gilding

Preferred label: 

Process involving the surface application of gold or another metal in the form of leaf, powder applied directly to the surface, powder mixed with a binder or other forms to approximate the effect of solid or inlaid metal.

AAT

The Arts and Architecture Thesaurus Online, The Getty Research Institute.

Additional reference: 
http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300053789 (modified)
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techniques