Gessoed frame, lacunae filled, ready to be refined and sanded. Refining involves cleaning up edges; making rounds round, and making sure the sweep and flow are there. I use small carving tools, scrapers and rifflers at this point, as seen above. Then sanding with various grits, 80-100-150 and finishing with 220. Mostly 100 and 220, and 100 needs to used carefully. In the winter time, I have another use for cyanacrylate glue; gluing the splits in my fingers together, aggravated by sanding.
This is the frame as the first coat of bole is being applied; a pale yellow. Bole is a very refined clay, mixed with hide glue just before applying, as a base for water gilt gold leaf. Where it is shiny in the picture, the bole is still wet. Before gilding, the bole will be polished, but it is matte until then. In this case, a base of yellow, followed with a red top coat. The yellow obscures "holidays" in the gilding. The red will be just on the "highlights".