Answering: Which Gold Spray Paint Is Best?

The age old question. Am I right? Or am I right, or am I right? Right? Right? Right? This week I did some experimenting with four different gold spray paint brands I had in my possession–so we could educate ourselves and answer this thing once and for all.
Obviously there are more than four different brands of gold spray paint, but these include the three biggest spray painting brands and one bonus brand that carried a gold I had on hand from spray painting the hanger in Greta’s shadowbox.  Update: All of these brands are under $7. Also you should know, I have been geeking out about this project all week.
I started with four faux pears I picked up at the dollar store.

I gave each one a can buddy and the two became inseparable throughout the experiment, or at least until I could mark the pears according to which paint they were bearing. I used Design Master (picked this one up at Micheal’s), Krylon, Rustoleum, and Valspar–that can exploded on me a long time ago.

Here are our pears after each a few thin coats and they fully dried:

Who would you give the first impression rose to? Ha!  I am, personally, a new fan of the Design Master.  It has the least amount of orangey/rosey glow to it.  But, let’s look a little closer at them. To me, these four fall into two categories: brass/gold and bronze/copper. The brassiest gold was definitely the Design Master and Rustoleum as a close second. 

The Krylon and Valspar look entirely too bronze for a “gold” application. Although, I obviously have used them since I have them.  I know better now.  That’s what this is all about.  Also I would note, Krylon went on the worst.  While all of the other finishes seemed smooth and virtually flawless–Krylon was having all sorts of issues.  Could be human error–sure.  But three out of four were near perfect.  Hmm.

Which Gold Spray paint is best?  I am giving Design Master the gold medal, and Rustoleum the silver–although I would definitely still recommend it.  Valspar and Krylon get the bronze–appropriately. Are you surprised or maybe disagree? Do you have a favorite that we didn’t cover here?  Spill.

44 Comments

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Adrienne J

    Is Design Master any cheaper than Rustoleum? I haven’t heard of that brand. I AM surprised that they’re all so different! Those other two look super bronze which is a totally different feeling.

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Chris Loves Julia

      Good question, Adrienne! I think I’ll update this post to include these were all under $7. So very comparable in price.

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    ellis

    I personally prefer the Rustoleum. The Design Master is reading with some green tones, which I’m not a big fan of in gold.

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Chris Loves Julia

      I can see that. Maybe Design Master is a little more brass than gold.

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Cassie A.@The-A-Days

    I like the Rustoleum the best. It looks just warm enough without looking bronzey… I guess I would have never thought there was so much difference in gold spray paint. The Krylon looks pink!

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Abby Kozel

    I agree with ellis…although Design Master may read better in person than in the pics?
    Rustoleum gets my vote!

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Chris Loves Julia

      Of course everyone’s screen could read different, but I would say they are reading pretty true. To each their own for sure.

  • Such a personal preference….I am all about the Valspar. We don’t have a Lowes anywhere near us, but whenever I am around one I always grab some gold spray paint because I love the Valspar gold over any other that I have found so far. But that’s just me – I really like that more ‘antique’ gold look.

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Chris Loves Julia

      Cool, Kelly! Definitely “to each their own.” My opinion is in no way the RIGHT one.

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Cait @ Hernando House

    It’s so funny how different tastes plays into this decision!

    I agree with Ellis and Abby about the green undertones in the Design Master (at least on my screen). I rarely use gold in my house (I prefer silver/brushed nickel and brass), but I’m liking the way Rustoluem reads on my screen. I also like the Valspar, because like Kelly I like ‘antique’ gold (probably because I’m a sucker for a nice brass).

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Chris Loves Julia

      I would say the Design Master absolutely has green undertones. And I guess I kinda like that. Hahaha. Very true–it’s all about personal preference.

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Meagan@Meagan Tells All

    (You are so funny!)

    Before this post, I thought, gold is gold is gold is gold. Buuuuut

    You’re right! There is a huge difference. I’m with you, I like the design master. Not a huge fan of the coppery gold. Even though I love the color copper. Dream someday to have all my pots and pans with copper bottoms. Who knows the technical reason why copper is better, but it sure looks good!!! (Don’t tell Chris I said that!)

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Ashley Travers

    I immediately was loving the Valspar but the more I read and looked at it – definitely bronzey. I think the Rustoleum is the gold metal winner I like the Design Master it just seems flat with a lot of yellow/green. Great job though – thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    janet @ ordinary mom

    I like them all for different reasons. I like the Rustoleum for a true gold, the Design Master for the bronze, I like the pink hues in the Krylon (cute for a girly room) and the antique-ness of the Valspar.

    And I REALLY like the grouping with the 4 different tones? Would look cute together in a bowl perhaps? I may have to replicate this experiment myself. :)

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Chris Loves Julia

      All four together is definitely fun and layered. I am gonna find a spot where they can hang out!

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Anonymous

    My vote would be for the Rustoleum. The other two are way too bronze. But I like that the Rustoleum has more warmth to it than the Design Master. I wonder if these pears were spread out around a room or other space if you would still notice the vast difference in their color?

    • Reply February 7, 2013

      Chris Loves Julia

      To me, the difference is very apparent in the DM+R versus the V+K–but between the two…I don’t think it is too apparent when they are all by themselves.

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Kim @ Yellow Brick Home

    Krylon is the worst. The WORST! It’s not human error – it’s just not that good of paint. We avoid it all costs, but the only problem is that spray paint is banned in the city of Chicago! So, we have to drive to the ‘burbs to get it, and a lot of times their ONLY brand option is Krylon. Whenever possible, we pick up Design Master!

    • Reply February 8, 2013

      Megan Angermeyr

      Thank you for feeling this way!! I hate Krylon too… but everyone else LOVES it. I

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Kelly Goldman

    This is awesome! I used all brands in all varieties to paint sbux bottles to use as centerpieces for our wedding. And I agree- I wouldn’t use Krylon again. I’ll stick with Rustoleum from now on…

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Rebecca

    great post!!!

  • Reply February 7, 2013

    Sarah @ Babytalk Bungalow

    Awesome post! I never gave much thought to how much variation there might be between the various brands, and it’s really neat to be able to see the comparison — based on the pictures I think I’d agree that the Rustoleum and the Design Master look best. Thanks for sharing this, I’ll have to refer back to it if I ever plan on painting anything gold! :)

  • thanks so much for sharing this! i have a gold painting project coming up, and i’ve been trying to figure out this very thing. i think i’ll be going with the rustoleum based on your post.

  • Reply February 8, 2013

    Dacia @ Lemon Drop Life

    I like the look of the Rustoleum the best…this was a great idea for a post!!

  • Reply February 8, 2013

    Megan Angermeyr

    Thank you for this!!!

  • Reply February 13, 2013

    Jennifer Laura

    Design Master for the win, love this project!

  • This is so helpful! I was just trying to figure out which to get for my next project!

  • Reply March 12, 2013

    Anonymous

    But now, what about SILVER paints? Please try them. I want to paint
    some sea shells for a mirror and want the best silver-I will use
    this post for some gold ones too. Thanks, MEP

  • Reply May 5, 2013

    Anonymous

    This is very helpful and was exactly what I was looking for! Thanks for posting.

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  • Reply July 15, 2013

    Laurie F.

    HI,
    I am actually doing a brass painting project and this is perfect. I am leaning towards the Rustelom color that you used. Do you know the exact color name and where you got it? I went to Home Depot and the brass they had was very dark. I think the only thing they had was the antique brass color. Thank you!

  • Reply July 25, 2013

    Anonymous

    Sigh. Every site I have seen says the rustoleum is the best…I guess for a TRUE gold it is, but it was too yellow for me personally. I ADORE the Krylon color….HOWEVER, WARNING,I will never use it ever again! I bought it and it spewed big globs all over the freakin place. I tried two different cans and they both did the same thing. Just as you said it gave you problems so it must be the nozzle they use…shame because the color was perfect! I guess I will revert back to what I did on my coffee table, using rustoleum and then going over it with liquid gold leaf. Alot more time consuming, or maybe I will try the Valspar.

  • Reply August 30, 2013

    Anonymous

    Hi. I’ve tried Krylon but find it rubs off when you touch anything you’ve painted. Were any of the other brands better at not rubbing off? Thanks!

  • Reply October 29, 2013

    Caitlin and Josh

    Hi there! Would you mind sharing which Rust-Oleum gold color this is that you used? I’m having the hardest time deciding on “burnished brass” or “antique brass!” Thanks for this great post!

  • Reply November 24, 2013

    jen

    omg, i saw this pinned today on pinterest – a few hours after i insta’d about design master – the BEST! happy to have found your site through this :)

  • Reply January 17, 2014

    Clare

    I am looking specifically for a metallic rose gold spray paint – do you have any recommendations where that’s concerned? I have been surprised at how hard rose gold spray paint is to find! I think the Krylon gold looks rosiest, but am a little nervous to use it since you mentioned it didn’t go on particularly well. Let me know if you know of a rose gold, and thank you for posting this helpful little experiment!

    • Reply January 17, 2014

      Julia

      I would say the Krylon is definitely a nice rose gold color. In fact, the “rose gold” spray paints I have seen all look a little too coppery for me. Now, I love the copper look, but when you want rose gold–they Krylon one might be your best bet. They do make a rose gold spray paint as well if you want to check it out.

  • Reply February 5, 2014

    Helen

    Love this! Which Rustoleum colour did you use – its amazing!!

  • What an awesome experiment! Love geeking out about stuff like this too haha =). I’m not sure if it’s just where I live, but the Design Master from Michaels is significantly more expensive. It’s right on the $7-8 mark whereas the others are around $4-5. Of course if you have a coupon you can get it cheaper.
    I had bad luck with the Valspar — it didn’t mix evenly and I had streaks in my finish even though I shook it for as long as recommended.
    I think I’ll go back to Rustoleum which has never let me down! It’s cheap too!

  • Reply March 9, 2014

    Karen

    Love this. Thank you. Great job. I think it would be super to have rustoleum/ etc sponsor a full line of their golds since their are so many. Design master is an absolute favorite. You find it at art stores bc it it is an art paint. You will find their choc with a hint of red choc with a cooler tint they just really know the way color is used in painting. This is my all time favorite.
    I wish they shared their true shelf life.
    Thanks again

  • Reply March 20, 2014

    pearlz

    I think it depends on whether or not you like traditional bright gold or antique gold. I prefer antique gold myself, so I like the darker ones. I think the Design Master has a slight green tint (or maybe it’s my monitor).

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