Here is my panel after two coats of gold leaf. It actually took more than two books of gold leaf, partly because of the curves and sides. Even with experience gilding can be tricky, so if you have not tried it before, I do recommend practicing a bit first with imitation gold leaf until you feel comfortable with the process. You can get a beginner kit which includes imitation leaf, fast-dry size, and even a bit of venetian red which is often used under the leaf as a base color, and this is a great place to start. With more experience you'll use less gold.
I'm still waiting for my shellac crystals to come in the mail, so I'll return to this project once my surface is ready for applying paint. It can take a little extra patience and time to arrange trying something new, but if it lights my inner fires, I feel it's worthwhile. Who knows what great places it may lead me to? I hope I can pull off the new technique of oil painting on gold, because I love how this panel looks too.