Gilders Clay & Base Colours

The right basecoat is important for gilding, particularly when using genuine gold or silver leaf, as it creates an undertone to the gold and silver that helps enhance the appearance of it's colour. Traditional earthy reds and yellows have been used as a base colour for gilding with gold, and black and blue are traditionally used under silver.

Traditionally when water gilding the gilder would mix coloured clay, or bole, into the gesso to give this base colour and this is still done often today. With modern gilding techniques frequently an acrylic paint is used as a base, we carry Caselo and Pelikan Plaka for this purpose as they are both strongly pigmented and dry to smooth, sandable surfaces that are perfect for later gilding.