In its most basic definition, gilding can be described as the covering of a base or common material with a layer of gold. This layer is achieved through the application of gold leaf to an adhesive which has been applied to the surface to be gilded.
Thanks to gold leaf, you can add a pop of detail to any object, which no other type of finish can accomplish. This is probably why the art of gilding survived even after a thousand years. Today, many artists mix a blend of gilding art with the traditional painting technique.