Tutorials for creating gilded antiqued finishes abound on the internet, and in my quest for an authentic antiqued gold finish I tried a handful of them. Ultimately, it was through trial and error that I developed this method for antiquing that creates a metallic old-gold finish, but uses a thin coat of high quality acrylic paint rubbed into crevices to create a faux dirty antique finish that softens the metallic gold with a vintage, slightly grungy feel. Here’s my technique, start to finish. Share your results in the comments below!
Liquitex Professional Spray Paint – Burnt Umber
Krylon Foil Metallic Gold Spray
1 Chip Brush (or other very large, soft-bristled brush
Paper Towels (lots of them)
A box or trash can where you can toss paint-covered paper towels without worrying about wet paint transferring from the towels.
Paint frames with gold foil spray paint, using a typical technique. Make sure to cover top and sides.
Once the gold paint is completely dry (wait a minimum of an hour or two) add a thin coat of the acrylic spray paint, as shown.
Working quickly, use the brush to work the brown paint deeper into crevices of the frame. (when you start and your brush is clean if will remove more paint that it moves, keep going and add paint if needed till the paint brush is painting the excess paint into corners)
Now that the brown paint is worked into crevices, we want to remove paint from the high points of the frame- like edges and ridges. Wiping with a soft, clean paper towel should remove enough acrylic to create this effect:
That’s all it takes! As you can see from the close up photos, the final effect is a rich, vintage, expensive-looking finish that you can add to dollar store frames and thrift store finds. The more texture and recesses a frame has, the better this technique tends to turn out. Simple, flat frames can still be made a little more aged and elegant looking with this painting method, but the highly ornate style frames really explode with depth and interested with the multiple layers of paint and distressing.
Want to learn more about using this technique on objects other than frames? I use this technique, modified slightly, to preserve and present vintage metal objects like old horse shoes. Click the image below to visit my tutorial on gilding & antiquing old horse shoes: