Since 1905 we specialize in Custom Gold Leaf Picture Frames for paintings. We display in our page more than 150 models of gold leaf frames for sale gilded by genuine gold leaf. We use yellow, black, and red bole for different styles and period frames. Discover all the models available and calculate their price right away with our algorithm. We can deal with any measure of your painting.
During the 20th century in Europe develops the craftsmanship of reproducing authentic frames for old master paintings. Why did that happen? Because during the second world war, a lot of original ones gone lost.
The discipline was born with great care about ancient techniques because the reproductions frames have to look exactly like the originals. So in many workshops, you would find Master Carvers and Master Gilders work together to build reproductions with the same quality of the originals. The techniques used didn’t differ at all from the one used by ancient masters.
Carvers would carve on Swiss pine beautiful and very complex ornates by hand. Gilders would use rabbit glue, gesso and bole to prepare the wood surfaces of the gold leaf picture frames to be gilded. Before applying the thin sheet of gold leaf, there is an excellent work of preparation. Any surface and carving have to appear perfectly smooth. See this video to know more about the gold leaf gilding process.
Our offer of genuine gold leaf frames for sale is realized by using different kinds of gilding process. We talk down below this article about two different methods that give customers the chance to choose between two different prices.
Ancient techniques are indubitable extraordinary. Old masters used them with great care, and the result it’s been astonishing, as authentic picture frames arrived at us pretty much intact. So that means they were very well made.
However, today we have to deal with a significant problem related to the reproduction of custom gold leaf frames for paintings. They are quite expensive to realize because of the enormous amount of time necessary to manufacture them.
A medium-sized frame with an internal sight of 50 x 60 cm would need nearly hundreds of hours of manual work to be done. The final result is undoubtedly astonishing, but the price would be quite high. Here in Italy, craftsmanship like that costs about 40 Euro per hour. In some other third world countries, it could cost less.
With that said, we now want to talk about the solution to solve this problem. We, in fact, created a system that allows us to realize custom gold leaf frames at a very reasonable price. How did we achieve that? With the use of wood pulp for ornates and the use of adhesive size for gold leaf gilding.
A couple of decades ago, we discovered a system to create functional and resistant ornates by using wood pulp. We mix a few types of wood powder with a bit of solvent (about 1%) to get a handy paste made 99% of wood. The difference between our wood pulp and real wood it’s just in the absence of wood veins.
Do we need wood veins to create astonishing carving decorations to be applied on smooth wood surfaces? I don’t think so. We don’t need them because they don’t apport any vantage. The ornaments, in fact, would be as resistant as if they were made with wood. But there will be a huge difference in the price.
When we use the wood pulp, we can use molds tho create the ornates. Molds allow us to speed up pretty much the entire process of creating the basics of carving. I used the word basics because once the wood pulp is dry, we can then proceed with the carving process, which is indeed much more straightforward. See a video on our Youtube channel showing this system.
We use water-based adhesives for gilding genuine gold leaf frames. The use of water-based sizes for gilding is an excellent idea to get a good result with the minimum effort. Gold leaf gilding is a quite complicated technique by itself, but if you do it using the water gilding method, it’s going to be even more complicated.
To use adhesive size is easy because you have to apply it on the smooth surface of the frame with a brush. After about 20 minutes, you can apply the gold leaves on top of it. See a video on our Youtube channel showing the procedure. You will notice that the applying of gold leaves is quite quick.
If you want to compare the water-based size technique with the more traditional water gilding, watch the following video: water gilding. You will notice how sophisticated is this second technique. The use of water and bole make the entire process very hard to accomplish. In fact, if you don’t wet the bole properly, you’ll lose the gold, and that’s not a good idea.
To wrap-up, we want to inform our customers that the use of wood pulp for carving and water-based size for gilding can low the total price of our custom gold leaf picture frames to 60%. By these methods, we realize frames for great masters as Raffaello. That is due mainly to the patina, which will cover the gilded surface of the frames. Several hands of shellack mixed with green hearth powder, some fake wormholes, and a few little artificial broken parts on the ornates, will let the gilding look like real antique.
We specialize in unique reproductions of custom gold leaf frames for sale at a very reasonable price. We are aware of the global economic crisis. As we want to reach more than just exclusive clients, we passed the last twenty years studying carefully new methods to realize reproduction frames at a lower cost.
We accomplish our goals. Nowadays, we have a collection of more than 150 reproduction frames that clients from all over the world can buy for several reasons. They can frame an old master painting, as museums do, or they can frame minor paintings buying an excellent product for an affordable price. Customers can choose between three different kinds of gildings with three different prices.
REMEMBER THAT ALL THE PRICES YOU’LL GET BY THE CALCULATOR ARE FOR DUTCH GOLD LEAF! TO HAVE A GENUINE GOLD LEAF FRAME YOU MUST ADD ON TOTAL PRICE THE PERCENTAGES DESCRIBED ABOVE!
Click here to know more about order details: FAQ
We realize custom made gold leaf frames for paintings in any size. As you will notice surfing our web site, we offer several models for the two category price labeled affordable and expensive frames. All together they count more than 150 models available in gold leaf under request. Down below, you find the two links:
If you decide on a particular model because it fits well with your painting, you can calculate the price by clicking on the button: get a quote. You’ll be able to get a quote instantly for the frame based on the size of your painting. Our flexibility is our strength: we can frame any painting.
If you need to buy a frame with a very deep rabbet that you don’t see on the website, there is no problem. You tell us the depth of the painting or panel, and we prepare a custom frame for you. You can pick any model and ask for a deeper rabbet. We will add the proper depth looking carefully to maintain the right proportion of the structure.
If you need a smaller or a larger overlap, we can do that. Maybe you need to frame a TV, or you want to let visible the sign of the painter, which is too far below the edge! We use to solve anyone of this kind of problems.
You will have the chance to personalize any aspect of the frame you buy. Measure, structure, and finishings are the main concern of who wants to order a custom gold leaf picture frame. Stay with us and we will solve your problems.
For the clients who want to buy the best possible product, we advise you to go for red bole and water gilding. Bole is indispensable for water gilding. The bole is a soft fine clay that has to be mixed with rabbit skin glue to be applied on the frame surface.
The first step is preparing the rabbit glue. It comes in a granular form, and you have to transform it into a liquid solution. You have to soak some granules into the water and wait for about a couple of hours. The pellets will absorb the water and become a jelly. You then worm the jelly rabbit glue on a stove, and it’ll become liquid with its typic yellow color.
The second step is to mix the red clay bole with the liquid rabbit glue to obtain a moist bole. The bole melts in worm rabbit glue very quickly, and when you’ve got the right density, you apply it on the frame surface. You got to maintain the liquid bole quite worm by worming it up on the stove every couple of minutes. When it gets cold, it starts its process of drying, and it can’t be used any further.
When you finished applying the red bole on the frame, you wait about 24 hours before gilding. The bole needs to dry properly before getting wet with water to proceed with water gilding.
You fix in some way the frame in a vertical position. We use a painter’s easel for that. This way, any time you wet the bole by a brush with water, the water can flow down, and it doesn’t accumulate on the frame.
Any gold leaf measure cm 9 x 9, and usually, you cut the sheet in three parts before applying it on the wet bole. If you don’t cut the sheet, it could get craked, and you will lose time and money. Before applying any part of gold, the bole has to be very well wet. That’s a procedure that has to be done continuously, and you have to get a synchronized rhythm to do it properly.
Watch the following video on our Youtube channel to see the process: water gilding
To wrap up, what would be the difference between water gilding and gilding with adhesive size? Frankly, the difference is not that evident. The observer has to be quite expert to realize which kind of gilding there is under the patina (dark color). After gilding, in fact, to achieve an antique look, we need to apply several hands of dark shellac on the gilded surfaces of the frame. This process, called Patina, partially cancels the brightness of water gilding. That is why you can’t see much difference between the two gilding techniques.
Of course, you will notice a significant difference between the two kinds of gildings if you wouldn’t apply any patina on the frame. In fact, if the frame would be let appears as new, the water gilding would be very bright. Apart from the much brighter condition of water gilding in itself, there is a second step that has to be taken to conclude the entire procedure of water gilding. That is to bright up with agate stone every part of the ornates or flat surfaces of the frame.
The brightening procedure made by agate stones creates a shiny gold gilding that makes the gold look like a gold bar. How does that happen? The agate compresses the bole surface and makes it super smooth at a point that the gold becomes translucent. There is no way to go through this process with adhesive size gilding. The adhesive never gets hard enough to be press so that it remains quite opaque.
But again, you will see a considerable difference in price between the two techniques because water gilding takes about double time to be done.
In conclusion, we advise customers to choose the kind of gilding thinking on the final result. If someone looks for a genuine gold leaf frame for sale that has to look antique, we invite him to save money and order it with adhesive size gilding. As already discussed previously, you won’t see much difference between this las method and water gilding. The patina, in fact, will partially cover the benefits of the red bole and its bright effect.
If you want to order one of our custom made gold leaf frames for paintings with a new aspect, without indeed much of a patina on top of it, then we advise you to go for water gilding. With water gilding, you could even let the gold surface shiny and bright as if they were gold bars.
If you look for the best possible product and you have a reasonable budget, we then recommend you buy a frame with water gilding. It is undoubtedly an expense worthy enough to last forever.