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Restoration of gilded wood

February 26, 2021 | Galerie Atena

Louis XVI-Style Wood and Giltwood Table

Louis XVI-Style Giltwood Table, Circa 1860


Gold Color in Decoration


Gold is a recent trend in decoration. Crafted of brass, metal or gilded wood, gold furniture, lighting and decorative objects bring elegance and brightness to any interior. The fans of this warm, refined and still classic color, once symbol of immortality, choose gold furniture and large gold decorative items, such as mirrors, in order to create a luxury experience. The large Louis XIV or Napoleon III gold mirrors are rare antiques, and elegant additions to bedrooms or living rooms. Antique tables and giltwood vitrines can beautifuly complete the interior design. Golden detail is also a perfect match for sparkle! And a gilt bronze chandelier or a pair of golden candleholders make home decor appealing and bright.



Baroque-Style Giltwood Mirror

Large Louis XV-Style Giltwood Mirror, Circa 1860

Pair of Directoire Ormolu Candlesticks

Pair of Directoire Gilt Bronze Candlesticks

Entrance Hall Lantern from Château Léoube in Bormes

Golden Entrance Hall Lantern From Château Leobé in Bormes



Golden Antique Furniture and Contemporary Decoration


Antique furniture pieces, full of history, bring character and originality to contemporary or Scandinavian interiors. Most of our gilded furniture items are made of wood covered with gold leaf, and are restored in our workshop in Montesson, near Paris. Antique furniture and gold decor lovers can find on our website some unique gold finds, such as this giltwood fire screen in Louis XV style, this giltwood table in Louis XVI style or this opulent Baroque-style display cabinet embellished with beautifully sculpted giltwood decor composed of garlands, rocaille, foliage and scrolls.



Giltwood Fire Screen in Louis XV-Style, Charles Mauricheau-Beaupré Collection

Giltwood Fire Screen in Louis XV Style

Louis XVI-Style Giltwood and Stucco Table

Louis XVI-Style Giltwood Table

Italian Baroque-Style Giltwood Vitrine

Baroque-Style Giltwood Vitrine, Italy, 19th Century


Browse All Giltwood Items



Gold Leaf Restoration


Inherited or found in an antique shop, antique gold furniture are remarkable finds that combine luxury, refinement and craftsmanship. The gold leaf gilding, practiced by the gilders since Antiquity, is a laborious and delicate technique, which requires precise and meticulous operations. Discover here below the restoration of a 18th century-style set in our workshop...


The first step consists in preparing the support by cleaning it in order to find the original gilding that can be preserved. When the support has missing parts, it is necessary to restore it using the water gilding technique.


Once the support is cleaned, the "priming" consists in depositing several layers of "blanc" (mixture of blanc de meudon and rabbit skin glue), before sanding the whole in order to polish the primers and to level the surfaces. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove and resculpt certain decorations.


Then a thin layer of "armenia bowl" covers the primer to facilitate the gluing of the gold leaf and to obtain a qualitative burnishing. The surface is then polished with a hard boar bristle brush.


The application of gold leaf is a step that requires great care. First, the gold leaf is delicately placed on a cushion, then the surface to be gilded is wetted in order to apply, with the help of a gilding palette, the pieces of gold leaf previously cut. "Burnishing" consists in polishing the gold leaf with an agate stone to give it shine and brilliance. Finally, the gilded parts are matified to make the whole thing uniform.


We invite you to discover in pictures the steps of the gold leaf restoration...