Rub n Buff Metallic Paint Finish

Learn why Rub n Buff metallic paint finish is my go to for home decor project makeovers. You’ll see how this easy-to-use wax can give new life to mirror frames, light fixtures, cabinet hardware and much more.

It is so versatile it can also be used on crafts and costumes as well.

Bedroom with white walls and large wall mirror with rub n buff antique gold

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure for full details.

My love for painting things runs really deep. There are many details in the home where color can change the entire look of a space. Learning to paint your walls is one of the top ways to make a big impact for the cost of paint.

There are times though when making small changes, like changing light fixtures or artwork can make a nice new look.

This is where Rub n Buff will be your new best friend. It works like a paint as far as change goes but it is actually a wax.

close up of mirror frame with flowers in antique gold run and buff

Rub N Buff video

What is Rub n Buff?

Rub and Buff is a blend of carnauba waxes, fine metallic powders, and pigments that create a finish no paint can duplicate.

The finish will be velvet like and can be buffed to give a little shine. It comes in 9 color options to match any style.

Tub of antique gold rub and buff

How to apply Rub n Buff?

Rub on to any surface with finger, soft cloth or a dry short bristle brush. Wear a latex glove if you prefer. Apply evenly and thinly with a gentle rubbing motion. Buff after for more luster.

The 1/2 ounce tub will cover 20 square feet of surface. A little goes a long way.

Brush Painting Tip

When using a paint brush, squeeze out a small amount of Rub n Buff onto a coated paper plate. This will keep your product from absorbing into the paper plate and wasting it.

The framed mirror has been waxed on the bottom but not on the side. This before and after shows the difference in color. This frame is plastic. Adding the antique gold rub and buff gives a depth making it look more expensive.

Hand with rub and buff on finger showing how to apply
corner of picture frame with be

Mirror waxing tip!

Use a piece of parchment paper between the frame and mirror to keep the Rub n Buff off of the glass as you work.

A little goes a long way too. Apply just a dab to your finger and spread until you need more. It feels a little dry, not wet like paint.

If you have deep crevices and need to use a brush, make sure it is small and has short bristles. I would even look at inexpensive makeup brushes at the Dollar Store. The more bristles a brush has the more of your Rub n Buff will get trapped in there and potentially wasted.

What surfaces does Rub n Buff work on?

You can use it on most any surface; wood, metal, glass, ceramics, and more. The surface needs to be clean and dry. For very slick surfaces you may need to prime first.

  • restoring antiques
  • picture frames
  • home decor such as lamps, light fixtures and hardware
  • crafts
  • costume accessories
rub n buff in color ebony on drawer hardware before and after

This works best on items that aren’t heavily used as seen in the list above. Fixtures like pantry door knobs are best to buy in the finish you prefer. You could do it in a pinch but know that it may not hold up as well.

If you have a cabinet, like my TV cabinet it will work fine. This is the second time for a TV stand makeover.

I have used oil rubbed bronze spray paint in the past for my door hardware until I could afford to change them. It will hold up for a good while but will eventually scratch off. Using Rub n Buff would be a similar situation in high traffic areas but worth it for a quick update.

drawer hardware before and after with Ebony rub n buff
Hot pink heart graphic

Don’t Skip These: You will want to check out my paint sheen guide and full home paint color inspiration before your next paint project.

The TV cabinet pulls above were spray painted gold for years. I then used the ebony rub and buff to give it a layered finish. Allowing some of the gold to peak through gives the antique look.

What colors does Rub n Buff come in?

The three colors I use most are Antique Gold, Gold Leaf, European Gold and Ebony.

More of my Projects

Sharing below more of my home decor projects I’ve given makeovers to using Rub n Buff.

The plastic pumpkin received a new life with rub and buff. It had previously been painted with chalk paint and I wanted to make it look less distressed.Using my finger to apply the wax was fast and easy.

You can do this to just the stem if you prefer the white.

plastic pumpkin painted white and added antique gold rub and buff
gold pumpkin styled on table with rub and buff wax

There is really so many ideas for using this product. Along with changing the hardware on the TV cabinet I gave the black paint some distressing with it. I thinned it with a little coconut oil to spread it out more.

detail faux finish view of tv cabinet painted black with rub and buff aging

Our large floor mirror in our foyer was bought with a beautiful finish on it. This smaller mirror was attached to our daughters dresser set from when she was a little girl. I sold the dress but kept the mirror because I loved the detail work.

I knew I could use rub and buff on it to give it an Anthropologie look. For this mirror, I used European Gold Rub n Buff.

Large floor mirror and smaller dresser mirror before using rub and buff

The after is just as I had hoped. I can’t believe my little girl is now a grown woman using this same mirror.

Girl taking mirror selfie in front of gold mirror made over with rub n buff

Christmas decor is a great time to use the Rub n Buff. I bought these bells from HomeGoods and they didn’t have the best gold shading on them. It was mixed with too much black for the look I wanted.

I took Antique Gold Rub and Buff to them. This is a good way to use one color to unify your metallic finish decor.

Christmas 2021 Day Tour Bells


Does rub and buff wash off?

It will wash off your skin but will be permanent on your decor.

Does rub and buff need to be sealed?

It does not need to be sealed.

How to remove rub and buff?

Instructions from the manufacturer:
Scrape away any excess Rub ‘n Buff from the surface. Apply Dawn dish soap or Simple Green at full strength by working it in with your fingers. Allow to set and work for 3-4 minutes.

Carpet: Using a clean rag and clear, warm water, begin removing the cleaner and product. Rinse frequently. You may have to repeat this procedure more than once to completely clean the area.

Clothing: Treat the area as described above and put clothing into the washing machine.

NOTE: Do not use cleaners that contain solvents as these may cause the Rub ‘n Buff to disperse into the carpet padding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *