Three Best Brass Spray Paints for DIY Makeovers

October 12, 2021

Comparing six metallic brass and gold spray paints to find the perfect brass finish, and my top three picks!


Brass and gold finishes have been back in style in a big way for years. They aren't going anywhere soon! 

I'm talking about the warmer, more varied brass tones that look great on light fixtures and accessories by the way, not the super shiny brass that many of us have had on our door knobs or light fixtures over the years. :)

I was on a rampage in our last house to get rid of the shiny brass fixtures. I actually don't mind that look as much now, but the warmer brass tones feel more realistic for sure. 

I've wanted to compare some brass and gold spray paints for awhile, so over the past couple of months I've gathered six metallic spray paint options: 
Finding the best brass spray paint

From left to right we have:  
  • Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Pure Gold
  • Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Sunlit Brass
  • Rust-oleum Metallic Gold in bright and shiny finish
  • Rust-oleum Metallic Warm Gold
  • Rust-oleum Metallic Champagne Bronze
  • Krylon Fusion Metallic Gold
I thought there would be a much bigger selection -- but these were the six I found after numerous trips to a few hardware stores. Both Rust-oleum and Krylon are good quality spray paints with great durability!

Many of these have "gold" in the name, but have what I consider to be more of a brass tone. But I find gold and brass spray paints are pretty interchangeable. 

I decided to test them out in a way so you can see the paints next to each other. I think this really shows the slight variation between each spay paint. 

I grabbed three types of surfaces -- scrap bare wood, primed wood and metal and taped them off into sections. I didn't use a primer on the bare wood or the metal. 

Here are some quick spray paint tips before we get started! 
  • Clean or wipe your item well and let dry before spray painting.
  • I usually wear inexpensive latex gloves while spraying, just in case the nozzle drips or over sprays a bit.
  • Numerous quick, thin layers will give you a much better finish compared to heavy, thick coats. 
  • If you get crackling or drips, let them dry fully, then lightly sand that spot and give it a few more light coats.
  • Lighter coats also allow for quicker drying time!
  • This spray paint handle will help avoid hand fatigue if you're spraying a large item. 
  • I don't typically use a protective coating on my spray painted items, but if you will use it often, a clear coat isn't a bad idea. It would be helpful on cabinet pulls if your paint doesn't specify that it's not needed.
I wanted to show you the results in both daylight and inside -- remember that your light source will change the colors! Incandescent (regular yellowish color) bulbs will also change the look of the spray paint, just like wall paint. 

I sprayed two coats of each paint on the sections. 

Here's a look at the spray paints in the same order as above in daylight: 
Comparing brass and gold spray paint colors
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Wow, look how different these are! 

Here's the thing, there's obviously many tones of this metallic color, as there are in real life. For this experiment, I was on the lookout for the most "classic" brass tone. 

Look at the difference when I brought them inside, still in natural light: 
Testing brass and gold spray paint

I found the primed wood showed the variances the best: 
Comparing six brass spray paints

Let's start from the left and talk about the colors! 

This one is Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Pure Gold and was a lovely, warmer brass/gold tone: 
spray paint Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Pure Gold

The other Rust-oleum Universal spray paint, Metallic Sunlit Brass, was next and it was more of the traditional brass look, but a bit light: 
Rust-oleum Universal spray paint in Metallic Sunlit Brass

Side note -- I hate this kind of spray can. I've always found that the nozzle doesn't spray as well, and it's not as comfortable to use. 

I also find it more difficult to get a consistent finish with this kind of spray paint. 

Next up, the Rust-oleum Metallic Gold in bright and shiny finish was a gorgeous paint that leans more of a brilliant gold finish: 
Rust-oleum Metallic Gold in bright and shiny finish

It was a little too bright for the look I was going for, but I loved the color. 

Next, one of my favorites! This Rust-oleum Metallic Warm Gold spray paint was a perfect, medium-toned brass finish across all the mediums: 
Rust-oleum Metallic Warm Gold spray paint

It also went on soooo easily. This nozzle is so much better and the spray paint coated so well. 

This next color, Rust-oleum Metallic Champagne Bronze, was another favorite. It leaned to more of a deeper brass tone: 
Rust-oleum Metallic Champagne Bronze spray paint

This is a more traditional, darker brass color in my opinion. 

And finally, the Krylon Fusion Metallic Gold spray paint was my least favorite: 
Testing spray paint on metal and wood

I loved the nozzle -- the application was super easy! I didn't love how it covered though, and the color was not a gold or brass tone, at least compared to the others. 

On it's own it may look great! It's just more of a champagne color in my opinion. 

I wanted to test out my top three favorites with a few hanging metal birds I've had laying around forever. I may use them somewhere in my closet redo

The first was the Metallic Pure Gold all the way on the left: 
lighter brass spray paint from Rustoleum

And the Metallic Warm Gold and Rust-oleum Metallic Champagne Bronze colors were my other two favorites: 
Rustoleum metallic brass spray paints

Here's a look at the three next to each other: 
Top three best brass spray paints

I liked the pure gold at the bottom, it's my third place finisher. 😀

My two favorites were the two basic metallic colors -- both the champagne bronze and the warm gold: 
Two best brass spray paints

best Rust-oleum brass spray paint

I think the names are interesting -- I would flip them. :) The champagne name fits the lighter color much better, and the warm gold goes with the darker brass/gold color. It looks more like an antique brass color to me. 

My ONE favorite of all six spray paints? 

For sure the Rust-oleum Metallic Warm Gold, the spray paint can third from the right in the line of six:
comparing six brass spray paints

If you look closet, you can see it had variations to it that the others didn't: 
Rust-oleum Metallic Warm Gold spray paint

It wasn't a flat tone, but instead had some sparkle and nuance that the other two didn't have. It's a gorgeous brass paint color! 

This was fun! I hope you found it helpful. Here are the colors I used from left to right if you're interested: 


Have you found a brass/gold spray paint that you use and love? I'd love to hear about it! I found my go-to in this pretty warm gold. 

If you want more of an accent on a piece instead of full coverage, check out my post on how to use Rub 'n Buff
how to apply rub 'n buff wax

You can use it to transform large objects, but it's great way to add depth or detail to all kinds of items!


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Comments

  1. Great post, Sarah! Thanks for this excellent demonstration. I look forward to your next post. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! I can really use this information!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for putting this together. It was a timely post since I plan to paint a bunch of thrift store frames. I do want to vary the color so will probably pick 2-3 of the colors. I get a powdery finish (unintentionally). I want to remember polishing with a paper bag after. I read that helps remove the powder. Have you had that happen?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you so much for this! I haven't used a gold/brass spray paint...yet. My last project was done in copper!

    ReplyDelete

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