Gilding (water & oil)

Over the past 30 years Hare & Humphreys have established themselves as the UK’s leading gilding specialists.

Our highly skilled and experienced staff work both nationally and internationally within many of the world's most prestigious buildings and iconic monuments. Smaller and more intricate moveable items are brought to our London workshops, whilst architectural works are mostly completed on site. It is however the grand-scale projects that have often drawn the attention of world media, and that define our ability to undertake the most breathtaking of transformations. They have confirmed our reputation and raised the profile of Hare and Humphreys.

Gilding is always a significant investment in a property and we recognise that a gilded scheme needs to be managed carefully in order to balance the requirement for enhanced decorative impact with financial cost. As such we may often advocate improvement in the base gilding or recommend that gilding is cleaned and repaired rather than completely renewed.

Hare and Humphreys will also advise on the type and allocation of gilding, ensuring that the client is made fully aware of the variations and variables that can be used on their project. We have close links with gold leaf manufacturers to enable the specification to be exact for every scheme and leaf can be beaten for our requirements. 

Oil Gilding

This is by far the most frequently employed gilding method in the United Kingdom and it requires experienced craftsmen to achieve the desired effects. We have used oil gilding to highlight and ornament many of the most opulent interiors in the country including, The Royal Opera House, Spencer House, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Royal Academy and Chatsworth House. Special attention should also be drawn to the external works of the Houses of Parliament and the Monument in the City of London. Many International projects have also been undertaken on religious buildings and for private clients.

Water Gilding

A traditional technique generally used for smaller ornaments or furniture, as the cost for architectural mouldings can be prohibitive. Occasionally water gilding is found on architecture – more commonly in Europe than in the United Kingdom or United States. Hare and Humphreys' craftsmen undertake conservation and restoration as well as new works at our London workshops.

Faux Water Gilding

In recent years we have developed techniques to replicate the feel of polished solid gold and water gilding with tough resistance qualities. These techniques can be used internally or externally and take on a very high lustre appearance.

Other Leaf techniques

“Gilding” as a term is not only associated with gold leaf. We undertake many styles of leaf and powder works including silvering and bronzing, dutch metal, coppering and other forms of stylish designs.


  • Royal Barge Gloriana
  • Gilt statue, Savoy Hotel
  • The Norfolk House Music Room, gilt in oil and water, V & A Museum
  • Detail of gilt moulding at a government property
  • Scheme for new tower ceiling, St Edmundsbury Cathedral
  • Skewing and burnishing gold at The Flaming Orb, The Monument
  • Newly gilt window sashes being revealed at Chatsworth House
  • Scheme in 'moongold' at a London Residence
  • Dining hall at a London Residence