Gilding & Antique Frames

The Frames and Gilding Department focuses on stabilizing and preserving as much of the original surface and decoration as possible.


The Frames and Gilding Department specializes in the preservation and restoration of frames and objects with gold, silver, and metal leaf applied on the surface. The Center’s conservators focus on objects that include period frames, gilded antiques, and furniture.

In their treatments, the gilding conservators endeavor to retain as much of the original finish as possible and to achieve this, they must stabilize insecure areas first. The process of stabilization requires using reversible conservation adhesives to secure the unstable layer. 

Next, our conservators meticulously build layer upon layer of materials to prepare the surface for gilding.  Working from the first layer of carved or cast media, the conservator then applies the appropriate fill material to create an adequate support on which to lay the gold leaf.  The delicate piece of gold leaf is then fastidiously applied to the prepared surface and toned to emulate the surrounding areas.