The Best Gold Spray Paints: Ranked

A product test of the best gold spray paint ranked from best to worst and compared to real gold and brass hardware to help with your next paint project.

Ever since my favorite gold spray paint went scarce, I have been on the hunt for the most convincing one to use on all things metal – door knobs, bathroom faucets, furniture pulls, light fixtures, and figurines.

the best gold spray paints tested and ranked

UPDATE: See how I ranked Rub n Buff colors here too.

Why Gold Paints Are Not All the Same

For the last year, whenever I was gathering supplies for a project, I’d grab whatever gold spray paint had a pretty cap in the hardware aisle to use.

And so many times, I’d paint with it only to discover the gold looked totally fake and plastic-y and plain ol’ BAD!

So I took one for the team to test out 8 different brass and gold finish spray paints and compared it to a couple of real brass hardware pieces to determine the ultimate “winner”.

I was so proud of this little experiment idea until I discovered afterwards The Coastal Oak, Centsational Style, and Chris Loves Julia tried it out in the past too, but I digress.

It was still extremely helpful to see them in person to determine for myself.

top 3 best gold spray paints

1st Place | 2nd Place | 3rd Place

How the Gold Spray Paints Were Ranked

  1. Performance – Was the paint coverage adequate? Were there splotching issues? Did the nozzle clog easily?
  2. Comparison to Stock Hardware – When placing the gold paint against stock gold and brass hardware, did it look convincing?
  3. Overall Impression – Just simply personal preference.
gold spray paint types ranked for performance

The Best Spray Paint Type for Performance

  • 1st – Rustoleum spray paints with the non-trigger grips on the cans had the best coverage with little to no splotching issues.
  • 2nd – Krylon brand ranks middle of the pack between non-trigger grip Rustoleum cans and Rustoleum trigger grip cans because it almost always required an additional coat of paint when compared to Rustoleum but the application was rather even.
  • 3rd – Rustoleum trigger grip cans splattered the worst and were more prone to clogging.
the best gold paint

1st Best Gold Paint | 2nd Best Gold Paint

The Best Gold Paint When Compared to Real Hardware

I compared the spray painted knobs to two different types of hardware: brushed gold and unlacquered brass.

Rust oleum Metallic Finish Gold was the most convincing when compared to stock-bought brushed gold color hardware with Krylon Short Cuts Gold Leaf just barely behind.

None of the 8 spray paints were even close when compared to unlacquered brass, so the search still continues for that, if a spray paint match even exists. But there’s really no comparison to real unlacquered brass. You either go all in or you don’t at all.

The Best Gold Spray Paint That Looks Like Real Gold

The clear winner was Rustoleum Metallic Finish Gold.

This gold spray paint is absolutely gorgeous with no odd undertones, a convincing sheen when compared to the high quality real deal, the coverage was the best. The application of the final finish was completely even with no splattering.

best gold spray paints ranked

1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | 5th | 6th | 7th | 8th

UPDATE: See how I ranked Rub n Buff colors here too.

More Metallic Gold Paint Project Ideas

Best Rated Fandeliers + DIY Ceiling Fan Makeover With Gold Paint

chandelier ceiling fan painted with gold spray paint

DIY Door Update to Change Hinge Colors to Gold Quickly

door hinges being painted with gold rub n buff

DIY Gold Light Fixture Made from a Repurposed Sunburst Mirror

gold spray painted sunburst light in a playroom

So now we know. Maybe it’ll come in handy for your next DIY project. I’ll probably need an entire case now because I use this stuff on everything.

What else should I test? This was fun!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make something look convincing like real gold?

Spray paint 1-2 coats of Rustoleum Metallic Finish Gold first and let dry. Then, apply Antique Gold Rub n Buff for added dimension to look the most like real gold.

How do you spray paint properly?

Choose to spray paint an item in a well ventilated area away from anything that could catch overspray. Apply just one thin, even coat of spray primer. Once the primer has set for the recommended dry time, apply 2-3 thin, even coats of spray paint in a continuous sweeping motion 12-18″ away from the object. It’s best to apply multiple thin coats rather than fewer thick coats to avoid drips or splotches.

Do you need primer for gold spray paint?

Even if a spray paint is called “paint and primer in one”, experts still recommend using a primer before using gold spray paint. Especially when painting metal, paint may not adhere to the surface properly without having a primer application first resulting in peeling or chipping.

More Paint Ideas


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  1. Wow! This couldn’t be better timing! I am going to spray paint my curtain rods in gold and wasn’t sure what to use. Thanks so much for your thorough research. I can now get the job done without worry. 👍

  2. I could tell which one looked the best from the very first pic on this page before scrolling to your winner. I must have a good eye! It really does look the best. Thanks for doing this. It saved me a lot of trouble. Pinned!

    1. Same here. I’m glad Lauren did this so I don’t have to. I don’t follow those other people she said did the test already, and I really don’t like to do google searches or search Pinterest for stuff like this.

  3. I have spray painted my brass door knobs with oil rubbed bronze for a black finish. It is not holding. Any suggestions.