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.


  • […] are several good options for metallic gold spray paints. There’s a great guide I used by ChrisLovesJulia in which he used 4 of the major brands and compared them. Very helpful for picking which one I […]

  • Reply May 2, 2017


    Can I just say those finished gold pears look *expensive* and now I want a bowl of them. I would have never guessed they were dollar store pears with some spray paint love.

  • […] 2. You’re about to get your friends feeling nice and distorted when they see that you’re so fancy, you gild your pears. […]

  • […] 2. You’re about to get your friends feeling nice and twisted when they see that you’re so fancy, you gild your pears. […]

  • Reply March 19, 2017


    Very good info on the gold leaf but I need to restore some old frames plaster and wood what would you suggest?

  • Reply January 28, 2017


    amazing tips and a great finish. It can be really difficult to get such a perfect shine and cover.

  • […]  There are few other studies out there to find the best gold spray paint. This one looks at 4 gold spray paints. I already had 4 cans in my spray paint arsenal from all the trials I have done in the past. I […]

  • Reply December 23, 2016


    Wish I had seen your blog, first. Have you compared coppers, silver’s, and rose-golds, too?

  • Reply December 23, 2016


    I agree, the Krylon comes out too bronze-colored, not gold. Another blog said it was her favorite.

  • Reply November 25, 2016


    I am thrilled to find this information! I had plans to repaint a cheap ikea black metal side table a warm gold color. I don’t really like gold much, but it’s so popular in house trends right now I thought redoing a table I wasn’t using was a cheap, easy way to bring in the trend. I was intimidated by the really shiny, yellow gold lids that freaked me out! This helps me narrow it down to one like the valspar with its in between gold/brass warm tone. Thanks for the information!

    • Reply November 25, 2016


      Oops I meant a gold/coppery tone.

  • Reply October 29, 2016

    Barbara Testermab

    Im actually hunting for a deeper gold for mirrors beside a painting with deep gold splashes. I haven’t seen Valspar paints but may hunt and try it. Thank goodness one can redo projects if the color isn’t what you want. I’ve tried two already, lol.

    • Reply February 2, 2017

      Laura Mangano

      Valpar is generally sold at Lowes.
      They have many gold tones.

  • Reply October 18, 2016


    This is an amazing post! Thanks so much for doing this.
    Could you please tell me which is the rustoleum color that you used??
    I want to paint an ikea frame gold for my daughters birthday and I want a shiny(sort of glittery) yellow gold look. Do you think rustoleum would work best for that look? And should I prime it?
    Would really appreciate your help.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Reply October 18, 2016


      Rustoleum usually has a built in primer, so you should be good to go. And I’m sorry, I don’t remember the exact name of the rustoleum, however one that says, “Metallic Finish” should give you these results.

  • Reply September 18, 2016

    Carolyn Oosterlinck

    Question: What paint would be good to use to make fake grapes, pears or pine cones look like they had a morning frost (or were rolled in granulated sugar)? For winter-themed centerpieces, of course. I want them more sparkly than snowy.

  • Reply August 7, 2016


    Thanks for the post, it’s the most helpful one I’ve come across so far! Maybe you can help me with this, I’m looking to ombre something from black to gold. Instead of it just shooting from black to straight gold I was trying to figure out what shades of gold to use as transition. Maybe a darker gold into a lighter gold? but what shades? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • Reply August 8, 2016


      You might have luck just stepping back with your spray paint can for a lighter gold dusting and closer as you get to the top where you want it more saturated.

    • Reply October 20, 2016

      Andrea Michaud

      I know this is a late, and I’m betting you’ve already done it, but I had an idea for the gradient. I know in make up applications that if you apply white and black underneath then put your desired color over top you get a blend of darker (whatever color) to lighter. Maybe if you applied white then gray then black, overlapping as you go then you just go over the top with the gold and don’t have to worry about the tone of the gold changing.

  • Reply August 1, 2016


    Krylon is a lovely rose gold, but unsuitable for a Star Wars C3PO costume! For my project, I need a gold with more “yellow”. I wish I had seen your color comparison before I painted with Krylon! Rushing out now to get Design Master or Rust-o-leum, which should be a better match. MANY THANKS

    • Reply August 1, 2016


      Haha, yes! You’ll be much happier with Rustoleum or Design Master

  • Reply July 27, 2016

    Not Just A Mommy

    I do love my gold spray paint and have never tracked my brands! This will definately be on my mind when I do!

  • Reply July 10, 2016


    Thank you so much for this post. Exactly what I was looking for help me choose a spray paint.

  • Reply May 15, 2016


    I loved the color of design masters, but am finding that both the chair and ceramic I painted are rubbing off. I normally prime but opted not to this time, so not sure if that was the problem. Greatly disappointed that I will need to redo both.

  • Reply May 5, 2016


    This was SO helpful! Thank you so much!

  • Reply April 21, 2016


    This is exactly what I was looking for! Can you please do the same comparison for copper spray paints?!

  • Reply April 14, 2016


    We painted some large leaves and pinecones for centerpieces for my daughter’s wedding and I used krylon because it gave the most beautiful rose gold look! It is great to see a side by side comparison for other projects!

  • Reply January 8, 2016

    Maura G

    Thank you SO much for this. Been struggling with this myself and this is EXACTLY what I needed to see. Appreciate the legwork!!

  • Reply January 5, 2016


    Hi thx for the post. I think I have to go with Rustoleum. To me it appears to more gold in color and appearance. Cheers Cora :)

  • Reply November 24, 2015


    Because of your post, I got the Rustoleum. (Never heard of it, always bought the cheap ones) and I LOVE IT! Thanks a lot Julia! – Jolien, Amsterdam NL

  • Reply November 12, 2015


    Ah, my bad. I just checked the can and it’s Design Master Brilliant Gold, not Gold Medal. That explains why I’m not seeing a green undertone!

  • Reply November 12, 2015


    Design Master is a dream to apply, dries super fast, and the color is gorgeous. Thanks so much for this post – it was the reason I went with DM! I bought two clothes hampers made from some kind of metal (iron? steel? I have no idea), removed the cotton liners, spray painted them with DM Gold Medal, inverted them, and use them as bedside tables. Also used it on my IKEA cabinetry handles to tie it together. Not a hint of green to them in my experience, just a beautiful, classy (not brassy) gold. Will be using it again soon!

    • Reply November 13, 2015


      I’ll have to try that one!

    • Reply September 28, 2016


      Sounds like a great project, can we see a pic Denise?

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