How to tell a true gilded frame

Written by chris pink on August 8, 2014 in Picture Framing

In a world where manufacturing processes are now advanced enough to replicate almost any finish or material, it’s easy to buy what you think is the genuine article – only to discover much later that it’s not.

Want to know if a gilded frame is made up of true gold leaf? This article will explain it all.

Check the back of the frame

Start with the basics. Turn the frame over and see if it’s plastic or any material other than wood. If it’s not wood, there’s a good chance that the gold is not real gold leaf. That’s because plastic and composite frames are nearly always fabricated to imitate the real thing.

If you’re lucky, you may also be able to spot where gold size (special glue) has been applied at the back – a good sign that real gold has been used.

Price is crucial

Is the frame’s price too good to be true? Then it probably is!

Perfection is imperfection!

The funny thing about genuine gold leaf is that it generally isn’t perfect. Gold, by its nature, is a hand-applied material which has scratch marks, lines and folds within its make up. For that reason, be wary of frames which appear almost too gold.

Different kinds of real

Another very confusing thing is that there exists a kind of gold leaf imitation which is not paint, but made up of metal. Metal leaf can be shinier than true gold leaf, so that may be a way to tell it apart.

 Look at the layers…

Lastly, genuine gold leaf frames are made up of layers. Most will have overlaps and you’ll be able to clearly see where one fold of leaf joined another.

We hope that helps you out.

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