For spring steel source, I've used the larger paper clip metal. You can Dermel off a strip, just don't get it too hot.
Gold paint is usually too bright and gaudy. If you can find the small cans od PlastiKote Bras or Gold leaf, they are more subdued. the Brass color just about matches the escutcheons on Philcos like the 40-180.
Antique brass may be even more subdued. Check your local craft/JoAnns/Michaels/ etc outlets as they often have many colors not available in the big box stores.