5 Ways To Use Rub n’ Buff

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So funny the amazing craft material is called Rub ‘n Buff, because, while I do the “rub” part, I tend to forget the “buff” part. HA! They should have named it “Rub ‘n Walk Away.” Because that’s exactly what I do. And I ain’t afraid to admit it.

Regardless of whether I use it properly, it’s one of my most favorite tools in my DIY toolbox.

(I participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites).

This stuff is amazing, and I’m going to show you why. And you can buy Rub ‘n Buff for only a few dollars!


What is Rub n Buff - Thrift Diving Blog

What is Rub ‘n Buff?

Rub ‘n Buff is a waxy finish made from imported carnauba waxes, fine metallic powders and pigments. I tend to use Grecian Gold and Antique Gold over and over, but it comes in 12 colors total (you can buy a sampler of all the colors from Amazon). The smaller single tubes are about $6.00 and you can buy it on Amazon or pick it up from AC Moore or Michael’s. It comes in the following colors:

  • Gold Leaf
  • Antique Gold
  • Grecian Gold
  • Autumn Gold
  • European Gold
  • Antique White
  • Ebony
  • Pewter
  • Silver Leaf
  • Spanish Copper
  • Patina
  • Ruby

How to Use Rub ‘n Buff

To apply it, just take a small amount and rub it on with your finger (it stains, so watch out!!) or a lint-free cloth, then rub it over the things you want to “paint.” Then buff to a shine. I tend to add a few coats to get even coverage.

Ways to Use Rub ‘n Buff

1.  Save Tarnished Old Knobs

Have you seen the price of knobs and pulls lately?? Okay, yeah… you can score some good ones on coupon days at the craft store, but if you need 6 – 8 or something, that adds up pretty quickly. I don’t like to spend a lot of craft supplies or materials, so reusing what I can is ideal. Plus, I just like to save old hardware because there’s something so pretty about using the same hardware. It’s as if it’s just made for that piece, right? Here’s the hardware I saved from a desk I gave my mom for Mother’s Day, and it looked great! The tarnished handles magically were covered up.

rub n buff on dresser pulls


You might be asking why I didn’t just spray paint them. While that’s an option for old knobs and hardware, spray painting something leaves a coat of….well…..paint. It looks obviously painted. Rub ‘n Buff doesn’t look coated or thick the way spraypaint would look. It just looks new.

I made over this awesome oak chest from the thrift store and wanted to freshen up the clasps on the front of the chest, too. Instead of buying all new hardware, Rub ‘n Buff transformed the clasps from worn-out gold to silver to match the rest of the newly refinished oak chest!



I was also able to reuse the pulls from this old vintage dresser just by using Rub n’ Buff!


2. Line Furniture in Gold

I don’t just love to paint old furniture. I love to find the details and them highlight them in creative ways.

I had found this old vintage Singer sewing machine and used Rub ‘n Buff along the edge to bring out the detail of the piece, to match the goal in the sewing machine. I did the same thing to this green and gold desk I did a few years ago.


Vintage Sewing Machine and Cabinet Gets a Makeover!


Sewing Cabinet Makeover with Duluth Trading Company4950



3. Freshen Up Old Metal Buckets

I loved the way this thrifted metal bucket turned out! I needed a great 40th birthday gift for my friend and decided to make a DIY craft pack for her with my favorite crafting supplies. I loved how pretty the inside turned out! I also used it on the bottom.





4. Gold-dip Your Legs

This is one project I haven’t tried yet, but with Rub ‘n Buff, it’s easy. But use painter’s tape around the legs of a chair or table, then wipe on Rub ‘n Buff  below the tape, then buff, and peel off the tape. Super easy!


5. Update ANYTHING!

So here are some fun posts I found of things that people have used Rub ‘n Buff for. OMG, I’m loving the toy gun! LOL





Have you ever used Rub ‘n Buff? What is your favorite use for it? Leave a comment below and share your DIY skillz!

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  1. I etched a glass vase, and the etching doesn’t stand out much. I was thinking of adding rub n buff to the glass to bring it out more. if I rub it all over the glass, would it come off of the non-etched sections? or do I need to cut the vinyl and only carefully apply the rub n buff to the etched portions?

    1. Hey Brittney! Good question! I have never used Rub n’ Buff on etched glass. But I would recommend that you use the vinyl. You could always do a test edging on a scrap piece of glass and see how it works! I love the idea, though, of bringing out the etching with Rub n’ Buff! Good luck, and let me know how it works!

  2. I had old cabinet hinges and could not find replacement ones that would fit the same holes already in the cabinets so I used rub and buff and they look brand new! I am hooked now.

    1. YAY! So glad to hear it worked well for you, Shirley! 🙂 The stuff is magical indeed!

  3. My BFF taught me to use on picture frames to accent the relief. You don’t put it fully on, you only rub on a tiny amount to have an antique look. It absolutely awesome.

  4. Gordon Williams says:

    I was thinking of gold anodising a number of motorcycle parts on a special I’m building.
    The parts include engine mounting plates, a brake pedal & a pair of footrests.
    How would the performance of rub & buff compare for wear & durability?

  5. I’m wondering if it’s possible to use rub n buff silver on silverware? They are a very expensive set that was silver plated but has worn down to the metal underneath and is love to have them re plated but it would cost a fortune… can I use this product on them and then just hand wash when used? I don’t know enough about the product to know if it would leave a toxic residue or of it hardens and would be safe to eat off of. Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated…

    1. Hmmm…good question, Gretchen. I would say no, only because I don’t think anything that is going to touch food or be put in your mouth should use products that aren’t marked “food safe.” I think if you were only use it for decoration, yes, but not for food. Hope that helps!

    2. Marie Duvall says:

      I absolutely love the new look of this China cabinet. The color is great. I have two pieces of furniture that I really want to paint. Just don’t really know what color I want. I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me some suggestions. The mirror will always be used in the master bedroom. The bow front cabinet, not sure where to put it but t was my Moms so I definitely want to keep it. Just don’t have either of these two finishes in our house. Thank you. All your projects turn out awesome. Would send you pictures if you accept them.

      1. Hi Marie! I’d love to see these projects! You can definitely email me pics at [email protected]. It’s hard to choose colors, for sure, because it sounds like these are pieces that are meaningful that you’ll keep for a long time (since they were your moms). Nothing too trendy or bright, I imagine? 🙂 Email me and I’ll see what my opinion is! 🙂

  6. I only learned about Rub n’ Buff last year. A friend suggested it for a project & now I’m smitten!! Thanks for sharing all your ideas.

  7. I used it on an iron fireplace tool set that had overly shiny lacquered brass tops/handles on the tools. Worked great!

  8. I have several tubes of this in my craft stash but haven’t used it in a while. Thanks for inspiring me to pull it back out for my next project. #HomeMattersParty

  9. What about using it on the metal rings on grommet curtains? Will it come off in the wash?

    1. That’s an idea – I’d like to know the answer, too.


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