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Yes. I've seen it done with traditional techniques, but using acrylic gel media works and isn't as complex as gesso and bole.
The gel media is also low heat reactivated.
You need to treat both sides of the mat to keep it from cupping.
I would do both.
I would also use one of the anti-reflective glazings like TruVue Museum Glass, ArtGlass AR99, or Optium Museum Acrylic. You have some other options that are not readily available on this side of the pond.
I would use a thin rag board barrier on the back of the mat to avoid direct contact of the gilded area with the art.
We used auto primer, sanded it, then size and metal leaf, it was a fast and simple solution, but we used it mostly for fillets. If this is going to be your top mat, you cannot put it directly against the glass as the mat can no longer absorb condensation, you need to use a spacer.
I haven't tried it but I'd think sandable hard acrylic gesso like the on Golden makes would work well as a base if you want to gesso first. Probably a little more flexible than traditional gesso. I'd tint it as the gilding always looks better over a colored ground than white. Or you might just use a coat of amber shellac as a base. I've done that.