How to use Rub ‘n Buff for easy updates Leave a comment


If have a decor item that needs a little something, this
“paint” that comes in a tiny tube is the perfect answer for a quick
and easy update!

Rub ‘n Buff is this amazing metallic finish that is super easy to apply (you just use
your finger or a soft cloth). The finish adds dimension and interest to basic decor like frames, mirrors and decorative objects. 

It really shows off pretty detail on those items as well — so if you have an intricate mirror or
frame, Rub ‘n Buff is perfect for it. 

If you’ve never used it, you’ll be shocked at the power in this little bitty
tube!:

antique gold rub n buff

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It’s not really paint — more of a wax. It goes on easily and then you can
lightly buff it out to soften the look a bit. 

I’ve used this stuff for years, and it’s my go-to when there’s something in
our house that is looking a little bland. 

How to apply Rub ‘n Buff

It doesn’t look like much, but this stuff goes a loooong way. It’s easy to squeeze out too much — you want to err on using too little and you can always add more or
layer the finish. 

You only have to use a tiny bit for accent projects. I usually start by dabbing my finger on the opening: 

gold rub n buff tube

I usually use my finger — I feel like it’s easier to do detail work with my finger. But you can also use a soft
cloth to apply it: 

how to apply rub n buff
black frame with gold corner detail
From far away it gives the look of metal brackets. I loved that look so much, I did the same to some of the frames on our
family room DIY picture ledges

I used a few pieces of painter’s tape to mark off the corners and then just
rubbed it on: 

applying rub n buff to frame

It dries almost immediately, so you can buff it out right away. 

Use either
your finger or a cloth to rub it in and even out the finish: 

buffing out rub n buff

I like a finger for application and a cloth for the buffing part. You don’t have to buff, but it does give it a pretty sheen and blends it nicely. 

You can use Rub ‘n Buff for larger projects, but I’ve always loved the little
detail it adds in smaller doses: 

DIY wood ledges on white wall

I think I’m going to add it to the sides of the frames as well, so we can
see the gold accent from the side.

I love this mirror in our basement and that it matches the
walls almost exactly: 

westchester gray DIY built ins

Sometimes you want contrast, sometimes a more muted look is what you’re
aiming for. I love how this blends in for a more modern look, but it needed
something

When I added the box molding on the walls down there, I moved the
mirror to another wall and then added gold accents with the Rub ‘n Buff: 
add metallic highlight to boring mirror

The paint on the mirror had a slightly distressed look on the edges, so I used those as my guide. 

It only took a few minutes and made a big difference!: 

gold detail on gray mirror

On something like this especially, there’s no perfection needed. Just swipe it on here and there until you get the look you want!

Where you can use Rub n’ Buff 

This stuff adheres to all kinds of surfaces — metal and wood are easy. I haven’t tried it on plastic so let me know if you have! It’s an easy way to change up light fixtures, frames, art, decorative knobs…the possibilities are endless! 

I’ve grabbed these tubes a lot over the years — it’s especially
lovely when used to highlight pretty texture. 

gold highlight on textured frame

You can use it instead of spray paint for smaller pieces too. I “painted” some red metal bells in our Christmas decor last year. The Rub ‘n Buff gave them a vintage look with more dimension than straight spray paint would give. 

If you have a large item, you can spray paint it and then add some detail with the Rub ‘n Buff on top. It’s so versatile! 

DIY metal terrarium with Rub n Buff

The pewter Rub ‘n Buff gave it the look of metal, with some variation that straight spray paint can’t add.

Tips for using Rub ‘n Buff

  • Remember, a little goes a long way — start with a tiny amount!
  • No need for brushes, you can use your finger or a cloth
  • It’s easily removed from your fingers with nail polish remover
  • Play around with colors! It comes in nine different metallic finishes,
    from silver leaf to copper. 

I love that it gives pieces an older, vintage look because the finish
isn’t perfect, especially on textured surfaces.

It added detail so our mirror isn’t so blah anymore…just
enough to make it stand out!: 

westchester gray walls with box molding trim

Have you tried this magical wax finish? It’s fun and easy! 



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