How to Rub ‘n Buff – Turn Anything into Beautiful Brass

LAST UPDATED: Sep 23, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Sep 12, 2014 | By:

Turn anything into beautiful brass or gold with this simple step-by-step tutorial to use Rub ‘n Buff.

turn anything into brass | diy gilded frames & more

A few years ago, brass was difficult to come by, especially at an affordable price. I have no fear of spray paint, but it’s not always feasible, i.e. some objects like curtain rods and picture frames with permanent glass cannot easily be sprayed. A friend of mine, Lori, introduced me to Rub ‘n Buff. I have been turning anything and everything into brass since. My first choice is always to purchase true brass, but when it’s not available, this is the next best option. Buffing to a beautiful brass is easy with this tutorial!

Chris and I visited Rocheport, Missouri in June. It’s a small town nestled along the Missouri River just outside of Columbia, Missouri where Chris & I both attended college at Mizzou. It’s one of my favorite places to shop! The boutiques there are full of antiques and well selected curiosities like dried hydrangea and pineapples and things like these gorgeous butterflies. Can you believe I purchased them for just $9 each? It seemed so inexpensive for such one of a kind art. They came in little black frames. If you’ve been following, you may have noticed that it’s the opposite of my color palette.

Fortunately, you can turn anything into beautiful brass, including clean dry or previously painted surfaces. I shared an image on Instagram & couldn’t believe the response. At the request of fabulous food blogger, Gimme Some Oven, I’m sharing the simple tutorial today! I’m always inspired by you, so if there’s something you’d like to learn more about, let me know and it may be my next post!

What is Rub and Buff?

Rub and Buff is formulated from imported carnauba waxes, fine metallic powders and select pigments. This combination can produce a finish no paint can duplicate. It can be used on almost any clean surface including those previously painted.

After applying Rub and Buff, use a cloth and then gently buff until desired sheen. The more you buff the more shine will appear. It is best used on surfaces that aren’t touched often.

What Can You Use Rub and Buff On?

These picture frames turned out beautifully, but frames aren’t the only use for Rub and Buff.  Here are some other ways to use Rub and Buff. This however, isn’t a comprehensive list. I’d love to hear about your project. Share in the comments how you have used Rub and Buff!

  • Curtain Rods
  • Hardware
  • Any metal that needs a little TLC
  • Mirror Frame
  • Lamps
  • Vase
  • Flower Pots

Types of Rub and Buff

If brass isn’t on your color palette, Rub and Buff has several other options to choose from. 

  • Gold
  • Ebony
  • Pewter
  • Silver 
  • Copper

Supplies

  • Washi or painters tape
  • Latex gloves (to keep your hands clean)
  • Rub ‘n Buff
  • White cloth or Viva paper towels (because they’re soft, thick & don’t tend to lose their fibers)
  • Picture Frames

How to Use Rub and Buff

A step by step tutorial to turn anything into brass
  1. Make sure your project surface is clean and dry.
    Learn how to make gilt frames to get the look for less in minutes.
  2. Tape your glass, if necessary.
    Learn how to turn anything into brass with Rub n Buff
  3. Put on gloves to protect your hands.
  4. Using a finger or soft cloth, gently dot rub and buff (a small dot goes a long way) onto frame and buff to a beautiful luster.
    Learn how to create beautiful gilded frames in minutes
  5. Immediately buff it off in rough areas with a soft cloth. See photo below for an example before buffing.
  6. Allow to dry & remove your tape.
Learn how to make gilt frames to get the look for less in minutes.
Learn how to turn anything into brass

I’ve talked about this process a few years ago when I wanted Pottery Barn Gilded Frames in sizes they didn’t carry.

A step by step tutorial to turn anything into brass
pretty butterfly art for a big girl bedroom

We’re making small strides in our new home, but as you can see, there’s still a lot to do, like steaming drapes. I find creating art far more fun!

I’d love to hear you plan to use this tutorial! Comment below! 

More DIY Home Decor

Learn how to make gilt frames to get the look for less in minutes.
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How to Rub ‘n Buff – Turn Anything into the Look of Beautiful Brass

Turn anything into beautiful brass with this easy Rub 'n Buff tutorial.
Course DIY
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 1
Cost $10

Equipment

  • N/A

Ingredients

  • 1 Washi Tape
  • 1 Latex Gloves
  • 1 Rub 'n Buff
  • 1 White Cloth or Paper Towels

Instructions

  • Tape your glass, if necessary
  • With gloves on, use a dot of run 'n buff at a time and work onto picture frame. A little goes a long way.
  • Immediately buff it off in rough areas with a soft cloth.
  • Allow to dry and carefully remove your tape.
pretty butterfly art for a big girl bedroom

How to Use Rub and Buff to Turn Anything into Beautiful Brass

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $20.00 or less

Turn anything into gorgeous brass using Rub and Buff.

Materials

  • Rub and Buff
  • Picture Frame 
  • Washi Tape or Painters Tape
  • Latex Gloves
  • Soft Rag or Viva Paper Towels

Instructions

  1. Make sure your project surface is clean and dry.
  2. Tape your glass, if necessary.
  3. Put on gloves to protect your hands.
  4. Using a finger or soft cloth, gently dot rub and buff (a small dot goes a long way) onto frame and buff to a beautiful luster.
  5. Immediately buff it off in rough areas with a soft cloth.
  6. Allow to dry & remove your tape.

Notes

  • The more you buff the higher the shine.

Disclosure

mini loaves of bread gift wrapped