What Is A Gilding Ground?

gilding grounds armenian bole

gilding groundsA Gilding ground served a two fold purpose, it acts as filler if working on bare wood, and as imitation gold leaf, or genuine gold leaf is so thin, they serve to give gold a warmer colour.

If you are creating an aged finish the deep red colour will show through the gold giving a very authentic appearance of antique gold, as the picture on the right shows.

Armenian bole, a refined clay, is generally used for this. But I have found that a good red ochre pigment works just as well.

The gilding ground is simply mixed with water if working with a wood or porous surface, or it may be mixed with an oil based size if you are thinking of working on a non porous surface such as glass or metal.

You can purchase a red ochre ground from the gilding supplies page.

One of the most popular finishes is the crackle glaze, lets go on to see now how the crackle glaze is obtained.

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Seb Dale 
I just want to salute your generosity in giving away your gilding knowledge. Excellent guide books,  I was not able to find such a simplified explanation in any book at the local library. 
Ghassan Haddad 
After looking at various sites and suppliers on the net, your site is just wonderful - clear, accessible, descriptive and demystifying. Thanks so much for making your knowledge available! Liz 
You did a brilliant job of mentoring me through my project, it turned out very well, I am extremely happy with the results.
Your manuals are excellent. I easily worked my way through your gilded manuscript project and the result is now framed and hanging in my living room. Thank you.