While there are kits available at most home improvement and craft stores, you can save money by using regular gold paint in combination with a few other materials to create a faux gold antique finish. You can probably paint any item to have an antique gold finish with the appropriate paints and primers, but wooden or ceramic items with a naturally flat finish that will not give too much shine to the aged look receive the antique golden finish with the greatest results.
Clean the surface with a damp soapy rag to remove any residual grease or dirt. Dry completely.
Sand the surface lightly with 120-grit sandpaper to remove minor dents or stains. Wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove the dust. Sand the surface again with 180-grit sandpaper for a very smooth surface.
Brush the surface with gold paint. Add one or two more coats, letting each coat dry before applying the next.
Sand the painted surface lightly with 220 or 240-grit sandpaper. Focus on areas that usually show wear and tear like corners, the top and bottom of the surface and places frequently used for handling.
Dip a clean brush into the dark varnish or dark brown paint. Dab off the excess onto a paper towel. Lightly drag the brush across the surface, leaving a good bit of gold paint to show through.
Wipe excess varnish or brown paint off of the surface. Let the surface dry.
Apply the gold paint in thin layers to avoid leaving brush strokes in the finish. Brush the brown paint or varnish on very lightly. If it is thick, consider thinning the paint out with thinner or water for a better wash.