How to give brass an aged patina

Call it luck, call it fate, call it whatever you like…

Do you ever have those moments where you happen to find the exact thing you are looking for while out shopping?  If you have, then good for you!  I, on the other hand, rarely find what I am looking for.  Whatever it is that I want is no where to be found!

Two weeks ago, on a Saturday, I decided to pay a visit to my local Antique Mall.  I had my heart set on finding a world globe that day.  Yes, I am a little late to the “globe decor party”!  Better late then never, I say!  I didn’t want just any globe though.  I set my sights quite high.  It had to have an antique look to it and it had to be pretty enough to be out on display; either on my desk or on the top of my bookcase. No plastic, tacky globe for me.

I did my usual loop of the store.  I found one globe but it was plastic.  Strike one.  I was just about to leave and saw another globe behind the sales counter.  Bummer!  It was on hold for a customer.  Strike two.  That’s ok, it was a little too big anyway.  Then the stars must have aligned for me when I had decided to do one more pass of the last aisle.  What did I see in one of the booths at the bottom of a shelf tucked behind some wicker baskets?  You guessed it!  The perfect globe for me!

Well, it was almost the perfect globe for me.  I loved that the base was brass, it was also the exact size that I had wanted, the color of the globe was antique looking and it was in great shape with only a few minor scuff marks.  And the best part of all… it was only $20.00!  What a steal for sure!

So what was the problem then? I just wasn’t loving the color of the brass.  It was way too shiny and it made the globe look so cheap.  I wanted it to look like an antique that had been sitting around in someone’s study for a long time collecting dust.  I wanted its finish to look almost like an old penny.

After bringing it home and giving it a good cleaning, I contemplated about what I would use to get the look I was going for.  Why not use my favorite Rub n’ Buff in Spanish Copper?




Have you ever used Rub n’ Buff before?  If you haven’t you are missing out!  This stuff is amazing!



Amaco’s Spanish Copper Rub n’ Buff


You can even tell by my sad looking tube of Spanish Copper above that it has been well used.




You know the one important thing that I forgot to do when working on my globe? I forgot to take a before photo showing its shiny brass finish. Oops!  You can still see a little bit of its former self near the left arrow above.  Don’t you just love it now that it has received a little makeover with Rub n’ Buff?




Spanish Copper gave my globe a gorgeous aged patina.  It only took about five minutes of my time to achieve this new look. Time well spent for sure!



If you haven’t had a chance to try out Rub n’ Buff yet, it is very easy and straight-forward to use.  You just do what its name implies… You rub and then you buff. That’s pretty much it!  I made a set of tips for those of you that are interested.  In case you think you might mess this up somehow.  Believe me, you won’t.  It is that easy!




Two things that  I forgot to add to my list above was to make sure to give your piece a good cleaning before applying the Rub n’ Buff just to make sure all of the grimy spots have been taken care of. Also, a little bit goes a long way with this stuff. You need only to use it sparingly.

Finally, to protect your finish you may want to consider adding a coat of wax over top or if you are applying to something that will be getting a fair amount of use and handling, you will want to seal your finish with a few coats of a protective topcoat.




I just love my globe now!




I also picked up this little wooden cutie that Saturday as well. I was thinking about painting it white or cream but I think I may leave it just the way it is. What do you think?




It must have taken someone a lot of time to carve this.




I hope I have inspired you to give Rub n’ Buff a try sometime. Maybe you have some bright, outdated brass candlesticks, light fixtures, picture frames or ornate mirrors that could use a little bit of Rub n’ Buff.

So far my absolute favorite color out of the 16 colors Amaco offers is Spanish Copper. I also used it to give some interest to the hardware for my thrifty dresser transformation HERE. Other colors of Rub n’ Buff that I have collected are the antique white, the autumn gold and the silver leaf. I have used them to give some patina to many items in my home.


Until next time,




Disclosure: All of the thoughts and ideas expressed in this post about Rub n’ Buff are 100% my own and are of my honest opinion. I have not been asked to give my opinion on this product nor have I been compensated in any way.



Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials and Tips Party ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ House of Hepworths – Hooking Up with HoH ~ Days of Chalk and Chocolate – Link Party ~ At The Picket Fence – Inspiration Friday ~ Somewhat Simple – Blog Link Party ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ Redoux Interiors – Link Party #65 ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ What About.co – Show Off Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ Chic on Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ It’s a HodgePodge Life – It’s a HodgePodge Friday ~ Beneath My Heart – Best DIY Projects of July Linky Party ~



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4 pings

  1. Carolyn

    Gorgeous globe! I would leave your box as is for now. It complements the globe nicely. If you don’t like it down the road you can always paint it. Can you buy rub’n'buff at home depot, home hardware or is it more of a craft store item that you’d find at michaels? I can think of so many applications around my house starting with my dining room chandelier. Goodbye ’80′s look! Thanks for the tip Carrie.

    1. Carrie

      Hi Carolyn,
      Nice to see you again! You are so right. I think I should leave my little box as is for now. Here in Canada I have only been able to find Rub n’ Buff at one of our local artist supply stores. I believe in the US you can get it at Michaels. Maybe a place like Hobby Lobby has it if you have one of those stores where you are. I know you can also purchase it online at places like Amazon. I bet your dining room chandelier will look wonderful when you are all done with it. Rub n’ Buff is great stuff. I love that it is so easy to use. Just make sure you use it outside if you are like me and are sensitive to fumes.
      Have a great night.

  2. Becky

    Thanks for using AMACO’s Rub ‘n Buff. Your globe looks great! We don’t often see Spanish Copper used in projects. I’d love to post this on our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/browse/admined_pages/?id=100000119379241#!/RubnBuffMetallicFinishes) if that’s ok.

    1. Carrie

      Hi Becky,
      Definitely! I would be honored to have you share my post on your Facebook page. Thanks so much! I am so excited that you stopped by my little blog too. Rub n’ Buff is wonderful! I have been able to transform so many things in my home that otherwise might have went to Goodwill or in the trash into something beautiful.
      Take care,

  3. jenny

    Your globe is perfection! That color is exactly what it should be! I love it and it will be a conversation piece for sure! And this is so timely to me since I just bought my first tube of Rub-n-Buff today! I have a metal table that is a tad too yellow and I want it more gold. I’m so grateful for your list of tips! Thanks!

    1. Carrie

      Thank you Jenny for stopping by and for your wonderful comments. Good luck with your metal table. It will look amazing when you are all done I am sure.
      Take care,

  4. Hani

    Love this. You always introduce great products! Thanks for linking up at Friday Fun Party. Have a nice weekend.

    1. Carrie

      Hani, thanks so much. I hope you have a great weekend as well.

  5. Niki

    I just had to stop (from chic on a shoestring)and say that I have the same exact globe stand, but my brass one already has a nice dark patina. I just thought I had to share. I love your patina and completely agree about shiny brass.

    1. Carrie

      Hi Niki,

      Thanks for stopping by to let me know about your globe. You are so lucky that it was already aged for you. My globe was just too bright a finish to leave it as is but I totally love it after I used the Rub n’ Buff on it. Much improved!
      Have a great evening.

  6. Nicole@Show Off Friday Blog Hop

    It looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing on Show Off Friday. Please come and check out my new Perpetual Parades! Have a great week!

    1. Carrie

      Thanks so much for your kind comments Nicole and for stopping by. It’s nice to see you again!

  7. Jo @ To a Pretty Life

    What a beautiful finish! I would love to jump on the globe bandwagon (and I know my husband wants one too). I’ve even looked at the collection for sale at Indigo. But really, we have no where to put a full-sized one, and I haven’t had any luck finding a small one I really like. Yours looks perfect with it’s newly-antiqued base!

    1. Carrie

      Thanks Jo! How have you been? Are you enjoying your summer with all of the rain and now the mosquitoes? My globe is a medium sized one so it is not too big. I usually have it up on top of my book cabinet and it looks pretty good up there. Once I re-do my office it will have a spot in there. If you are ever looking for one, I found mine at the antique mall on gateway blvd. Not the mall on the left if you are heading towards downtown, but the mall on the right. You never know, they may get some new ones in and they will most likely be a lot cheaper than Indigo.
      I hope you enjoy your long weekend. We are off to Heritage Days this weekend for some tasty food.
      Take care,

  8. Tammy

    This looks great! I have some brass pieces that I would love to do this too! Thanks for sharing! Now following

    1. Carrie

      Thanks for following Tammy and for stopping by. It’s nice to meet you!

  9. Karen

    Great tips, and your projects turned out gorgeous, thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Carrie

      Thanks Karen! I’m so happy you stopped by. :)

  10. Traci

    Love it, Carrie! Thanks for linking it up to my monthly party. I will be featuring it in today’s post.

    1. Carrie

      Thank you Traci! I am so happy that you chose to feature my brass globe redo. Also, thanks so much for stopping by to let me know the amazing news.

  11. Judith Ann from Cape Cod

    Had to comment, because I, too, found a fabulous globe three weeks ago — and mine was also $20.00! Rub ‘n Buff is one of my favorite products, but I didn’t need it this time. On the other hand, I love your idea of added a wax coat, and might do that. My globe is on a stand, so I’m glad it didn’t need rnb; I would have used up the entire tube, I think…

    1. Carrie

      Hi Judith Ann,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Lucky you to find a globe that was already exactly the way you wanted it. I bet your globe is gorgeous on a stand. I would have liked to found one like that too because it really makes a statement.
      Take care,

  12. Erin @ The Savvy Seeker

    Is this something you can pick up at any hardware store?

    1. Carrie

      Hi Erin,
      I found mine at my local artist supply store. If you live in the US you could try Michaels craft store or a Hobby Lobby. Also, it can be ordered off of Amazon.com if you don’t mind waiting for it to be shipped to you.

  13. Mrs. Handyverger

    The globe is gorgeous with its new finish! I love it. :) I, too, am a RnB addict. :)

    1. Carrie

      Thank you Mrs. Handyverger!

  14. Stephie83

    Hi, your globe inspired me to work on some round brass mirrors… I know you say it’s east but I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong- I’m rubbing the Spanish copper on with a finger but where I rub back and forth it lifts up the wax from underneath leaving the shiny brass poking through- is it meant to go in evenly and smoothly? I can’t seem to stop it glooping up in places and bare in others- ever experienced this?!

  15. Jana Hemmerly-Brown

    i can’t believe i didn’t know about rub n buff before! thank you!!!
    what kind of topcoat would you recommend on brassy hardware??

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