“Gilding is any decorative technique for applying a very thin coating of gold to solid surfaces such as metal (most common), wood, porcelain or stone.” – Wikipedia Reference

Understanding Gold Leaf

Gold leaf is manufactured in a wide range of colors and karats.  Leaf made from 100% gold is 24kt.  To produce a wide variety of colors, copper and silver are mixed with the gold.  When copper is added, the leaf becomes warmer and richer in tone.  When silver is added, the leaf becomes paler in tone.  The addition of these other metals lowers the karat value of gold leaf.  Gold leaf is manufactured in a range from 9kt “White” to 24kt “Fine Gold”.

23kt Gold Leaf Lasts 30-50 Years Outside

Gold is completely resistant to corrosion.  The addition of silver and copper lowers the resistance of gold leaf to corrosion.  However, the copper or silver in 23.75kt or 23kt leaf is so low that it will maintain its integrity outdoors for 30 years or more.  A dome, building detail, metal fence or outdoor statue will require a 23kt to 23.75kt leaf that ranges from 96% to 98.5% in purity. Karats less than 23 are recommended for indoor use and many colors and karats are available. (Text from Gilded Planet Website).

Be Aware, Please

Some companies will offer exterior gold leaf in karat weights below 23 1/2K gold. We do not recommend gold of lesser quality for exterior use as it will not hold up to the elements, and could “turn” due to the other metals alloyed with the gold. Do not be misled by companies offering gold leaf adhered to plastic film as a modern alternative to traditional gold leaf. Traditional gold leaf is unequaled in brilliance and longevity than any other alternatives.

It takes time to traditionally apply genuine gold leaf, and there are no shortcuts. You will not be disappointed with the results. Our customers are always overwhelmed by the beauty of gold leaf when they see their project for the first time, and you will be too!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!  We will be happy to help.


Gold & Silver Leaf Application (Gilding)


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A picture of a bathroom vanity that was gilded with 24k gold by Mabel Vittini.
Silver Leaf creatively placed in a 30ft dome ceiling in Southwest Ranches.
A before and after picture of a bathroom vanity that was gold-leafed.