Okay so let's go ahead and get all the giggles out first because yes we're talking about "how-to rub 'n buff" and yes that just brings out the 12 year old in all of us. I mean couldn't they have named it something other than "rub 'n buff"?
Although for those of you who are expert rubbers and buffers you understand completely why this is its name. The name gives you the instructions on how to use this product. It really is just as simple as: step 1 - rub, step 2 - buff - the end - awesome. Except the first few times you use it you may think you're doing it all wrong. At least that was my own experience.
So here are a few tips and things I've learned through trial and error.
1. Use your fingers.
I've tried using a brush or a sponge applicator but it never works out as well as when I use my fingers. I've also tried to wear a rubber glove and wasn't very happy with the results. I've learned, for myself, that using my fingers while messy yields the best results.
Speaking of messy fingers, when it comes to clean up I use warm to hot water and a mild dish soap. The tube itself recommends mineral spirits, but I've found that hot water and soap works best. Sometimes I use a scrub sponge or an old toothbrush.
2. A little goes a long way but sometimes it takes more than one coat.
Here I squeezed a very small amount on to my ring finger and covered this much.
Sometimes the first application doesn't completely cover. If you try to glob it on it will start to pill up and it won't spread very well. The best thing to do if the first coat doesn't cover the way you want it to is to let it dry for a few hours and then apply another coat. This is what I had to do on the silver brackets I used on this tray - 2 coats of gold leaf rub 'n buff gave me the desired results.
3. You literally rub and then buff.
This mirror started out like this.
I rubbed (back and forth motion) silver on the entire mirror.
And then used an old t-shirt to buff (tiny circles).
4. Use it in a well ventilated area.
As compared to spray paint it really isn't super fume-y but having a fan going and/or an open window is best.
5. You can use it on practically everything!
The awesome thing about rub 'n buff is that 1. you don't need to prime first 2. you can use it on almost any surface - wood, metal, glass, etc.
* Edited to add - It does sometimes help to sand lightly before applying to achieve a nice, smooth finish. You can also sand lightly in between coats.
I've used it on sconces......
on outdoor chairs.....
and most recently this stenciled tray.
The only limitations are the colors available although you can find more options for colors online than you can in most craft stores.
So there is my 2 cents on rubbing 'n buffing. Hope this post helps any of you who have yet to try it or have felt like you weren't getting the results you desire. I honestly think that it takes a little practice to get the hang of using it and every project is different. In my experience it goes on wood differently than it goes on metal. If you've never used rub 'n buff before you may want to experiment on some smaller projects before diving into something bigger.
For all of you rub 'n buff pros out there, I'd love to hear your tips and tricks!
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