How To Use Rub N Buff On Metal to Make it Shiny Again

Have you ever wanted to give your metal objects a refreshed appearance or create the look of shiny metal? Well, now you can with the help of Rub N Buff, a popular tried-and-tested waxy substance.

Learn how to use Rub N Buff on metal by reading this article now. 

What is Rub N Buff?

Rub N Buff or RNB is a simple-to-use metallic wax that gives metal a buffered look. This waxy substance sticks to the surface of the object and is fairly durable. When it wears away, simply reapply without hassle.

RNB is formulated from carnauba wax, pigments, and fine metallic powders. DIYers, crafters, and designers often use this substance to create a metallic shine on tarnished objects like decorative candle holders and other antique pieces. In fact, RNB is widely available online and in hobby stores.

What makes this product special is its range of 12 colors. You can transform any piece of hardware, furniture, or decorative item to the color and metallic finish of your choice. The beauty of this product is that it can be used on almost any surface, such as glass, plastic, wood, ceramics, and painted surfaces. It is also ideal for use on metal items with ornate detailing.

From doorknobs and wardrobe handles to anything with a carved design, Rub N Buff will make the item look shiny as though you just bought it new.

RNB is extremely durable. Once it has dried, you can enjoy the buffered item for years. After application, most DIYers tend to use a colorless acrylic-based sealant for added protection. However, if you take care of your item and avoid exposing it to humidity, the buffered piece shouldn’t fade or wear away. In case there are signs of wear, just apply a fresh coat to achieve a clean and new appearance.

Although Rub N Buff is considered to be long-lasting, it is not considered to be permanent. The removal process does take quite a lot of physical effort not to mention the amount of time required to do the task. If you accidentally spill the substance on your clothing or carpet, don’t panic as all you need is some dishwasher soap to remove the product.

Now that you’ve learned more about Rub N Buff, let’s explain how to apply this substance to metal.

How to Use Rub N Buff on Metal

Before you begin applying RNB to any metal surface, make sure the item is free of dirt or oil. Clean the surface with some rubbing alcohol before lightly sanding the metal surface. This will ensure the best adhesion.

Now you’re ready to choose your color. Our personal favorite is antique white and silver leaf. There are in total 12 colors to select from. These are:

  • Antique gold
  • Gold leaf
  • Grecian gold
  • Autumn gold
  • European gold
  • Antique white
  • Pewter
  • Silver leaf
  • Ruby
  • Ebony
  • Patina
  • Spanish copper

Once you’ve decided on the color you want to buff your metal item, you’re ready to move on to the next step. Using your finger, apply the substance onto the metal surface. If you don’t feel comfortable using your finger to apply the wax paste, cover your finger with a soft cloth or wear latex gloves and squeeze the paste onto the gloved finger. Since the wax paste may stain your finger, we recommend you either wear gloves or wash your hands with mineral spirit or dishwashing soap.

Use your finger to gently apply the wax paste in a circular rubbing fashion on the metal item. Use a soft cloth to buff more shine in circular motions. To achieve the desired color, you may need to apply multiple layers of the paste.

Drying Time

Since RNB is mainly a wax and pigment powder mixture, it tends to dry as quickly as a minute or two after application. It is always best to start with a small amount and add more as you go if necessary. Make sure you apply thin circular layers as a little goes a long way with this product.

Once applied, wait for 2 minutes before checking to see whether the finish is as thick as you like it to be. If not, apply another coat and allow at least half an hour for the paste to dry before buffing the surface with a soft cloth.

To clean any accidental spills, just wipe the metal surface using a clean cloth. Make sure you correct the spills immediately before the paste dries. Otherwise, you’ll have to use a paint thinner to wipe it off.

If you’re still unsure how to use this waxy substance on metal, take a look at this video demo showing how to use Rub N Buff on metal objects:

What Are the Uses of Rub N Buff?

Rub N Buff has many uses for upgrading or renewing hardware. The items or surfaces you can alter using this product include:

  • Light fixtures
  • Curtain rods
  • Mirror frames
  • Door lock, handles, and hinges
  • Faucets
  • Wardrobe handles
  • Vases
  • Metal furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Flower pots
  • And much more!

Can Rub N Buff be Used Over Paint? 

Yes. This unique wax and pigment blend can be applied on any dry, clean, and painted surface to create a shiny, metallic finish.

Can You Paint Over Rub N Buff?

Yes, it will. This waxy paste is permanent with long-staying power. It will work not just on any metal surface, but also on ceramic, glass, wood, brass, and many more. If your metal item has been scratched with another hard surface, it can easily get renewed using Rub N Buff. For even better adhesion, use a sanding block to scuff up the surface.

Does Rub N Buff Work on Any Metal Surface?

Yes, you can paint over RNB. Use either traditional paint or spray paint. Make sure you lightly sand the surface with an abrasive block so that the paint adheres better after applying the Rub N Buff paste. Wait for at least 45 minutes for the paste to dry before painting over it. This will give the surface a smooth finish.