Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gold, Silver, and Gilver... Furniture Inspiration AND Rub N' Buff

Stepping away from Christmas decorations for a minute. Not too far away though, gold and silver are still kind of Christmasy.   I love the look of silver and gold leaf furniture.  I've silvered leafed a few things in my day.  One being a large pot I use as a table with a glass top.  The only thing with silver and gold leaf, is that it can be kind of pricey for large pieces of furniture and sometimes you can see the faint outline of the squares of leaf.  You can't beat the luster and shine it creates though... or can you?   Here are some of the photos I have set aside for inspiration.

Image via

I love this gold chest of drawers above. 

Image via

These stumps are my favorite.  They look like they've been dipped in a vat of gold.

There is really no paint that can create that look, at least none that I know of.  It's the luster that the paint lacks.  So what to do if you don't want to spring for the silver and gold leaf?...  Enter Rub N" Buff.  Not a paint but a metallic wax.  I had never heard of this stuff until a couple of months ago (Thank You Sandy) 

This stuff comes in several different colors but for the purpose of my upcoming projects, I'll be sticking to several shades of gold (Gold Leaf, Antique Gold, European Gold) and Silver Leaf.  A lot of you may be and probably are, already very familiar with Rub N' Buff, but for those of you who are not, like myself not long ago, here is the run down.  This stuff is excellent for small craft projects, highlighting details on furniture, and renewing vintage hardware.  When I searched the web for projects that used Rub N' Buff, most of what I found was it being used on things like picture frames and furniture that has raised detailing, furniture hardware, like drawer pulls, lamps, jewelry and that sort of thing.  I couldn't find any pictures where the entire piece of furniture was painted (waxed) with Rub N' Buff.  That doesn't mean there aren't any out there.  It just means I didn't see any.  So I started playing around with the stuff. 

For small projects like highlighting the raised areas of mirrors and furniture, or for knobs and other hardware, and craft projects etc. it just takes a dab of the wax on a cloth and then you literally rub it on, let it dry and buff it with a clean piece of the cloth.

For full furniture applications it is not quite that simple.  It takes some patients and a few techniques, but the end result is amazing and rivals that of the real gold leaf and silver leaf.  The gold colors are harder to work with than the silver, but I have been playing around with it for a while and have figured out how to get an even finish over the whole piece.  The problem with doing large pieces of furniture, especially things like table tops is that it dries very fast and ends up leaving an uneven looking finish.  Not to worry though.  I have figured out a way around that tricky problem.

I am working on several projects right now and my blog may become all about Rub N' Buff for the next couple of weeks, but you can achieve so many amazing looks with it that I am a little hooked on it right now.

Here are a few sneak peaks that I'm working on.  I still have some work to do with them, and I am perfecting my technique as I go, so to speak.

Here is how one of my chairs is coming along.
(European Gold)

 Another sneak peak   
A coffe table in progress.  This one is actually three shades of gold blended together.

These two will be finished soon and I have a few others to post about too.  So stay tuned for all the details and how to's!!


~Renew Redo~


  1. I really love what you've done! I really like how smooth rub n buff goes on to wood furniture. It doesn't go on as well on things that have been painted. I can't wait to see what tricks you've got up your sleeve! Seeing your coffee table rub n buffed made me start thinking of what I can rub n buff! I've only done small things here and there lately since I guess I felt I had enough metallics, but as you will see soon I've added a lot of color in my home so many I can have more metals :) tehehe

  2. OMG Hollywood Coutoure here we come!!! :) I just love it! Have you been on Every time I take the test I get Hollywood Coutoure as one of my top design faves. I also sometimes get French eclectic. OOhh so excited! :)

  3. Hey Sandy,
    I just took it. I got
    Rustic Revival
    You can take kid out of the country but you can't take the country out of the kid... or is your theme "you can take the kid out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the kid?" Either way you play it, you are one of the unique individuals who loves a mix of modern and country. The clean lines of the modern softened by rustic /vintage elements is the perfect mix in your mind. And can we blame you? You've taken the best aspects of two popular designs and mixed them in a manner that appeals young and old alike. A subtle background of white or light colors provides a nice canvas for all the wonderful flea market, eBay or garage sale finds as well as the classic modern pieces that you love.

  4. Did you see what else you got? I love the website because it goes by percentages. The last time I took it the first one was Hollywood Coutoure than Nantucket and lastly Modern elegance by like 18%.

  5. I just took the sproost test, too and it was spot on. Very neat quiz! Thanks so much for the post on rub n buff. I just now discovered it online and am so excited! Going to see if you did other posts on it now.

  6. Really i am impressed from this post. The person who created this post is a genius and knows how to keep the readers connected. Thank you for sharing this with us. I found it informative and interesting. Looking forward for more updates. office cubicles for sale

  7. anyone ever use Rub n Buff on real wood? As it dries its so uneven and you can see all my finger strokes. Am i doing something wrong? any tips?


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