How To Tone Down Gold Finish [Different Ideas Explored]

Realizing that the color scheme you chose is overpowering can feel like a punch in the gut. Did you think adding gold finishes to your home would be great, only to realize you hate it? What is a way to tone down these gold finishes? Can you camouflage them with other metals?

Luckily, we have done extensive research and have the answer for you!

One of the best ways to tone down gold finishes is to choose neutral colors for the rest of your space or physically try to change the gold fixture/surface.

For example, you can try rubbing on a gold frame/fixture or using an antiquing product to give your gold a less bright appearance. You can also try adding soft hues around the gold, which will do a nice job toning them down.

As we start this post, we will cover all things gold finishes and show you how to make them less noisy. Whether you added one too many gold pieces, hate the vibrancy of your gold finish, or have related questions, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!

Modern living room interior design with black leather armchair and gold decoration, How To Tone Down Gold Finish [Different Ideas Explored]

How Can You Tone Down A Gold Finish?

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Beige interior with blank wall, sofa and decor

If you regret the gold finishes you added to your interior, there are ways to tone them down. Generally, you can try a decorative approach, using soft colors for the rest of your space.

Doing this will make the gold feel less in your face without requiring you to modify the gold pieces. However, that won't change how the gold looks in your room.

If that's your primary concern, you might need to rub down the gold and give it a more antique look. In this method, you will need to either rub down the gold surface until the color fades or apply an additional spray/paint to camouflage the issue.

Again, this isn't always easy and can require a DIY project to resolve. Luckily, gold finishes are usually on the cheaper side material-wise, meaning you can get them toned down with a bit of elbow grease.

A common color change people use is gold to brass, which should only require a little spray paint.

How Do You Make A Gold Finish Look Less Yellow?

If you have an issue with yellow-gold finishes, the remedy is easier than you think. Typically, you want to rub the surface to tone down the gold shade.

According to DIY pros, you can try using a pinch of rottenstone to rub your yellow-gold surface and then cover the now antique hue with a clear coat of paint/spray.

Finishing the rubbed surface is the key to doing a project like this one. For example, if you have a yellow-gold picture frame, you need to use the rottenstone and then seal your frame with a clear coat.

An easy way to understand this would be comparing your frame to painted nails on your hands/feet. You need to seal in the color with a final "clear coat."

Especially with yellowish-gold finishes, it's vital to dull them down. So, this could take a few tries.

Sepp Rottenstone

This rottenstone comes in a five-ounce jar, works for DIY projects, should tone down gold/metal finishes, and has excellent customer reviews.

Check out this product on Amazon here.

Will Gold Finishes Overpower A Room?

Classic style living room interior 3d render with beige colored furniture and wooden elements.

In general, using a bit of gold in a room's design won't negatively affect it. However, using the wrong shade or overusing gold accents can result in a busy feeling.

Most times, more muted gold finishes look better in your space. For example, a softer, antique gold/brass lamp will feel more elegant than a yellow-gold option.

An easy way to tell if a gold finish is cheap is if it looks yellow. Generally, yellowish gold is the result of poor-quality ingredients in a paint/spray, which can also give your home a similar look.

Furthermore, too much yellowish-gold in a design can feel overwhelming, forcing you to take on a DIY restoration project—the less bold your gold finish, the better.

Do Gold Finishes In A Home Look Cheap?

If you add the right gold pieces to your house, they will not look cheap. With that said, if you choose less expensive gold objects with poorly applied finishes, that's when things could take a turn.

As we covered above, gold finishes aren't the problem: yellow-gold ones are. So, if you run into a super-saturated gold object at the store, we recommend you keep walking.

Even though gold is a metal of royalty, using too much or the wrong shade can make your home feel tacky. The last thing you want is to create a room that feels like it's trying to be something it's not.

Therefore, look for brass, gold, or antique items at your local thrift/consignment store.

Remember, you don't need to spend a fortune to have nice-looking gold accessories; you need to be cautious of their color/material.

How Can I Tone Down Gold Finishes Using Furniture?

Picture of Cozy Lounge Chair in Modern Living room. Render image.

If your gold finishes start taking over your room, there are ways to tone things down using furniture. An idea for this would be adding neutral furniture, like cream, white, brown, or something along those lines.

For example, purchasing a white/beige sofa for a room with gold finishes is a great start. From there, use light, natural wood for the side tables, throw in some glass pieces, and avoid using other metals.

You can also tone down gold by having deeper tones alongside it, like dark woods, browns, and even black accents. Generally, black and gold pair nicely and give a design a modern feel, so that's an excellent way to spin the narrative.

You might also want to try an antique direction with your design. To do this, focus on Earth tones and keep your colors as plain as possible.

The last thing an over-saturated space needs is more vivid colors.

Can I Paint Over A Gold Finish?

Yes! If you don't want to try and make the gold work, you can certainly paint over it. Usually, you want to find a thick enough product to cover the gold but not so dense it dries unevenly.

Many designers use spray paint for gold surfaces, which can give them an even, high-quality final color. As we said earlier, you might consider switching a gold finish for a bronze or brass one.

Luckily, these two hues are deeper than gold, which should make covering it even easier. However, not every spray paint is high-quality or full-coverage.

Finding products with good formulas that cover and seal your object is crucial. On top of that, cheaper gold paint may tarnish over time, so you might need to remove it before repainting.

In contrast, you can also stick to rubbing down the gold rather than completely masking it.

Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint

This spray paint works on all surfaces, is full coverage, has an oil-rubbed bronze finish, is rust-resistant, won't chip or peel, and comes in an 11-ounce can.

Follow this link to view it on Amazon.


This spray paint has a rich brass color, works on inside surfaces, has an acrylic formula, offers superior quality and coverage, comes in other colors, and has a semi-gloss finish.

Follow this link to see it on Amazon.

Are Gold Finishes In Style?

Interior with armchair and coffee table 3d rendering

As of 2022, we can confidently say that gold finishes remain in style. Gold has always been regarded as a high-end, luxury finish you can add to your home's design.

One of the main areas where gold finishes thrive within interior design is the lighting. A gold pendant light or chandelier is always a classic take on luxury and will fit into any design.

Gold faucets and handles throughout bathrooms and kitchens also seem to be a trendy choice, so this can go throughout your home.

The key to using gold finishes for your design is finding toned-down colors. As we covered, too much bright or yellow gold can cheapen a space.

Therefore, focus on antique or rubbed gold finishes for your home's interior. Furthermore, you also want to use very little gold, which goes a long way. Less is more!

Can I Mix Metal Finishes In My Home?

Although this comes down to your preference, we don't usually recommend mixing metal finishes. In general, mixing too many different metal finishes in a space can result in a less-than-ideal result.

Specifically, gold and other non-warm metals can clash in a space. For example, if you have a rustic gold lamp and want another metal decoration, we recommend staying within a warmer brass/bronze family.

As we shared earlier, brass, bronze, and gold all work together harmoniously. So, if you want to mix the three of them, that should be fine.

Of course, if you go the cooler-tone route, that's when you want to skip gold altogether. Silver and gold don't usually pair well and can create confusing energy in a space.

Therefore, we recommend keeping your finishes similar or the same throughout your house.

To Finish Up

Whether you overdid it with the gold finishes in your home or want to tone down a new piece, finding the best way to do this can be tricky. We found that you want to either use neutral furniture and decor to tone down gold or physically change it.

Specifically, if you have a yellow or over-saturated gold piece, you can use rottenstone to rub it down. Additionally, you might prefer to spray paint your gold finish with bronze or brass paint, which can help give your room rustic energy.

Regardless, try and keep your finishes consistent, and don't be afraid to rub down your gold to make it less vivid!

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful posts below:

18 Bathroom Faucet Styles (By Finishes, Handle Options, & Installation)

How To Make A Rose Gold Colored Paint [Which Colors To Combine & How Much?]

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