Practical Gilding by Peter & Ann Mactaggart, Mac & Me.
ISBN 0 9507782 5 7
Gilding has been carried out for several thousands of years to make stuff that isn’t gold look like it’s made out of that fabulous substance. I’m not talking about gilding metal objects, most of the gilding described here is applied to wood (although gingerbread is possible).
There are two classes: water gilding (can be burnished to a high shine but is not water proof - so interior work only) and oil gilding (more mat but much easier to do and suitable for exterior use so you can gild the dome on top of your palace if you want). Water gilding can only be done with loose leaf. Oil gilding can be done with loose leaf or much more easily with transfer leaf (but the result is duller). Oil gilding can also be done with cheaper imitation gold foils but the metal eventually tarnishes, unlike real gold.