I never expected how to mix metallics to be one of the hottest topics in the Color Flow Challenge I hosted a few weeks ago. (Psst. Did you miss the challenge? Sign up here to get notified when I host the next one.)
One of the things people went crazy for was simple ideas for making any decor metallic.
Have a mirror frame that needs a fresh look?
Vases in a color you no longer like?
Want to give your thrift store find a quick and easy makeover?
Then you’re going to love my tricks to turn anything metallic.
- Knobs and handles
- Light fixtures
- Decorative accents
But you don’t have to buy metallic objects to get the metallic look. Here’s four easy and cheap ways to make anything metallic:
This post contains affiliate links to the products I use and recommend. I may receive a small commission on purchases made after following an affiliate link. See my full disclosure here.
1. Rub ‘N Buff
Rub ‘N Buff is a super cool wax finish that can work on almost any surface. I’ve used it before to add a metallic touch to picture frames just by rubbing it on the raised edges of the frame. It also works really well on odd shapes, like figurines.
2. Spray Paint
Some metallic spray paints don’t work well. But over the years I’ve found two favorites that look amazing, like you’d never know it was spray paint. For a great gold finish, I love the soft look of Krylon ShortCuts Gold Leaf. Now, don’t be confused…this will look nothing like gold leaf (for the real deal, see below). The finish is more satin, than shiny, which I like because most of the shiny metallic spray paints come off really fake looking.
The ShortCuts cans are just enough for a small project. I used a full can on the base of this accent table.
I also like to keep a can on hand for odd, small jobs. I loved the shape of these vases that I found at the thrift store, but they weren’t a good color. So I turned them gold.
I’ve also used the ShortCuts spray paint to give old tarnished brass dresser handles a sleek makeover. These handles have held up really well.
Another great metallic spray paint is oil-rubbed bronze. Again, because you’re not trying to fake a shiny metallic look, you can get a really nice finish.
3. Gold Leaf
This is the trickiest of the three suggestions here, but the result is so worth it. You need a special adhesive, so I recommend getting this starter kit for your first project. Gold leaf works best on flat surfaces. If gold isn’t your favorite metal, it also comes in silver leaf and copper leaf.
My favorite gold leaf decor to date are these stars. They are inexpensive paper maché stars I found at a craft store. I used gold leaf on each triangular section, not minding if some parts didn’t get covered. The result is a slightly distressed metallic look.
You can also use gold leaf to pull of some pretty amazing tricks.
It also works on glass table tops like this herringbone end table I made. This would be a fun project on a glass coffee table.
Also, try writing in gold leaf. It’s a fun way to embellish greeting cards or to make DIY art.
Lastly, just for fun try gilding leaves. So delicate and gorgeous.
4. Metallic Paint
For everything else, there’s metallic paint. I love the Modern Masters line of metallic paints. They have a beautiful iridescent quality and they have every metallic finish imaginable. You can get small 6-ounce jars or full gallons. The Modern Masters finishes can also be used on walls or ceilings…maybe to stencil a metallic design.
I also used it to give this big square tray a DIY brass monogram.
I hope you have fun with these ideas to give some of your decor a metallic makeover. If you have a space that feels a little flat or lifeless, try adding a metallic element. It will instantly brighten up any space with a little shimmer and sheen.
P.S. Don’t be afraid to mix metallics. You see that tray up there? It’s embellished with a brass monogram, topped with gold vases, and finished off with a mirrored silver star. Check out these tips on mixing metallics.
Free Video Class: Home Styling 101
Learn how to arrange your home decor like a pro. I'm sharing my best styling tips in this free video series with cheat sheets.