Looking to give almost any item you own a makeover? If you answered YES, then Rub ‘n Buff is the DIY SECRET you need in your life ASAP!
This post is all about the magic behind Rub ‘n Buff and how it can transform items INSTANTLY and EASILY.
Discovering Rub ‘n Buff can be LIFE-CHANGING! First off, it only costs around $6 to purchase a tube of this DIY magic, and a little goes a long way. It’s also available in 12 colors and can be applied to almost anything.
For instance, do you have any old picture frames that could use a refresh? Instead of sending them to GoodWill, apply Rub ‘n Buff, and they will instantly look BRAND NEW. Some people even use it to revive old pairs of shoes.
You might be wondering, what is Rub ‘n Buff? And you might be surprised to hear it’s not a paint formula but instead, a metallic wax blend that combines imported carnauba waxes with fine metallic powders and pigments. As a result, it gives a unique and rich finish that no can of paint offers.
While this product is straightforward to use, I’ll address SIX FACTS that will make using Rub ‘n Buff a lot easier. I’ll also be sharing home decor items I transformed for DIY INSPIRATION, so let’s dive in!
RUB ‘N BUFF: THE ULTIMATE DIY SECRET
FACT #1: WHAT IS RUB ‘N BUFF AGAIN?
It’s a finish that has the ability to refresh, well, really anything. The old door handles pictured above are a perfect example of what Rub ‘n Buff can make look brand new.
The handle to the left has just one coat applied so far in the gold leaf color tone, which happens to be one of the trendiest colors (in my opinion) out of the 12 available.
It comes in a small tube with only 1/2 ounces and can be purchased at Michaels or Amazon. And, you’ll be surprised by how little you need to get several items made over.
FACT #2: HOW MANY RUB ‘N BUFF COLORS ARE THERE?
As mentioned, it’s available in 12 different colors, but it’s certainly not a product that offers all the colors of the rainbow. Instead, Rub ‘n Buff has more variety in metallic finishes such as silver and gold, with a few surprise color splashes that include patina and ruby.
Some color shades are sold out at Michaels and can be purchased from Amazon but for a slightly higher price. For example, Amazon sells a tube for around $10 versus the usual $6 price tag. It just depends on the color you’re looking for and its popularity.
Below, to the left, are black candlesticks BEFORE I changed them to gold. I used two coats of the gold leaf tone for the AFTER results to the right.
Take a look around your home and see what old wall art canvases you thought you were ready to toss. Or shop local thrift stores and yard sales. You might be able to snag one for a dirt-cheap price, and the canvas will look BRAND NEW by adding this wax metallic finish over textured lines or unwanted colors.
Below is a textured canvas that was refreshed using silver and gold tones of Rub ‘n Buff.
BTW, canvas wall art sells at high-end stores for more than $1,000, so buying this $6 tube of DIY magic is a real steal!
RUB ‘N BUFF COLOR LIST:
- ANTIQUE WHITE – A metallic white. FYI, I cannot find this white tone anywhere online. A few people have speculated that it’s been discontinued.
- EBONY – Metallic black, available for purchase on AMAZON.
- PEWTER – A lighter silver finish, available for purchase on AMAZON.
- AUTUMN GOLD – Copper gold, available for purchase on AMAZON.
- GRECIAN GOLD – A Greek gold statue tone, available for purchase on AMAZON.
- ANTIQUE GOLD – Antique gold-tone, available for purchase on AMAZON.
- EUROPEAN GOLD – A duller gold, available for purchase on AMAZON.
- GOLD LEAF – The best gold tone (in my opinion). It gives a rich gold shade to anything without making it look gaudy—available on AMAZON.
- SILVER LEAF – A traditional silver, available on AMAZON.
- SPANISH COPPER – Dark copper tone, available for purchase on AMAZON.
- RUBY – Red metallic. And FYI, I cannot find this color in stock anywhere.
- PATINA – Blueish, green metallic color. I cannot find this color in stock anywhere.
FACT #3: CAN RUB ‘N BUFF BE APPLIED TO WOOD, METAL, PLASTIC & PAINT SURFACES?
Pictured above is a metal frame purchased from HomeGoods several years ago. Originally it was silver before Rub ‘n Buff gold leaf was applied. The best part, a similar gold frame sells for $185 at Williams Sonoma. WINNING!
The candle below was also from HomeGoods but was a cement gray color before I added color blocking to achieve the gold triangle design in the front. I used Frog tape to block off the design and brushed on one coat of the gold leaf color for a rustic look. You can learn more about color blocking here.
So to answer the question, YES, Rub ‘n Buff can be applied to metal, wood, plastic, and paint surfaces. And you DO NOT have to use a primer beforehand, and NO topcoat is needed.
Depending on the item, you may want to sand it lightly, but that is completely up to you and NOT MANDATORY. For example, a rough wood surface might benefit from light sanding.
SHOP A SIMILAR LOOK:
Purchase a similar silver frame on AMAZON.
Purchase gold leaf Rub ‘n Buff on AMAZON.
Purchase Little Book of Chanel on AMAZON.
Purchase a Set of three Chanel books on AMAZON.
Purchase a similar cement candle at TARGET.
FACT #4: HOW TO APPLY RUB ‘N BUFF
Above is a place setting for a dinner party with a plate charger and a eucalyptus leaf brushed in gold leaf Rub ‘n Buff.
This product can easily be applied using your finger or any makeup brush or sponge. So really, there are NO RULES here with what you choose to use. Personally, I would recommend not using your fingers, but dish soap will wash out any stains fairly quickly.
*Make sure to clean the items beforehand.*
Above is a BEFORE and AFTER shot of a Eucalyptus leaf I picked from my backyard. I used a makeup brush to apply one coat of R ‘n B to the leaves.
The instructions behind using this product are LITERALLY spelled out in its name. First, you rub it on (wait a few minutes for it to dry), and then begin buffing the item with a cloth or sponge. The more you buff the item, the more shine you will get. One coat of this stuff works wonders, and if you feel you need a second coat, that is completely up to you and your project.
REMEMBER, a little goes a long way. Squirt a small amount onto your brush, sponge, or finger and begin applying it to your piece. You will instantly see how EASY and FAST the transformation is.
Here is a BEFORE and AFTER picture of the gold plate chargers. As you can see, the plate on the left is tarnished and worn. However, just one coat of gold leaf Rub ‘n Buff revived the charger and made it look brand new.
- TUBE OF RUB ‘N BUFF
- DROP CLOTH (OPTIONAL)
- OLD MAKEUP BRUSH
- A SPONGE, CUT INTO THREE PIECES
- AN OLD CLOTH
I found the sponge to be the easiest to use for covering larger surfaces. Next, the makeup brush came in handy for applying the finish to delicate surfaces (such as eucalyptus leaves) and hard-to-reach crevices. Finally, the old cloth came in handy for the buffing process.
SHOP A SIMILAR LOOK:
Purchase similar Plate Chargers on AMAZON.
Purchase faux Eucalyptus Leaves on AMAZON.
Purchase gold leaf Rub ‘n Buff on AMAZON.
More eucalyptus leaves brushed with gold leaf Rub ‘n Buff. They add a classy and organic touch to any room!
FACT #5: IS RUB ‘N BUFF PERMANENT?
Napkin ring holders that badly needed a makeover! One coat of the gold leaf tone did the trick!
Rub ‘n Buff is durable, but it can get scratched and worn over time just like anything. The good news is that it’s super easy to touch up small areas if you don’t want to paint over the whole piece.
FACT #6: SPRAY PAINT VS. RUB ‘N BUFF
To the left is a silver candle holder from Bath & Body Works that was more than 10 years old. However, one coat of gold leaf R ‘n B refreshed it instantly! The best part, BBW is currently selling a similar holder for around $13.
Spray paint is great for larger items, and it’s obviously available in more colors, but spray paint looks flat and dull compared to R ‘n B. Because this waxy metallic product is not a paint finish, it can’t help but give a richer and more dimensional look.
If you can help it, only choose SPRAY PAINT over RUB ‘N BUFF if it’s a larger item.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON RUB ‘N BUFF: THE ULTIMATE DIY SECRET
I hope this article inspired you to give this tube of DIY magic a try ASAP! I can’t stress enough how EASY it is to use and how FULFILLED you will feel knowing you updated an item to look BRAND NEW with just a small $6 tube.
Have you tried this product before? Let me know your experiences in the comments. I love hearing other tips and stories!