How to Make the Color Gold with Acrylic Paints

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Things You'll Need

  • Acrylic paints (at least yellow, brown, and white)

  • Paint palette or paper plate

  • Palette knife

  • Paint brush

Acrylic paints have become incredibly popular for both crafts and fine arts due to their wide availability and affordability. Sold individually or in sets, paint tubes are easily found at most craft stores. While there are easily hundreds of colors available, sometimes it just isn't practical or economical to have one of every shade on hand. Luckily, with a few primary paints, nearly every color in the spectrum can be created. More difficult to create hues, such as gold, can seem daunting to mix. However, with a good eye—and a little trial and error—the whole rainbow of colors can be at your disposal.


Going for the Gold

Step 1

Squeeze a dime-sized amount of yellow paint onto the paint palette or paper plate.

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Step 2

Mix in a small quantity of brown paint (approximately one part brown to 10 parts yellow), using the palette knife. Keep in mind that it's always easier to darken your paint than it is to lighten it, so start with small amounts and gradually add more until you start to achieve a gold-like hue.

Step 3

Clean the palette knife between colors. Warm water should do just fine, as long as the paint is still wet. Otherwise, a drop of dish detergent should do the trick.

Step 4

Mix in a small quantity of white paint (approximately two parts white to 10 parts yellow). White will add to the opacity of the paint as well as lighten the actual color, so be careful not to overdo it. If you mix in too much white, however, don't panic. Just blend in additional brown and yellow in equal amounts.


Depending on the manufacturer and quality of your paints, the amounts listed above may vary. Much of the mixing process is trial and error, although a finished balance of approximately 10 parts yellow, one part brown, and two parts white is generally a very close match (regardless of which type of acrylic paint you use).


Artist supplies can contain potentially harmful chemicals and ingredients. The Union of Concerned Scientists Web site recommends that you "Know what you’re buying," and always read product labels. Work in well-ventilated areas, and avoid prolonged exposure to products that contain toxic substances. Protect your clothes and your furniture by laying down drop cloths, and wear older garments.


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