Let me just be the first to say that golds are HARD. Finding the right gold for your project, making sure it matches the rest of the room, working through different vendors.. it’s just too much! There are just too many versions of gold and as a self-identified gold hardware expert, I am very confident in saying they are not all pretty. But the good news is, you can easily change them! I’m going to show you the magic of how to use rub n buff.
Check out the video to see how I applied Rub n Buff to our vanity handles:
First, here is our powder room vanity. So far, I have purchased 2 different sets of hardware online. One ended up being too silver (it was called elusive nickel so I blame myself) and one ended up being a very brassy gold. The gold that I’m looking for is somewhere in the middle and would match our vanity light perfectly. I stumbled upon Rub n Buff and honestly it seems too good to be true. Rub n Buff is a metallic paste that can be applied to anything from metal to wood to ceramic to create a natural gold finish. The application is super easy, it can be used on a ton of different materials and the results are gorgeous.
Here’s how to use Rub n Buff
- Your hardware (or lamp, bed frame, really anything you plan to use it with)
- Rub n Buff – I’m using the color Antique Gold
- Latex gloves
- A cloth
- A paper plate
- A small brush – useful but not necessary
You’re really going to want to use gloves for this project because you’re basically going to throw it back to kindergarten and just paint with your hands. If you’re starting with a very smooth surface, you may also want to sand it down with some sand paper or steel wool first to make sure the paint will adhere.
For a solid gold look: Take a small amount of the paint onto your plate and then all you have to do is dab your finger into it and rub it evenly onto your object. A little goes a long way so I would only use a small bit at a time (roughly the size of a dime for a project this size).
For a brushed gold look: If you’re using another color such a black as your base color and really want it to look antiqued, take a small amount onto a brush and lightly dust the paint on. This will give the gold a feathered look and make the item look like an antique!
Once the paint was applied, I went back through with a small brush and just continued to blend the paint into the metal. It also helped smooth some of the areas where I had put too much on and it had started to cake. You do want to make sure that the paint goes on smoothly since the imperfections are quite noticeable once it dries.
You can see I used an old box to help keep the handles upright while they dried. This ended up being clutch because even though the paint does dry quickly, it can get messed up… (speaking from experience when I accidentally knocked over the entire box into the grass).
If you do mess up, you can do as I did and use steel wool to buff it up again. Then just reapply the paint and you’re as good as new.
When the paint was dry to the touch, it was time for the last coat. If you’re learning how to use rub n buff for a low traffic area (such as a light fixture), you can probably just end here, but if you’re like me and doing hardware which is constantly going to be touched, you’re going to want a clear coat to add a protective layer over your handles. I went with a Satin Clear Enamel from Rust-oleum, but there are a ton of great options out there.
Apply in very light coats (I did two coats on mine). And make sure to get not only the tops of your handles but in the hand grips as well as they’ll be getting the most action.
Let everything sit overnight to make sure it dries fully and then you’re good to install! I’m actually shocked at how close this color is to the vanity light fixture. Also, it feels so good to have all the same color hardware for the first time in this bathroom! Powder Room – COMPLETE!
Are your gears turning on how you can use this in your next project? You’re not alone! Let me know what project you decide to use Rub n Buff for in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear!