There are many tools and materials that you will need and come across in the world of gilding. Some you will use across all three disciplines
and some are tailored for specific areas of gilding. The first list is a general list that will cover all areas of oil, glass and water gilding. The second list is one that uses extra tools
and materials for the work of water gilding. The final list is for restoration purposes.
This list is not exhaustive, it is very basic. There are plenty of other tools and materials that you will come across and need, but this is a good general guide for the beginner.
Wherever possible, buy good quality. If in doubt about how much you will use an item, it may be wise to buy a standard model and replace it with an expensive model when it reaches the end of it's life.
That way, if you rarely use it, you won;t need to replace it and money can be saved!
THE FOLLOWING TOOLS CAN BE USED IN ALL TYPES OF GILDING:
Gilders Cushion: Used as a safe surface on which to cut and prepare the metal leaf.
Gilders Knife: A balanced knife with which to cut the gold into piece.
Gilders Tips: Usually made from Squirrel or Badger hair (Squirrel is the best choice) the tips are used to transfer the cut gold onto the surface.
Selection of good quality synthetic Brushes: Used for applying gilding size to a surface.
Gilders Mop: Used for skewing off pieces of gold.
Sable and Camel Hair Brushes: Used for painting upon gilded surfaces.
THE FOLLOWING TOOLS AND MATERIALS ARE USED MAINLY IN WATER GILDING:
Rabbit Skin Glue: Made from the animals, this glue is used in several of the gilding processes. It is obtainable in granules and must be made up in a Rabbits Skin Glue Size to be used.
Gilders Refined Whiting: Very finely ground chalk, or calcium carbonate, used in the creation of Gesso. Gilders whiting is a lot more refined than ordinary 'household' whiting, which would be much too coarse.
Fine Silk: Used to create Intelaggio for gaps and corners.
Fine White Cotton Rag: For polishing the Gesso and Bole.
Yellow Pigment: For the recesses of the subject, enabling a more sympathetic finish within hard to reach areas.
Armenian Bole: Available in a range of colours, this fine clay makes an excellent final layer for the gold. It is the abilities of the Bole that makes burnishing possible.
Hog Hair Fitches: Used for the application of Gesso and Bole.
Wet and dry sandpaper: For gentle sanding of the Gesso. Ranging in grade from 240 to 1500
Alcohol: Used in the gilding water, the alcohol thins the water and helps evaporation. Gin works very well. Also, quite handy when things go wrong!
Baize: Used for providing a polished surface on the Bole, prior to application of the leaf.
Various Agate Burnishing Tools: For burnishing the finished surface.
THE FOLLOWING MATERIALS ARE USED IN THE RESTORATION OF GILDING:
Assortment of Modelling Tools: For repairing or creating profiles and missing pieces.
Range of Carving Chisels: For re-carving the edges of applied Gesso on finely detailed work.