Making and Knowing
A minimal edition of BnF Ms Fr 640 in English Translation

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To lay down and set burnished gold and give it a red or green or blue hue

Ceruse and lead white is not appropriate for polished white nor for burnishing because it is fat, but it is quite good for matte gold, which is made with oil by mixing it with yellow ochre and mine and tempering the whole with oil, and this matte gold so applied lasts in the rain, like gilded leadwork and similar things. Therefore, for burnished gold take good chalk, quite white, well ground and soaked with distemper glue and do four coats of it, one after the other, on the wood. And when the last one is dry, rub it with prêle, which is a kind of grass otherwise named horsetail, to render it well polished. Afterwards, take fine Armenian bole and sanguine, as much of one as of the other, a bit of lamb tallow the size of a bean or a pea depending on the quantity of bole, and a little willow charcoal, or as much as the tallow, and half a walnut shell filled with half—burned saffron; some put in a little candi sugar. Grind everything together with water and apply it without gum or glue, and let it dry. And rub the place that you would like to gild with a piece of white cloth to better unify it, and when the rubbed place is a little shiny it is a sign that the gold will behave well. After rubbing, wash the place that you want to gild with a clean brush soaked with clear water and apply the gold at once, which you will burnish when dry. And if you want to set rouge clair and glaze with it, grind Venice lake on the marble with walnut oil or linseed oil. After grinding, mix in turpentine varnish or spike lavender varnish and apply on gold with the brush. Brazilwood and laque ronde fade. For green, temper verdigris with walnut oil or linseed oil and grind it, then mix in some turpentine varnish; not aspic varnish, which is not suitable for verdigris. If you want to glaze with azure it must be set on burnished silver. Take azure enamel, and without grinding temper it with turpentine varnish and apply it.