Turn anything into gold with the help of my free Action for Adobe Photoshop! With the click of a button, this Action will play a series of adjustments that give an image a shiny appearance with yellowy hues that mimic solid gold. Upon playing the Action it will ask you to make a selection of your subject before continuing to processing the effect with various Photoshop tools and filters.

Free Photoshop Action to Turn Anything into Gold in Photoshop

Making a selection of your subject

There are a variety of selection methods you can use to isolate your subject from its background. Perhaps the quickest and easiest (depending on the image content) is the Quick Selection tool. The ‘Select Subject’ button in the top toolbar can sometimes generate a good selection with just one click. Alternative techniques include tracing with the brush tool, outlining with the pen tool, or other advanced selection methods. Once your selection has been made, fill the area with red on the dedicated ‘selection’ layer that is generated during the first step of the Action, then continue playing the Action to complete the effect.

Update to help troubleshoot problems

From reading the comments it seems a considerable number of people are running into problems, so I have made some updates to the download to try and troubleshoot where it might be going wrong.
– Removed a step that selected the Background layer so the ‘Selection’ layer remains active. Hopefully this will prevent people from accidentally filling the red area directly on the image.
– Added a step that ensures the ‘Selection’ layer is active before continuing.
– Split the process into two separate Actions, step 1 for the selection stage, step 2 for creating the effect.

Download my Free Gold Effect Photoshop Action

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45 Comments

  1. Didn’t work for me. elected item on a white background, painted red hit run action, error pop up said The command ‘stop’ is not currently available.

      • Chris, after creating the selection from the subject area and using that selection to Fill the “Selection” layer with Red, does the selection then need to remain active — or rather, should the selection be deselected, and the “Selection” layer should have its transparency locked?

        • No need to lock the transparency. It does not matter if you deselect first or not before continuing the Action, it should work either way.
          I don’t believe it matters if you have the Selection layer active or not, but you might as well leave this layer selected.

  2. Chris! Could you please do a how-to video for this action? That would be SO greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  3. Hi there, Chris!

    Ooh! NICE action! I can’t wait to try it. ^_^ Will this work with CS4? Thank you again for everything!

  4. I had to go back and actually read the instructions after trying and failing, then WOW it worked. Thanks!!

  5. Chris, I don’t understand why (during the Action process) an error window appears that says something like, “Such and such process is not currently available.” I don’t know how to make it/them available. Please shed some light on this. Thanks.

  6. Does not seem to work with Photoshop 2021. Anyone else having this issue, if so, were you able to get past it. This looks like such a cool action.

  7. Please Forgive. I have been trying all day. It may be that i am just a dumb ex jarhead. But I have been trying all day. It just does not work.

  8. For those who are having trouble, try this:

    Step 1 – install your action. (I dragged mine into Photoshop)

    Step 2 – open your image.

    Step 3 – run the action – Author has called it Gold Effect, select it and hit the PLAY ARROW.

    Step 4 – You should now have 2 layers. 1 is your image, the other is called “Selection”. Select your image layer in the Layers Panel.

    Step 5 – Use a Selection Tool from the Tools Panel to select your object (or use “Select Subject” button at the top of the page.

    Step 6 – Now select the “SELECTION” layer and FILL the layer with RED from the colour palette. I used the paint bucket tool to fill mine.

    You should now still have 2 layers. 1 your image (unmodified) and your selection layer with your object shape in red.

    Step 7 – hit the PLAY ARROW in the Actions panel again to complete the gold effect!

    • Xaiya, THANK YOU; this is very helpful.
      QUESTION: After creating the selection from the subject area and using that selection to Fill the “Selection” layer with Red, does the selection then need to remain active — or rather, should the selection be deselected, and the “Selection” layer should have its transparency locked?

  9. Hi Chirs,
    Please fix it for Photoshop 2021 its not working with it.

    Kind Regards,
    Adnan Younus

  10. From reading the comments it seems a considerable number of people are running into problems, so I have made some updates to the download to try and troubleshoot where it might be going wrong.
    – Removed a step that selected the Background layer so the ‘Selection’ layer remains active. Hopefully this will prevent people from accidentally filling the red area directly on the image.
    – Added a step that ensures the ‘Selection’ layer is active before continuing.
    – Split the process into two separate Actions, step 1 for the selection stage, step 2 for creating the effect.

    • THANK YOU Chris.
      I was able to figure it out before you posted this comment. But, for future reference (like months from now), I know I’ll find that your update to the download will be helpful in remembering how to run this Ps Action.

  11. Thanks for the freebie action! Haven’t had the chance to try it out yet, but I’m sure it’ll work just fine. Will update if necessary. Thanks again!

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