Hand made frames may have many different types of finish treatments; but amongst the most beautiful are frames that have been water-gilded with silver, palladium or genuine gold leaf. Once the frame has been properly joined, carved and detailed; the surfaces are carefully prepared with gilders gesso and clay (bole). These are then painstakingly sanded and polished. After this has been completed, the surface is flooded with gilders liquor. The leaf is then gently applied to the wet surfaces. Once the gilding is completed and dry a variety of burnishing and toning techniques are employed to bring the piece to its final finish.
Since ancient times, almost all cultures have used water-gilding been used to embellish furniture and architectural ornament.