Water Gilding for Panels & Furniture

A Foundation in Traditional Materials & Techniques

Using Gilding Screen

Water Gilding for Panels & Furniture teaches you how to prepare and gild a variety of panels and a mockup chair rail. Learn how to work with gold and semi-precious leaf. Learn techniques for water gilding on panels and small three-dimensional objects.

This is an introductory level course for those interested in learning the basic skills needed to work with traditional water gilding methods. You will receive five days of hands-on instruction in the practice of traditional water gilding, with an emphasis on practical techniques for surface preparation and the handling of loose leaf for panel and/or furniture gilding.


TBA or By Request

Length of Study

5 days, with the choice to add an additional sixth day for extra studio time to work on and complete course projects



Class Size

3-5 people

Who it’s for

Gilders, furniture makers, frame makers, bookbinders, illuminators, sculptors, applied artists, visual artists, designers, conservators, restorers, collectors

What you will learn

  • The various materials, tools and equipment used in water gilding
  • Comprehensive, experiential, step-by-step understanding of surface preparation using traditional gesso and bole
  • Techniques for confidently handling and applying gold and semi-precious leaf
  • What to apply for a protective finish

What you will leave with

  • Materials, tools, supply, and resource lists
  • Recipes
  • A bibliography
  • Basic knowledge to pursue your own independent projects
  • Completed and partially completed samples of panels and objects you have worked on


Given the detail oriented nature of water gilding, some experience in hand/eye skills with brushes and an appreciation for technique and process is helpful.

Other Water Gilding Workshops

Water Gilding for Visual Artists

A Foundation in Traditional Materials & Techniques

Intermediate Panel & Furniture Gilding

Deepen your understanding of the materials and refine your use of techniques.

Methods of Embellishment, Patina & Toning

An intermediate course for developing skills and methods for surface and color work

INQUIRE with me to discuss educational resources and opportunities