf, these can be touched up using the skewings.

Step 4. Finishing

gold convex mirrorFinally, the frame is lightly burnished (or to be less technical, rubbed) all over.

We only use genuine gold leaf, 22ct and above, so the frame doesn’t need to be sealed, as it won’t oxidise.

Step 5. The finished piece

Gilding step 5 - The finished pieceTa da!

gold convex mirror by Omelo Mirrors hanging above a sofaAnd here it is in its rather swanky new abode… (interior scheme by Lucy Swallow Interiors)