Rub 'N Buff Chandelier Makeover

I haven't been able to spend as much time as I wanted gussying up the dining room for the #letsroomtogether challenge because life has needed me elsewhere these past few weeks but I did get a couple of hours last week to knock out a fun project I've had planned for months.  The fun part - tackling this project meant I could finally try a new thing - Rub 'n Buff!  I bought my tube at Michael's with a 30% off coupon but you can find it on at most craft and sewing stores. 

Have you ever heard of it/used it?  I've read lots of posts where this stuff was the main character but I've never had anything to try it on...until last week.  And let me tell you, it's kind of amazing.  There are certain things I'll probably choose to use it on instead of my usual spray paint going forward.   

This time around?  It was our dining room chandelier.  Here's what that chandelier looked like the day we closed on this house:

I didn't have the foresight to take a better close-up way back then but here's a blurry, digital zoom:

You get the point, blurry or not.  Out.  Dated.

I shared something about the dining room many moons ago on Insta and a friend (Marina!  Check out her gorgeous yarn!) told me I could get rid of that big 'ole ball on the bottom by just unscrewing that ring.  Now, I've tweaked lots of lamps and light fixtures in the past so how this golden nugget of knowledge passed me up?  No clue.

But, thanks to her genius tip, off came that brass globe within minutes of her telling me.

Unfortunately but really not that unfortunately because things were already looking better, that threaded rod was holding on the another piece I still needed at the bottom of the chandelier so, for the time being, I just taped it up so that it covered up all wires and didn't get lost.  

I'd deal with the tape situation later (months later).  I was just happy to have a more modern looking chandelier.

Circling back to last week though, I finally had a few moments (ok, a whole hour) to update this thing even more.  First, I grabbed some super glue and glued a button to the hole in the (new) bottom of the chandelier where that threaded rod had once poked through...I'll show you a picture of that later.  Then I glued that whole bottom piece to the rest of the light fixture, ditching the tape look.  It was just a matter of lining the edge of the whole piece with glue, sticking it on, and then adding some temporary tape to hold it there.

After a thorough cleaning - first a vacuum then a careful wipe down with a damp cloth - I started painting on the Rub 'n Buff.  The process I used is pretty straight forward.  First, I squeezed a small amount onto my paint brush (a small, stiff brush).  Then I just painted on the Rub 'n Buff, working from the top of the chandelier down to the bottom.  I made sure to brush along with the existing grain (not sure if that's the right word?) of the metal.   

I know it's called "rub and buff", meaning you can rub it on with a cloth or your finger and then buff it off, but I didn't feel like that method covered up the old brass enough.  Depending on the look you're going for in the end though, I would think both methods work.  Once the Rub 'n Buff was dry (or at least mostly dry from what I could tell about 30 minutes later), I "buffed" it/gently rubbed it with a dry cloth.  Painting it on left some small granules and so buffing removed those and smoothed the whole finish.

The chandelier definitely doesn't have that brass look anymore, even the good brass look that's in these days, but has more of a gold patina that's I'm totally ok with.  It's so pretty.   

Here's what the underside looks like:

Covering up the hole in the bottom is that button I mentioned earlier.  You'd never know it was a button and you'd really never know that big brass ball ever existed on this thing.

Yes, I could have spray painted this thing gold but that would've required removing the whole light fixture so I could paint it outside.  This was just so easy and the finish is so durable.  Plus, a little goes a long way.  I've still got 3/4 of the tube to use on other things.  I didn't have to prime before I painted and scratching it doesn't do a thing.  I've had pretty good luck with spray paint not scratching but I definitely baby anything that's been recently spray painted.   This though, I feel like could be kid-handled and that gold wouldn't go anywhere.  It's really impressive.  Ok...I'll stop typing and show you what it looks like now:

After painting the chandelier, I went ahead and painted those socket covers with Rub 'n Buff also (they're the tubes that cover the long electrical base under the light bulbs).  I painted the socket covers gold on our breakfast nook chandelier a few weeks ago too and I feel like it modernized the fixture even more so why not do the same here?  New LED bulbs were the finishing touch and I had Anthony install this dimmer in here so we could have an added option of ambience.

As far as the rest of the room, we replaced the hutch we've had forever and ever with a lower sideboard-type thing but we're still on the fence about keeping it in here.  After a deep cleaning this week, that's it for now in the dining room.  I'm dreaming of adding more moulding on the walls and maybe even a totally different color but I can't make any concrete decisions now and we've run out of time so...

stay tuned - more will come in here and we start a new room next week.  It'll be fun.  Always is.  :)

Have a great weekend!

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  1. Looks great and what an easy update!

    1. Thanks! Easy is right! Those are my favorite. ;)