5 Ways to Use Rub 'n Buff in Your Home
Interior
January 31, 2022

5 Ways to Use Rub 'n Buff in Your Home

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Looking for a way to update, refresh, or makeover items and accessories in your home, but don’t want to spend a lot of money? Rub ‘n Buff is an incredible tool to use to give things a whole new look on a budget.

If you’re on Instagram, I can almost guarantee that you have seen or heard about someone using Rub ‘n Buff. I came across the product a few years ago and have since used to on lots of different surfaces in our home, giving them a new look for just a few dollars and without the mess of painting.


In case you’re not familiar, according to theAMACOwebsite, Rub ‘n Buff is “formulated from Carnauba waxes, fine metallic powders, and select pigments for a finish no paint can duplicate. Rub onto clean, dry, or previously painted surfaces or on post-fired ceramics with a finger or soft cloth, then gently buff to a beautiful luster. More buff, more shine! Five times more product than other brands.”

Whatever it’s made of, I think Rub ‘n Buff is pure magic.

It is available in nine different colors, all of which come in a small tube, but don’t let that size fool you—a little goes a long way! But seriously…you will be able to get so many projects done with one tube and probably have some left over! The first project I ever did with Rub ‘n Buff was a mirror, and I barely even scratched the surface of using what was in the tube. It was so exciting to have a makeover tool in my arsenal that lasts, considering spray paint seems like it runs out very quickly.

The other thing that I really love about Rub ‘n Buff is that it can be done in place. When you paint something (specifically spray paint), you generally need to remove the item and take it outside to paint or, at the very least, tape it off to save yourself from getting on things around it. With rub ‘n Buff, though, you really can do it in place, which is so much easier!

I generally use a paint brush, a rag (Jason’s old cut-up t-shirts), or my finger to apply. What you use will sort of depend on what you’re using it on and whether there are nooks and crannies to get in.


Since I’ve used Rub ‘n Buff on several projects in our house, including fixtures, thrift store décor, and newer pieces that I want to customize, I thought it would be fun to show you how many ways you can use it too!

This was the first project I tried Rub ‘n Buff on and ever since, I’ve been hooked! I am still holding out hope for the Anthropologie Gleaming Primrose Mirror, but until then, I wanted something with a similar golden look. I could have spray painted, but to me, spray paint is very one dimensional and just doesn’t give the antiqued look that I wanted.I thrifted a mirror at Goodwill that had lines that reminded me of the Anthropologie mirror, plus it was only $5, so I was happier with that price than the $1600 that the real deal costs. The mirror isn’t a perfect dupe, but the Rub ‘n Buff made it so much closer to what I wanted and all on a budget!Find all the details for this project HERE.

When I redid our guest bathroom, it was all very surface things that I changed. Peel and stick tile, paint on the vanity, new faucet, and I wanted to give the toilet paper holder a makeover too! I could have replaced it, but that would have meant having to patch and paint the wall. That’s not hard to do, but we have enough texture on the walls that it just never looks right when I do it. I have painted them before, but wanted something that looked a little better, so I decided to try Rub ‘n Buff on it.

The only hesitation I had on doing this is that when you use Rub ‘n Buff on items that are touched a lot, it doesruboff. The risk was worth it for me, but honestly, it hasn’t been that bad. A bit of it has come off, but I can always go back over it again with little to no effort, especially since I always have a tube of the magic wax on hand!

Our basement family room has been pretty much untouched since we moved in. It’s a finished space, but other than that, all we’ve done down there is put some random furniture that we moved from our old house, but didn’t have a spot for, here on the main level. It’s time to do something with the space, so I’ve been focusing some time and energy down there lately. I’m attempting to makeover the room without spending a lot of money, so I’m using things we have already and giving them a new look.

One of the items is an arc floor lamp we’ve had for years. It was a shiny chrome with a faux marble base. I actually love the lamp itself but didn’t love the finish anymore. I decided to use Rub ‘n Buff to give it a new look. Here’s where you need to learn from me… Rub ‘n Buff doesn’t like to stick to shiny metal, but I didn’t act on that knowledge. I should have sanded the lamp a bit or done a base coat of paint before applying the Rub ‘n Buff. Instead, though, I just jumped right in. The Rub ‘n Buff definitely didn’t stick as well as it normally does and took longer to apply. The result is still better than the shiny chrome, but next time, I’ll do the right prep work!

I’ve switched out most of the light fixtures in our house, except for the ceiling fans and lights in our bathrooms. Other than two of the bedrooms, the fans and fixtures are high quality, plus they work fine. Just because something doesn’t look good, doesn’t mean that it must be replaced—often there are other options.

For both the ceiling fan in our bedroom and the light fixture in our guest bathroom, I used Rub ‘n Buff to give them a whole new look. All it took was some elbow grease and standing with my hands over my head for extended periods of time. I still can’t get over how well this product works and how it can change the way things in our home look. I love having the option to update expensive items like ceiling fans and light fixtures without spending money on something new or having to take them down to paint.

There really isn’t a limit to what you can give a makeover to with Rub ‘n Buff, including home decor. Basically, anything can benefit from a coat of the magical wax, even if it’s just a few spots here and there, adding some antiqued character. One of the pieces I updated recently was a 1980’s cloche with dried flowers and a butterfly underneath. The base is wood and had a dark stain on it.

I know a lot of people now would remove the stain to make the base raw wood, but that’s not really my style. Rub ‘n Buff to the rescue! I could have painted the base, but I didn’t want it to take away from the vintage style of the piece, so I added a golden layer of Rub ‘n Buff instead. It turned out perfectly! Now my $1 thrift store find looks like something from Anthropologie.


It has been a lot of fun looking back on these projects! It makes me want to stock up on my favorite colors of Rub ‘n Buff and makeover our whole house! The possibilities are endless for what you can do with this stuff.

Have you used Rub ‘n Buff before? If you haven’t, why wait! I will say, that if you’re new to using it, maybe test it out on something that you don’t care about. This way, you can see how it works, how it applies, and what colors you want to use, before you put it on something important. As far as removing Rub ‘n Buff, I haven’t found a good way to get it off an item…so be sure it’s right before you commit.

Want more inspiration for making changes to your home? Check out my post for Five Ways to Update Your Kitchen on a Budget!


If you’ve used Rub ‘n Buff in your home, or decide to try it out, I would love to see your projects! Share what you’ve been working on in your Instagram stories and tag me! You can find me on Instagram at @hilaryprall.

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