DIY: My Rub ‘N Buffed Frame for ‘Postmodernity’

DIY: My Rub ‘N Buffed Frame for ‘Postmodernity’

Some of you might remember waaaaay back in December that I was the lucky winner of Marcus Design’s giveaway, ‘Postmodernity’ by Nancy Marcus! If not, you can read about it here, or check out Marcus Design Inc on Etsy.

Since then I have bought 2 frames, a replacement piece of glass, Rub ‘N Buff, Pearl Ex Pigment powder, and Krylon Matte Finish spray! There is a story!

Here’s the first frame I bought.

Postmodernity Print by Nancy Marcus

But I decided the black overpowered this piece. So I prepped the frame to spray out in a metallic silver.

I had my make-shift spray booth all ready to go and was giving the frame a quick dusting before spraying, and it broke apart in my hands! No kidding.

I couldn’t find another one like it or a metallic frame to fit, so I ended up with this black replacement.

Black 16" x 20" Frame for DIY Makeover

It’s wider with more detail, and since I already knew black was too much, I got the frame prepped for spraying.

A light sanding…

Sanding Frame for Painting

And then the first coat of paint.

Spray Painting Frame for DIY Makeover

And a second coat to finish it off.

2 Coats of Metallic Spray Paint - DIY Frame Makeover

I decided I wanted to try Rub ‘N Buff on the frame to dull it down a bit, and give it a more aged look. But the Rub ‘N Buff was harder to get than I thought. The Victoria store was out, and so was the warehouse! I ordered what I needed, but in the end I should have tried ordering online for how long it took my order to arrive at the store!

I wanted something bronzy-gold because of the fleck colour in the background of the print. It was hard to tell the actual colour online, and in the end I ordered European Gold.

Rub 'N Buff - European Gold

I’ve never worked with Rub ‘N Buff before, so was surprised at how fast it dries!

Rub 'N Buff application on plastic frame

After I started buffing it, I kind of liked how it looked, but wasn’t convinced.

You can see below where I’ve buffed the frame.

Before & After Frame Makeover with Rub 'N Buff

I wanted a gold sheen, but wasn’t so sure about how much silver was showing through.

I decided to keep going with this look, but as I buffed away, some of the original black started to show through from the frame!

Black 16" x 20" Frame Makeover with Rub 'N Buff

And when the print was placed in the frame, the frame looked way too rustic. Also, the silver that was showing through now looked too blue for the print.

So I decided to go over the frame and dust it with Pearl Ex ‘Antique Gold’ pigment powder.

Pearl Ex Pigment - Antique Gold

This is a close-up before applying the pigment.

Once the pigment was dusted on, I used Krylon Matte Finish to seal it in place, and then let it dry.

Frame DIY Makeover - Pearl Ex Pigment over Rub 'N Buff

I did this in 3 layers before I finally got the frame to start taking on the look I had in mind.

Frame DIY Makeover - After - Pearl Ex Pigment over Rub 'N Buff

Can you see how there’s more of a gold shimmer now, and how much the black spots have been toned down?

I finally decided to leave it, place the print in the frame and live with it for a while before deciding whether or not to do anything further.

That’s when this happened!

Broken sheet of glass on hardwood floor

When I was carrying the glass over to the frame it flexed in my hands, cracked and broke! Definitely crappy glass! Trust me, the replacement glass is much thicker!

After living with the print in the frame for a few weeks, I decided it needed one more thing.

Annie Sloan Clear Wax finish.

See where the wax has been rubbed on to the right?

Annie Sloan Clear Wax over Rub 'N Buffed Frame

What a difference it makes in the finished look.

DIY Frame Makeover - After - Finished with Annie Sloan Clear Wax

And here’s a peek at where ‘Postmodernity’ has been hung in the office.

Postmodernity Print by Nancy Marcus in SZInteriors home office

The frame looks slightly darker in this photo than it actually is, and the gold highlights shimmer more than you see here.

But remember where we started?

Postmodernity Print by Nancy Marcus

I’ll admit, I would’ve liked another frame that had the clean lines of this one, but do you think the black frame is too heavy?

There’s more to come, styling to be done, I’m working on another Rub ‘N Buff project… and I’m trying to find some specific vintage pieces that will keep pulling the look together, but for now…

‘Postmodernity’ is finally in place! Thank you again, Nancy!

So tell me. Do you use Rub ‘N Buff? What’s your secret to success with its application?

I hope your week got off to a great start. Can you believe it’s already Wednesday?



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Photos: Sheila Zeller

17 thoughts on “DIY: My Rub ‘N Buffed Frame for ‘Postmodernity’”

  • It looks great now but what an adventure getting it there ;-/ I have never used Rub’N Buff so I can’t help you there. And you’re right the black was too harsh for the piece.

    • I think I need tips on how to work with Rub ‘N Buff. I tried so hard to use very little, but with this project and one I’m working on right now, it just wants to go on lumpy. Is that normal? The colour I really wanted to try was Olive Gold, but seriously couldn’t get that one, so European Gold was the next closest from what I could see. Have you ever tried that one?

    • I honestly wondered if I was ever going to get Nancy’s print hung up! It was crazy the issues with frames, starting with finding one in the right size in Duncan being almost impossible. I’m still not 100% sold on the thickness of this frame, but for now I get to enjoy looking at the print while I work away! And in the end I finally got to try out Rub ‘N Buff!!!

  • Yikes, your frame project turned out to be way more work that it should have been! But good on your for persevering and modifying your technique as you went along. I think the final result looks great, and it really works well with Nancy’s print.

    I haven’t used Rub & Buff, but from what I’ve read about it, it practically performs magic on old metal.

    • Somehow I find there’s usually a glitch of some sort, and in the past I would’ve been so exasperated, probably even given the whole thing up as a bad idea. But now that I blog it makes me persevere for an outcome. I always learn something, and one of the biggest lessons is knowing when to quit fussing over the littlest details. THAT is hard for me, but I’m getting better at it! I think I have a ways to go with the Rub ‘N Buff – I want to put it on too thick, so I’m still figuring that piece out…

  • Love the print! Don’t you hate it when glass breaks! I think you can’t go wrong with the frame if it works for you! I think I would have put it in a crome frame for some glam, but that s my own personal style at the moment!

    Love it Sheila!

    • Thank you, Jodi! You know, my first thought was a chrome frame, but I just couldn’t find one in the right size here in Duncan. I thought the silver metallic would work, but it got lost on the wall colour… I still feel like the frame is a little heavy for the print, so if the right one comes along I’ll change it out, but for now I’m just so happy to finally have the print framed and hung up. And I got to finally try Rub ‘N Buff!!!

  • Oh you have patience!!! It looks fantastic!!! That thin glass is awful and it cuts so easily. I have done the same thing and the next thing I know there’s blood all over the place and I didn’t even know I was cut. But to stand back and look at the hard work is always worth it.

  • Tips and tricks with rub and buff: lightly sand first if the surface isnt porous at all, use your finger to apply (believe it!), let each coat dry several hours before applying another. Let it dry for hours too a week before buffing. Do those things, you will love it!! I promise! Love that art and your frame! I think a hold frame would work too.

    • Hi Karin!
      Thank you SO much for the feedback. I have still not been successful in using Rub ‘N Buff to do what I hope, but I also have not had such clear steps to follow until yours. I never would have thought to leave the drying up to a week – and my impatient nature never would have gone there on its own! I really appreciate your comment – thank you again 🙂

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