Gilding for Beginners (short course)

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Why study this course?

This eight-week evening course provides an introduction to the decorative art of gilding – the application of metal leaf such as gold to solid surfaces. This course is suitable for beginners or for those who would like to refresh or develop existing skills. You will be taught by a specialist in restoration and conservation practice, Professor Alex Schouvaloff.

More about this course

This course introduces you to the gilding process, the nature and production of metal leaf and gilding tools and how to choose the right tools and materials for the job. It includes hands-on workshops so you can explore the key materials and techniques, from gesso ground, the use of bole and practical water to oil gilding and burnishing.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • identify and choose appropriate leaf metal for the gilding of surfaces
  • prepare a suitable ground for oil or water gilding on wooden substrates
  • effectively use the tools of the gilders trade to produce a gilded artefact using gold, silver or Dutch metal leaf

Fees and key information

Course type
Short Course
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Entry requirements

No previous experience is necessary.

Who's this course for?

This course will appeal to anyone involved in the preservation of gilded artefacts or of architectural interiors as well as those who wish to use gilding techniques in the production of their art or craft work. These might include professionals and volunteers in museums, galleries and heritage organisations such as the National Trust and English Heritage.

What our students say

"Brilliant course, excellent teacher."

"The course was very professionally undertaken by a very experienced teacher whose teaching was highly informative and interesting."

"The atmosphere during the lessons was very relaxing. Professor Alexander Schouvaloff is an excellent teacher and made us feel at ease."

Course dates

Course dates Autumn dates will be confirmed in August
Length One evening a week for eight sessions
Day and time Monday, 6pm to 8.30pm
Maximum class size 12
Contact hours 20


A 20% discount is available for:

  • those who are registered as unemployed and in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit.
  • those whose sole or main income is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state retirement pension
  • those who are registered as disabled and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • full-time and part-time UK students on credit-bearing courses
  • London Metropolitan University students on year-long day courses
  • London Metropolitan University alumni members
  • London Metropolitan University staff

If you're eligible for the 20% discount, please contact us before booking.

What's included in the price?

Basic material costs are included in the course fees. Specialist materials are also available at an additional cost should they be required.

Terms and conditions

Please read our terms and conditions before booking.

How to apply

Booking for this course isn't open at this time as the dates of the next intake are not yet confirmed. Please get in touch for further information or register your interest to receive notification as soon as booking opens.

When to apply

Please note, the deadline to book a place on one of our short courses is one week before the start date. If you have missed the deadline, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate you.