Powder and shells are ideal for retouching silver leafing and the gilding of carved or difficult to reach surfaces. The powder must always be first mixed with specific binding agents prior to application with a fine, soft bristle brush. Shells are ready-to-use mixtures of pure silver and gum arabic. In this way they can be applied on the surface to be decorated using a fine brush moistened with water, like a watercolour.
To apply with a brush, powders and shells are the best formats for any retouching and for carved or very irregular surfaces.