Finding the perfect gold spray paint

If only you knew the real life of an accountant.  Being a blogger/accountant is so hard sometimes, it’s like mixing oil and water.  Seriously, all normality is lost during month-close, but I’m slowly climbing out of it and have found a spare minute to share with you the journey I took in finding the perfect gold spray paint 🙂

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had very much luck picking out the perfect gold spray paint straight off the shelf.  The paint can caps are deceivingly shiny and beautiful, the majority of the paint cans claim to be metallic but aren’t, and I usually don’t have enough patience to test out a bunch of random gold spray paints.

Today is the day we’re going to test out some options, because I believe with all my heart there is a perfect gold spray paint out there for everyone.  I chose 5 readily available gold spray paint cans from 3 shops – Michael’s, Home Depot, and Blick Art Materials.




In all my gold experiences, I’ve come to the conclusion that the color spectrum of gold falls into a quadrant of 4 distinct shades: brassy gold, yellow gold, green gold, and a warm honey gold. Each shade holds a purpose, and it’s up to you as the designer to determine which shade jives best with your look.

Usually if I decide to ‘go gold’ on a project, I look past using gold spray paint and go straight to gold leaf.  We all know how much patience goes into playing with gold leaf!  I wanted to find a paint that would compare to gold leaf, to save myself a headache and my carpet from a bazillion flakes of foil.

let’s find the best can of gold spray paint!

Montana Gold Acrylic spray paint is a professional spray paint that artists typically use for creative tag art.  Unlike some other professional artist spray paints, Montana Gold has characteristics in its formula that parallel home improvement spray paints, in that it can adhere to almost any surface.  The paint is flexible and has decent coverage, and it sounds silly but I really like the spray cap – It’s super comfortable! I was surprised that this paint turned out to be one of my favorites, because when the paint first comes out of the can, even after shaking vigorously, the paint was clear and appeared watery.  It was as if the paint turned to gold once it hit the air.

What I love most about this paint is that it dries with a super shiny with an almost lacquer-like finish.  The only qualm I have is that the paint is a bit runny, so you definitely need primer first, then you have to spray 2 light coats in order to get full coverage.  This paint falls into the honey golden shade I mentioned earlier, it’s so beautiful and complex, and mimics gold leaf in a way I wouldn’t have expected from a spray paint.




Design Master paints are readily available at Michael’s.  I’ve never actually tried this brand until now, and I can’t believe I held out for so long.  Both Design Master paints below are high quality, and are shockingly metallic in person.  The Gold Medal paint can is probably the most beautiful of the yellow-gold variety.  Both cans of paint are so buttery smooth and rich it was difficult picking out which I liked better.  Although, if I was forced to choose I’d have to say my favorite between the two is the Brilliant Gold.




You can see what I mean about the shades of gold, right? Gold Metal above is a yellow gold, whereas the Brilliant Gold below is a warm honey gold.




The next two cans of paint are perhaps the most common brands amongst crafters and DIY enthusiasts.  I’ve used these cans in previous projects, but I can’t say I was ever ecstatic with the results. Rustoleum’s Metallic Gold spray paint is more photogenic than it appears in person.  In person the paint is a greenish gold – not my fave.  Although, I am a big fan of Rustoleum’s paint formula – it’s adhesion qualities are en point, I’ll probably skip on their metallic cans and stick with their colored paints.




Michael’s also sells Krylon brand spray paints, such as this 18K Gold paint can.  The paint is great, I really don’t have any negative things to say about it, it just doesn’t live up to the other 4 paints here.  I do think it’s a little overpriced for being a smaller can, but that’s just me being a cheap-o.  Since this paint is in the yellow category of gold, I would suggest only using this paint for small projects.  Anything larger than a picture frame will look more yellow than gold.  I also wish Krylon would change the cap – the cap looks like a beautiful metallic rose gold, when the paint is more like the color of the clock on the label.




Well there you have it! I hope this post is somewhat helpful for the next time you decide to go gold.


  • Mandy Pellegrin

    This is such a helpful review! Thank you for sharing.

  • Sara Maune

    I love Ace Hardware’s gold, check it out!

    • brittanymakes

      Great suggestion! I’m going to pick it up this weekend and add it to the mix. Thank you!

  • resham sen

    this is awesome!! You made my life easy//// for someone new to DIY/// this is very helpful! Thank you!

    • brittanymakes

      you’re welcome!

  • Nancy Wong

    I’m so glad to have this review handy and conveniently timed!! I was about to go to Michael’s for gold spray paint to make these silver tea canisters turn into my new makeup holders. It’s great to have tips like this available so I don’t have to feel disappointed depending on what I want to get as the result! =)

    Thanks for this!!



    • brittanymakes

      Thank you Nancy! And what a great idea, I’m in desperate need of cute makeup holders too, tell me how it goes!

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  • Sue Erneta

    Great post! I too discovered the differences when I tried a couple cans. My winner was Krylon metallic – different from the Gold Plate one you tried here. (Then again, I was only comparing it the Rustoleum one which made my kraft paper letters look, well, sorta still kraft papery. Check out the differences in this post.

    I’ll definitely try that Montana Gold. It looks beautiful!

    Happy End-of-Tax-Season!

  • Cate Holcombe

    Such a helpful post! Thanks for testing them all out! That Montana Gold is lovely…I clicked through and saw the dozens and dozens of colors. Is it the “Goldchrome Metalic” that you used?

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  • Jessie Miller

    Hi Britt! Can you let me know what color you used in the Montana Gold? It’s a little confusing to order since “Gold” is in the brand name. No Bliks in St. Louis so I have to order online. Thank you!!!!

    • Emily

      Just so you know, there is a Blik’s art supply on Delmar in St. Louis…from a fellow St. Louisian

      • Jessie D. Miller

        Thank you! How I didn’t know that is frightening!

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  • Jeanne

    Hi. I just found this post and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve used some metallic spray paints that run off on your fingers after they are dry. Did you happen to have that problem with the Montana Gold? What color was it by name? Thanks!

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  • Nina Hartman

    Thanks! This is wonderful. I’ve always liked the look of gold paint, but never been satisfied with gold spray paints. I’ll try out some of these options and see what I think!

  • Gabriela♡

    Can I paint my case phone with one of those???

  • Zuzana Breznicka

    Hello Britt 🙂 i would like to ask about these sprays – Im looking for light gold that looks exactly as your picture of design master gold medal. But I think your photos looks little bit similar. And on other sites I found the colors of these sprays (except of design master) are not very nice – looks less or more like copper or brass. On the picture Left to Right you can see – 1USD gold spray – Krylon – RustOleum. I would like effect of that 1USD spray but its very very very bad quality. Can you thus please reccomend me more lightest gols spray – woult that Design master be better in color than others or it looks like brass too? Thank you very much and PS: Im great detailist 🙂

    • brittanymakes

      Hey Zuzana, I would recommend trying the Design Master Brilliant Gold, its in my top two favorite gold spray paints, it’s soft but very metallic, and not brassy at all. And the quality of the paint is really amazing.

      • Zuzana Breznicka

        Thank you Britt for advice. I hope I will have luck to get these design masters 🙂 Have a nice weekend 🙂

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  • jane

    Have you ever used clear gloss on top of the gold? I tried it once and the clear coat ate up the gold color and turned it brown. Did I just not wait long enough or am I not supposed to use top coat on top of metallic colors? Any suggestions?

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  • Micheal Hussey

    I actually found this blog and that is amazing thing I enjoy reading this easy to understand stuff. Keep it up.

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  • Sidney

    Is there a way to get something to look like liquid metal like the caps on the rust -o-leum or krylon?

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  • Jamal Rakilm B

    This blog post is a godsend. Thank you sooooo much for these examples. My only hope is that i can find the ones you show here

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  • Ali Annette

    Hi there! This is a great post! I am also wondering for the Montana Gold is it the Goldchrome (metallic) that you used? Here is the link again and it shows all sorts of colors. Thanks!

    • brittanymakes

      Yes! It’s the gold chrome!

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  • Melody

    Thank you for the time and effort it took to test these all out, believe me I know how much time it takes. I am thankful that you did. I am currently working on a gold framed mirror for a client of mine and they chose the 18K Krylon gold paint its helpful to have the knowledge in advance of what this product can or cant do. Keep up the fantastic work; I truly appreciate it!

    • brittanymakes

      Perfect!!! I hope it turns out well!

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  • gregge

    I’m looking for a gold that when applied to glass or clear plastics has a solid metal gloss and shine like a mirror when looking *through* the glass or plastic. There are silver chrome paints like Spaz Stix ultimate mirror chrome and Rustoleum Mirror Effect which will turn glass-smooth glass or plastic sheet into a perfect mirror. Note that the Rustoleum does not work on styrene but the Spaz Stix version will.

    Krylon makes a Mirror Look chrome but applied to glass its look is smooth, unlike a ‘metallic’ but falls short of the true mirror solid metal shine of the Spaz Stix and Rustoleum paints.

    But the problem with all of those is none are GOLD! Shooting on a coat of transparent yellow or ‘gold’ first doesn’t work, the solvents in those chrome paints will ruin many other paints. DupliColor Metalcast transparent colors are resistant to the Spaz Stix chrome, but one must take care not to spray too much of the chrome on at once over the Metalcast color. Spaz Stix own transparent colors are incompatible with their chrome, even with their water base clear overcoat for their chrome. It does not work for an undercoat for the chrome.

    The paint company that makes a non-hyper-expensive gold tone solid metal look SHINY paint that has that look *through* clear glass and plastics will have a deep rut worn to their door by all the hobbyists, artists and people who restore and reproduce plastic trim parts for 1950’s cars.

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