How to Paint Gold

How to Paint Gold Easily in 7 Simple Steps (Tutorial)

In this article I will be discussing my style for how to paint gold, and my tips in painting my style of gold.

Obviously, this being my first “tutorial”, I would appreciate any feedback on the layout and general appearance of this tutorial. I want to make these tutorials very easy to follow, with simple visual guides, so hopefully I hit the nail on the head!

Without further ado – how to paint gold!

Tutorial on How to Paint Gold

Step 1

Over a primer surface (in this case white) my first layer is Warplock Bronze applied using a Warcolours Size 1 Sable brush.

In my opinion this colour gives great coverage and adds a really great deep metallic feel to any metal you paint over it. I also occasionally start off with a layer of Rhinox hide under this layer, but I have realised that this doesn’t add much effect to the end product.

Step 2

Over the basecoat we completely cover the Warplock Bronze with 2 thin layers of Gehenna’s Gold. This is a very liberal application and is meant to cover the Warplock Bronze, however if a small piece is missed, no harm done, just call it a “shadow” ;)


Step 3

A liberal wash of Agrax Earthshade is applied all over the gold to add a first layer of shadows and add some depth to the gold.

Step 4

Now the next step to add a an even deeper tone to the shadows is Druchii violet. Purple being the complimentary colour to yellow (Gold) will give a rich deep shadow to the gold and is placed in only the deepest areas of where you want a shadow.

Step 5

After allowing the Druchii violet to dry, Gehenna’s gold is relayed over the areas which are not in shadow. Ideally this should be many relatively thin layers, and complete coverage is not needed.

Step 6

Now to add a layer of bright gold in the form of Auric Armour Gold to give some life to this metal. This paint is quite thin so its easy to create a smooth transition from the previous layer.

Step 7

Final highlights include an edge highlight of Runefang steel and sharp points and corners to give the appearance of a really shiny metal.



Finished Product

So now, this is how the gold appears with the backing of other colours and its look on a finished model.


I really enjoyed painting these warlocks as it gives me a chance to vary a bit of colours throughout my army whilst still keeping in the theme of the overall army.

Some of you may have realized that his is on a marble base, and I hope to be doing a tutorial for this in the near future. Meanwhile, Thor did do a tutorial on his marble technique.

I do hope you liked my tutorial on how to paint gold!

If you’re looking for stuff you should have for painting, the must-have items as a newer painter, then check out this article.

If you have any questions on how to paint gold, comments, or suggestions, please let me know.

Hope this helps!

The Sable Warlock

Specific Painting Techniques & Tutorials

Check out these other tutorials covering specific techniques.

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Great job on the tutorial. It’s a very thorough walk-through, which is perfect.

I would never have thought to use purple as a shade on gold, but it makes sense once you mentioned it. What happens if you don’t do the brown shade first? Does it become too purple?

The finished result looks great, and I’ll definitely use this method the next time I’m doing gold.


I would never think to use a purple wash looks great. I know people who paint brown first, with gold i just put it over black…..maybe that’s why I get my stuff painted so quickly I’m lazy lol


Good call on the purple shading. I even knew that theoretically, but I never thought of using it on metallics.

Also, very nicely done with the final Runefang Steel highlights. GW’s painters always make those way too heavy, and it ends up looking like something that was very cheaply gold-plated and it’s all wearing off.

Joe Baird

Fantastic. This is about 5 steps more than I typical paint my gold :-) The base of bronze and purple wash really helps create the depth. And the Warlock looks brilliant when finished


I’m with you, though this process is only 3 steps more than my previous process.


The purple shade…awesome idea! Looting that!


Seems we all unanimously agree that the purple shade is the trick we’ve all been missing :)

The Warlock
The Warlock

So Link has Dark Link, I have…Sable Me? Good tutorial, by the way. I do like using the new GW golds over others as they seem a bit more pure in their values.