The art of correct application.

As a frame manufacturer, you obtain special fulfilment from the artisanal quality of your work and from your customers' satisfaction. For this reason, we want to support you with quality products that enable you to create frames of unique artistic value.

We commit ourselves to your craft's tradition. Today and tomorrow.



We appreciate your suggestions and wishes regarding our product range. We want to exceed your expectations while working with Selhamin Poliment clay.

Step by step

A cross-section of the surface

Step 1: Glue sizing

Utensils: Leather glue (in pellets), water, water bath, sizing brush

Preparation: Soak leather glue (1 part by volume) in cold water (2.5 parts by volume). Warm up the resulting mass in the water bath until it turns liquid (See tip no.1).

Application: Use the sizing brush to apply a single coat of the warm glue solution to the surface of the wooden object.


Step 2: Chalk priming

Utensils: Calcium sulphate (CaSO4), calcium carbonate (CaCO3 ), aluminium oxide (Al2O3, 2SiO2 . 2H2O), leather glue (in pellets), water, water bath, chalk-sizing sieve (see tip no. 3), Large spoon (for stirring), sizing brush.

Preparation: Mix together the different types of chalk in equal proportions. While doing this, leave the leather glue (1 part by volume) to soak in cold water (3 parts by volume). Warm up the resulting mass in the water bath until it turns liquid.

Slowly add small quantities of the chalk mixture to the warm glue solution. Continue until the glue solution is saturated with chalk. Stir the resulting chalk/glue mixture slowly and thoroughly, before pressing it through the chalk-sizing sieve. (See tip no.2)

Processing: Use the special sizing brush to apply at least five coats of chalk sizing. Allow each coat to dry before applying the next one (see tip no.4).


Step 3: Smoothing of the chalk-sizing surface

Utensils: Fine abrasive paper of various grades (120, 180, 240, 320, 360), and "wet and dry" emery cloth (of particle grade 400 and upwards)

Method: Sanding is carried out in various stages, using abrasive paper of a progressively finer grade. Initial sanding is normally carried out using 120-grade paper. Fine sanding is done with paper of finer particle-size (up to grade 800, see tip no. 6). Finish the process with the surface slightly wetted. Special "wet or dry" fine emery cloth is available for this purpose.


Step 4: The poliment stage

Utensils: Leather glue (in pellets), Selhamin poliment, poliment brush, wooden spoon (for stirring), poliment sieve, water, water bath.

Preparation of the poliment: Soak 80g of leather glue (in pellets) in one litre of cold water. Warm up the resulting mass in the water bath until it turns liquid Gradually add small amounts of the thin glue solution to the poliment and stir the two elements together. The resulting mass takes on a dough-like consistency and then becomes more and more liquid as glue is added. Continue to add glue solution to the poliment until the mixture takes on the consistency of wall emulsion paint that can be smoothly applied with a brush (see tip no. 7).

Application: Pass the poliment/glue mixture through the sieve and apply it rapidly to the sanded chalk surface with a poliment brush. Apply at least two coats, but no more than four (see tip no. 8). Let each coat dry before applying the next one. When the final coat of poliment is completely dry, smooth it with a poliment brush. (see tip nos. 10 and 11).


Step 5: Application of the gold leaf

Utensils: Gilding pad, gilding knife, application brush (fine-haired), wetting brush, wetting solution.
Preparation of the wetting solution: Mix together ethyl alcohol (1 part by volume) and distilled water (2 parts by volume).

Wetting the surface: Use a wetting brush to apply the solution to the surface of the poliment.

Applying the gold leaf: Spread the individual pieces of gold leaf across the gilding pad, cut to size, pick up with the application brush and place onto the wetted surface of the object being gilded. The gold leaf should overlap by about 2-3mm at the sides. The gold leaf is then gently blown into place, with care taken to prevent the formation of air bubbles under the surface.

Step 6: Burnishing the gilded surface

Utensils: Polishing agate of the right type and grade (see tip no. 9), acetone, linen rags

Method: Before burnishing can take place, the base should bear only moist traces of the wetting solution (see tip no. 10). Once this stage has been reached (after about one hour, in normal climatic conditions), apply the polishing agate, under slight pressure, to the entire gilded surface. Ensure that no part of the surface is left untreated. Burnish the gilded surface until it is highly polished.

Step 7: Tone and patina

Explanation: A highly-polished gilded surface is normally considered to be a little gaudy. This is why the surface is then treated to tone down its shininess and give it a characteristic patina. The toning process involves the application to the gilded surface of clear or coloured coatings (see tip no 13), while the patina process refers to the artificial ageing of the gilded surface, by chemical or mechanical means (see tip no. 14), to give it an "antique" look.

Numerous substances and processes are available for the application of the toning and patina techniques. The toning and patina procedures can be carried out simultaneously using what is known as the "make-up" technique:

Utensils: Water, walnut stain (see tip no. 15), powdered wood-stain (e.g. from Clou or Zweihorn), colouring tints, water colours, ammonia solution (15%), wax-free lemon shellac (dissolved in ethyl alcohol, see tip no. 16), small paintbrush with soft bristles, short-bristle brush, dabbing brush, steel wool (0000), poster paint, acrylic paint, natural sponge, kitchen roll, cleaning wool.

Preparation of "make-up": Dissolve the contents of one bag of wood-stain in four parts of hot water. Add about ten drops each of ammonia solution and shellac to the cooled staining solution (see tip no. 16). Thoroughly stir all the ingredients together.

Application: Using a soft paintbrush or natural sponge, carefully apply the "make-up" to the gilded surface, allow it to stand briefly and then dab it gently with cleaning wool or absorbent paper to soak up any surplus solution. Do not remove the solution completely. Now use a short-bristle or dabbing brush to gently work the "make-up" into the surface. When the toned/patina-treated surface is dry, carefully smooth it down with extra-fine steel wool (0000).

Treating the back of the frame: Use poster paint or acrylic paint to colour the back of the frame to make it blend in with the gilded surface. Apply "make-up" to the surface (as part of the same process used to treat the outer frame surface) and smooth down with steel wool (0000).

A craftman is only as good as his tools

Polishing agates

The purpose of polishing agates is to rub the gold leaf onto the frame, so that its entire surface and all joints are polished.


The poliment brush is used to smooth the poliment layer and to polish its surface.
The fine-bristled brush is used to apply the gold leaf.

Trimming pad

The trimming pad is where the knife and fine-bristled brush are used to cut the gold-leaf into made-to-measure sections.