Monday, March 14, 2011

A simple before and after

Since moving into our house 4.5 years ago we've diligently worked to update the original 80's components, e.g. brass fixtures, dated trim, bathroom vanities, &c. The fireplace has now had a major overhaul, with this little before/after being the final(?) project. My darling husband made the mantel and re-tiled about two years ago, but one thing was still bugging me.

I recently used a cheap and amazing product called Rub 'n Buff which I learned about from themoretalentedthanIcouldwishtobe Janell at Isabella & Max Rooms, to transform the brass on our fireplace doors to look like a satin nickel finish to match the hardware in the rest of the house.


Satin nickel-ish.

What do you think? I like the after better, although there are a few things I would do differently:

The Rub 'n Buff is a wax, so I applied it in a circular fashion similar to how one would wax a car. Not the best idea. Up close, the circular marks are very visible. I thought it would soften up in appearance when I buffed it but it didn't. I may try to apply another coat and brush it to give it a nicer finish.

Also, I was going to use a bronzy finish to be a little more subtle next to the black but all the art store had was brass, black or silver, so I opted for silver. I'm wondering how the black would look. Thoughts?

While we're at it, what should I do with my mantle decor? The empty vase is so... purposeless.

Oh, and the last thing I would do differently would be to have mineral spirits available to clean my hands. I looked liked I could have been an extra in Avatar, if they had silver creatures in it (did they? I don't know, never saw it.)

Overall I'm happy that the brass gone, er hidden, and all I'm out is a half an hour of naptime and $3.79 for the Rub 'n Buff from Blick Art Supplies!


  1. Okay hear me out... what if you wiped the black rub 'n buff over the nickel and then quickly wiped away for a dark/distressed look? I'll keep my eye out for bronze rub 'n buff. Also, is this stuff heat resistant? I want to paint my brass stuff too and the only thing out there is this TERRIBLE HIGH VOC paint/spray??

    Fill the vase with hydrangeas (they actually have fantastic fake ones at Pat Catans & Walmart. Would look soft against woodwork & artwork.

    ps... I miss you!

  2. I just discussed that option with the hubby. I think I'll give it a go! I'm not entirely sure of the heat resistance, but I feel confident for as much as our fireplace is used, it will be fine. :) Do NOT spray paint in your house. The overspray travels farther than you would think!