Living Room End Tables — From Black To Gold

Have you noticed the huge resurgence of the popularity of gold and brass in decorating these days? Of course you have. It’s everywhere!

I’ll admit, when I first started noticing it about 18 to 24 months ago, I cringed. I hated it. In my mind, gold and brass (mostly brass) represented everything that was wrong with 1980s and early 1990s decorating. So much of the gold and brass of the 80s and 90s was (and still is) so shiny, so harsh, so garish, so in-your-face, and worst of all, so “off” in color, generally either being way too yellow, or with some serious pink/red undertones. I still cringe a bit when I see some of it.

It sometimes takes me a while to embrace changes like this, but now I’m fully on board with this swing towards all things gold and brass. I love it now. It adds such a beautiful elegance to a room.

Enter, my metal and glass living room end tables:

Metal and glass end tables spray painted gold using the best gold spray paint -- Design Master Gold Medal

I really love these end tables (although, I still haven’t put the other one together), but with the current arrangement, the black just seemed way too heavy. It was competing with my hopefully-soon-to-be-restored antique dresser. So I decided they needed a much lighter look.

I’ve seen so many gold end tables that I like lately, so I decided to go for it and spray paint them gold. What’s the harm, right? It’s just paint! If they ended up really awful, I could just find another color and spray paint them again.

So I went for it, and I love the new look!

Metal and glass end table spray painted gold, using Design Master Gold Medal spray paint

They no longer have that super heavy, overpowering look to them. Now they look light, airy, and elegant. (See how I keep saying “they”? I suppose I’m referring to what I’m seeing in my mind, because again, I still haven’t even put the other one together, much less spray painted it. :-D )

And the paint that I used!!! Ya’ll, I absolutely LOVE it! It’s my new favorite thing, and now I want to spray paint every single metal thing in my house gold.

Black metal and glass end tables spray painted gold, using Design Master Gold Medal spray paint -- THE BEST gold spray paint!!

The finish is so soft looking — not garish at all. It’s like a muted gold, with a gorgeous satin finish. And best of all, it’s not too yellow, and there’s not even a hint of that gross pinkish reddish undertone that I was so afraid of.

So what did I use?  Design Master Gold Medal spray paint. 

Design Master Gold Medal spray paint -- the best gold spray paint!

I found it at Michael’s.  It was just over $7 per can, and I used a 40% off coupon, so it was actually pretty cheap.

I stood there in Michael’s, with several different options in front of me, and I had no idea which one to choose.  Antique Gold?  Brilliant Gold?  Design Master?  Krylon?

So I got out my phone and Googled “best gold spray paint” to see if I could get some help with the decision.

I was thrilled to see Jenny from Little Green Notebook come up first on the list.  While she and I have vastly different decorating styles, I’ve come to trust her (non-sponsored) product recommendations.  And she declared Design Master Gold Medal spray paint to be the best gold spray paint.  She used it on the drawer and door hardware in her laundry room.

laundry room makeover from Little Green Notebook, with gold spray painted drawer hardware using Design Master Gold Medal spray paint

Next up was this gold spray paint comparison from Chris Loves Julia.

Gold spray paint comparison from Chris Loves Julia

You can click over to see which pear is painted with which brand, but can you see the two that have the really red undertones?  That is precisely what I was hoping to avoid.  Seeing those reddish tones immediately transports me back to the 80s, filled with country blue and mauve.  So it was incredibly helpful to see these side-by-side.  (Spoiler alert:  The Design Master Gold Medal is the one on the far left.)

Anyway, I’m loving this new-to-me spray paint.  It’ll definitely be my go-to gold spray paint from here on out. (And believe you me, that is something that I NEVER thought I’d say. Gold spray paint? On something in my house? For the last ten years, that thought would have made me cringe.)

Black metal and glass end tables spray painted gold, using Design Master Gold Medal spray paint -- THE BEST gold spray paint!!

So what about you?  Have you gotten into this whole brass/gold resurgence?  Have you tried any gold spray paints that you like?  This is the only one I’ve tried so far, so I’d love to know about your experiences!

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  1. Sheila says

    I have always loved brass. (real brass) The glow is unmistakable. I love the muted gold of your table though. I love all of your decorating. You are not afraid of color. Great job.

  2. says

    Yes! The Design Master is also my favorite gold spray paint. I used the antique gold shade a few months ago on a coffee table and love the softness of it like you described and also how finely it sprays. It looks the most like brass to me. Your table looks so pretty!

  3. says

    My mother was a HUGE fan of brass and gold nic-nacs; growing up I never liked it. That was then, this is now :) . Kristi, I LOVE your table (and the trend) and will give this paint a try…looks great!

  4. Michelle Robertson says

    I really like the gold look for the table! I wasn’t completely sold on the black when you first reveled them, but the gold is lovely!

  5. Michelle B says

    Aggggh! I nearly cried when I saw the headline of this post… I thought, Oh Kristi, NOO!! I am one of those who hasn’t got on the bandwagon… I just can’t bear the look of gold stuff! However, I seem to be in the minority here, so carry on! :) After all, I still have my black end tables.. ;-)

    • Kelly Palmer says

      I guess I am in the minority too Michelle because I still do not like the look of gold/brass either. Oh well :)

    • says

      I have full confidence that you’ll come around eventually. ;) It took me a couple of years…you just might take a bit longer than I did. :-D But seriously, I know what you mean. I really used to cringe at gold and brass. I’m not sure what made me change. I think just seeing so much of it lately, and seeing it used in such beautiful rooms.

      Perhaps I need to write a post filled with pictures of gorgeous rooms that use gold and brass, just for you and Kelly, to see if I can bring y’all over to the dark (or rather, the light) side. ;)

    • says

      I noticed when we were looking for lighting for our new house that there was an awful lot of brass. Several different shades. I will never be on that bandwagon either. I’ve spent years taking the brass out of houses. I do love the finish of the paint that you used Kristi. I may have to try it in a different finish – unless this is their only one. Your tables turned out fabulous. I wasn’t loving the black and I’m a huge fan of black.

      • says

        It comes in other metallic finishes — both bright metallics and aged/antiqued metallics. I think the silver would be absolutely gorgeous, and would have that same soft, satin finish as the gold does.

    • Phyllis says

      I will probably be the last one to get on the gold band wagon. I really love black. It may have something to do with ones age. At 68, I don’t look forward to seeing brass ever come back into style. The end table looks nice, but I won’t be changing things out to gold or brass.

  6. Michelle says

    Wow. You have inspired me again. Twice! Once with the color of your table, and again with the link to Sharon B’s coffee table project (which I can’t wait to copy)! The “lightness” this gold added to you table is perfect for your space. Your “eye in your mind” is incredible. Thanks again for sharing your decorating life with us.

  7. Kristen says

    I have thought the same with gld, I hate it, it is so dated! But just recently I have been swayed in my opinion too. I like the muted gold, it looks pretty as an accent. I love how you updated your tables.

  8. Brenda Pawloski says

    I saw this coming, just when most of us changed to ORB and/or brushed nickel! But I can’t deny the beauty of your table and really a stylist recently told me I look better in gold earrings so guess who got some new gold hoops?

  9. says

    I still love black and brushed nickel. But recently I spray painted a few pitchers with white Rustoleum. NOW, they look like Ironstone. They are beautiful! And like you, I’m looking for anything to paint white.

  10. Heidi says

    You did a great job, and I agree the product appears to be superior quality. I see what you mean about the brass being more airy… however I preferred the black, and how it seemed to tie into the room… A espresso colour would be even better for my tastes. I don’t know if I’ll ever get sold on brass flash (as I call it)… but don’t let my simple opinion take away from the excellent work you did on the paint job.

  11. says

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with this one, Kristi. The brass in recent past decades was garish. We all couldn’t wait to get rid of those shiny doorknobs and lamps. Co-incidentally, I’ve decided on a green and brass/gold Christmas color theme at my house this year. It will give me a chance to experiment so I’ll know if I’m ready to fall in love again.

    My guess is I’ll enjoy having a “new” metal-love. So, I really appreciate the homework you did standing in the aisle at Michaels. Now, where is that coupon I have?

    • says

      You can get the coupons online, and even pull them up on your smart phone to use them in the store. :) I always forget to take my coupons with me, so I’m always the one standing in the checkout line, frantically searching online on my phone for a coupon. Ha!

  12. Genelle McDaniel says

    Kristi, I had noticed immediately that the black iron tables detracted from the beautiful mahogany chest. And you are 100% right about your new soft gold bringing in a lightness and glamour, but not the cheap looking brass finish from the 70′s and 80′s. I’m still restoring yardsale lamps from that era by spraying painting the cheap brass finish a soft white. And the people I give them to can’t get over the difference. I also spray paint those cheap-looking brass finish bed frames with either a soft white or jadite green. Anything to get rid of that cheap-looking finish. Now I’ll try your new soft gold. I missed your blog so much during the holiday. I do hope you and Matt had a wonderful family holiday.

    • says

      Have you ever tried Rub ‘N Buff on one of those 80s brass lamps? It’s been many years since I’ve used the stuff, but I’m wondering if it might take the brass lamps from shiny 80s brass to beautiful antiqued brass. Now I want to try it. :)

  13. Genelle McDaniel says

    Another suggestion is to repeat the shape of the chest in your sofa table. You could vaneer it with mahogany, or just stain it similar to the chest.

  14. Sue says

    I do not like the look of gold but am a fan of ‘real’ brass. However, after looking at the finish on your end table, I might be convinced to give it a try. Will have to think about it a bit more but really do like the look you were trying to achieve on your end table. It really does look much lighter and your black dresser really stands out in the photo.

  15. says

    Yep. I have been all over it. If it isn’t painted white, it’s painted gold! Not just metal either! And yes, they are all different. I accidentally bought Krylon for a project and, um, no. I’ve been happy with Rustoleum, but I’ll give yours a go. I spend a lot of time at the hardware store and rarely see a craft store though, so it may be awhile! :)

  16. says

    Well, I love your gold table(s), but I don’t think I’ll ever get on that bandwagon. I have always loved silver and pewter, and whenever I see something different that I like (as in your table), I think maybe I could make some changes, but then I settle back into my old loves. That soft gold is the closest I have ever come to changing my mind, though. :)

  17. Heather says

    Hmmmm… well, I totally still can’t stand gold. I know I am SO behind the times. I don’t really have any hope for myself, either, because by the time I finally start ust a lovin’ it, the trend will go to silver or something. LOL

  18. Susan Clark says

    Still have my gold/brass lamps from the 80′s that are currently painted ORB. Never imagined taking them back to gold….and still can’t! There are lots of styles I think are pretty to look at but not for me. Still there on this latest trend.

  19. Vicki says

    Since we married in the ’70s and got LOTS of brass as wedding gifts, I’ve gotten (and haven’t gotten beyond) tired of it, and for real brass, polishing it is a pain! When I first looked at the pic of the black table with chair, lamp, and walls, windows, etc, I thought, “that is beautiful–it’s a photo that belongs in a magazine. How does she know to put all that together like that?” And when I saw the table a brass color, I just wasn’t so fond of the effect. I noticed that you didn’t put the table back against the silver lamp–what are you going to do? Mix? Paint the lamp? Just wondering. I’m probably just a hard sell on this trend. I applaud your embrace of an upcoming trend. I’m ready for gold jewelry to come back big time, but furniture, ummm, maybe not yet. Keep your own muse going, though. I love watching your imagination at work!

    • says

      I probably won’t keep the lamp in there. I think it’ll end up in my office. I need either two matching or coordinating lamps, one for each chair (because I MUST have symmetry or it’ll drive me insane :-D ). But I don’t think I want metal of any kind. But then again, I might be on the verge of wood overload on that wall. So I guess my final answer is…I don’t know. :-D

  20. Tilda says

    You’re all missing the most important point……The real question is “How are you planning on refinishing the antique dresser?” ;-)

    • says

      Haha! Well, I’m going to try my hand at redoing all of the wood veneer on the drawers. The current wood veneer is all bubbled, cracked, peeling, and chipped. So I’m going to take all of that off (hopefully), and re-veneer the drawers. Then I’ll strip all of the stain off of the rest of the dresser, and re-stain the whole thing.

      That’s the plan at least. We’ll see if I can actually pull it off. :)

  21. Michelle says

    Nope I can’t say that I have joined that bandwagon but I really like the finish of your tables. My mother loved brass and still does. I remember her using some kind of rub on brass stuff on metal screws throughout our house. I hated it. I still do but after seeing your tables I may have to give it a try. I have a lot of the ORB everywhere and I’m getting tired of it. I have metal staking tables sitting in my yard sale room that may be getting a make over. I can’t wait to see how you refinish the antique dresser. Finding old furniture cheap and making it over is my new hobby. I love it and am always looking for ideas.

  22. Ron Harris says

    I’ve always loved gold! (My dining room ceiling is tintile looking ceiling tiles painted gold.)
    In the comparison test, I picked out the Rustoleum, which is actually the one I have been using for years. The Design Master has a slightly green hue to it, which I don’t like on most applications. I do, however, like it on your tables. I think the Rustoleum would be too bright for that particular use.

    • says

      That’s interesting! I haven’t compared the two side by side in person, but I don’t notice a green undertone on my table. I suppose lighting plays a huge role in that, though. But now I’m curious about the Rust-Oleum. That’s usually my go-to spray paint brand, so now I want to try it! But since you said it’s brighter, perhaps I’ll wait until I have something smaller than an end table that I want to paint gold.

  23. designdreamer says

    Really, REALLY?!?!?!?
    Now we have to go back to the 90′s and the bright brass finish.
    Ha, Ha – I never go rid of mine – then again, I have a gazillion doors, and two handles per door adds up. I’m sitting in my loft and I can count 6 doors just from here. They don’t bother me so much, but my shiny brass light fixtures – HATE them!!!
    I think I’m still at the stage you were at 18-24 months ago.
    I DO have to admit, your table looks very nice.
    But I’m NOT letting any blue and mauve into MY house – I don’t care how popular it becomes!

    • says

      On your shiny brass fixtures, have you ever thought of trying some of that Rub ‘N Buff stuff to tone down the shiny brass and give it more of an aged look?

      I’ve used it a couple of times, but it’s been quite a few years ago. It works amazingly well, though. Might be a thought. Then you’d just have to spend a few bucks on a tube of Rub ‘N Buff, rather than replacing your light fixtures. I’ve seen it at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s.

  24. Jaybird says

    Ummmmm well, I never got off the bandwagon, so my brass “stuph” and I, would feel right at home :^)
    I like your table and it is a perfect compliment to your room!

  25. Steph says


    If you already stated where, I am sorry….. but where are those end table from? I do like your new color better, although never would’ve thought to change them as I also like black.


  26. says

    I just love the look of your table. It goes with the wall colour and antique much better than black. Great stuff. Thanks for letting us know which is the best spray paint to use. I get so frustrated when trying to decide. Cheers

  27. says

    Hello! I featured your end table makeover in my monthly blog series, Get Your Color On!. Each month I select a color, provide tips on how to decorate with it, and feature other bloggers with their projects that relate to this color.

    This month’s post is all about silver and gold, so I featured your tables because I love how they add just the right amount of glamour to your space. I also appreciate how you shared your search for the perfect gold—metallic paints really aren’t created equal!

    Feel free to grab a featured button and check out my post at Get Your Color On! Silver & Gold. Thanks for sharing your amazing creativity!

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