Gold. The mere thought of it conjures up images of the rich and famous, exotic and faraway. Just a few glimmers of it in your home can add a truly exotic and opulent quality. We chatted to Ilaria Louw of Paintiques for some advice on how to go about adding a touch of gleaming gold to your furniture.


When it comes to selecting a paint, Ilaria explains you can choose between waterand solvent-based (oil-based) options. Water-based paints work particularly well on matt surfaces and dry quickly, but don’t stand up very well to heavy use. Solvent-based paints are good for items that are used every day (think washable enamel), but take a long time to dry and have a strong smell. A more decadent route is gold leaf – real gold that has been hammered into very thin sheets. It will stick to anything that has been prepped properly. On the topic of preparation: raw surfaces must always be primed correctly. Painting a base colour will also add to the depth of the finished gold look, Ilaria says. Varnish over with a tint to add even more interest.


If you want to make a bold statement, you can paint an entire furniture piece or one wall of a room in gold. Having said that, in most homes this hue is best used as an accent rather than a lead colour, so make sure there is a balance.

Select small details in your space that are worth enhancing, such as an interesting side table, mirror, ball-and-claw feet, lamp base or door beading. For the nervous gold beginner, start by collecting an assortment of frames in beautiful shapes, and then spray-painting them in a gorgeous gold. If you are trying to achieve an old-world look, rub a little burnt umber oil paint into some of the grooves once the gold is dry. You will have a collection of ‘antique’ frames quicker than you can say ‘Da Vinci’.

Another nifty trick is to spray-paint an old ceramic or clay plant pot, to make the most of the texture, or use masking tape to create a striped effect. But gold does not have to be antique. Trends nowadays are leaning towards more rose-gold hues paired with warm neutrals, cream, dove grey, marble and brass – minimal, clean and elegant. Rose gold is made up of gold with copper and a little silver added; the copper softening the yellow to a softer pinky hue. However, when paired with white, chocolate brown and dark leather, rose gold can give your interior a stronger edge.