As you will have seen from the gilding section, the appearance of the raw, unfinished leaf is unappealing. It is at this antiquing stage that an artefact is imbued with its own individual character and transformed into a thing of beauty.
Depending on the finish required the gilded leaf will either be tarnished or undergo a process of antiquing.
Depending on the aged effect that is required, the surface finish may involve distressing the leaf, followed by the application of as many as three layers of pigmented glazes and/or wax finishes.
Where a tarnished leaf finish is required, the leaf is sprayed with a mix of diluted chemicals and left to dry. To avoid the reaction continuing the surface is sealed with two or three coats of lacquer.