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!

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Supplies needed: gold foil paint, brown acrylic spray paint, a chip brush, paper towels, and frame(s)


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.

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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.

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DIY antiqued gold frames 64

Step 3.

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)

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Step 4.

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:

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DIY antiqued gold frames 65


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.



One of my frames after the last step of this diy gold antiquing method

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:

framed gold equestrian horse shoe
If you love gold it can be tempting to create a wall of all gold frames, however balancing antiqued gold frames with vintage frames in other colors- perhaps containing gold accents within the framed image/object, creates variety and interest on your wall.



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2 thoughts on “DIY My Method for Creating an Antique Gold Finish on Frames”

  1. I loved all the ideas. Especially removing rust. My dad was a blacksmith and I have forge tools that are rusted and want to clean and display them. Thank you so much!

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