Thursday, September 6, 2012

Faux metal (Goodwill makeover)

Hello there! I’m back today with a super easy Goodwill project that almost never happened. ;) Last year I found a cute terrarium for only $5 at Goodwill, but it sat in my storage room all this time because it was just kinda…well, bland.

I love white and bright as much as the next person but this one was just there and not doing much for me:

white terrarium

I wasn’t even going to keep it -- I had it in my car to take to consignment shop a couple weeks ago, but I just couldn't bear to let go of it. It’s hard to find a large decorative piece like this (that has so many possible uses) for so cheap!

So like most of my projects, after a year the answer finally came to me. ;) I wanted to give it a look of a metal terrarium, something like this:

(source)

Mine doesn’t have glass, but that gives you an idea of what was in my head. I grabbed my brushed nickel spray paint and gave it a few coats. It took a few tries to get all of the edges and sides, but I wasn’t worried about great coverage because I was using it more like a primer.

Even though the nickel paint is fairly matte already, I knew it would still be too shiny for the look I was going for, so I pulled out the good old Rub ‘n Buff in Pewter:

rub n buff pewter

This stuff is pretty amazing – a little goes a VERY long way. And they come in a ton of different finishes. (I even tried turquoise on this at first and it was beautiful but not the look I wanted.)

You just put a little on your finger (or you can use a soft cloth) and then rub it on:

how to use rub and buff

Side note -- why do my fingers look so old??

Anyway, just rub it in till you get the look you want. I did most of the sides of this terrarium and barely made a dent in my tube. After it’s dry you can buff it with a cloth, but I didn’t do that on this one.

I couldn’t get a good shot of the difference it makes, but the pewter part is at the top of this pic, the nickel is at the bottom:

It just gave it even more of a matte look, like an older metal piece. Just what I wanted!:

faux metal with rub and buff

There were parts where I didn't rub it in as well on purpose, just to give it some texture and movement.

I feel like it has LIFE to it now:

faux metal terrarium

Eventually I want to get some smaller plants and find a few older looking terra cotta pots to line up inside, but I was trying to use what I had on hand to fill it for now:

faux metal look

I really love how it turned out! Not a bad little makeover for FREE! Well, $5 a year ago…so that counts as free now, right? I say it does.

It took longer to spray paint this thing than it did to add the Rub ‘n Buff. It’s hard to go wrong with this stuff – I love how you can add some depth and interest to ordinary items with it. I’ve used it for years now but never this color – I’m now scoping out the house for something I can use the turquoise color on. ;)

Have you used this paint? I love seeing how people use this stuff -- Carmel over at Our Fifth House uses it often and gives some great how-to tips here.

39 comments:

  1. I've always wanted to try rub n buff but never got around to it. I love this project. Very cute! Oh, and I believe a project is deemed "free" if it's been in your house at least six months so you're good!

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  2. Rub N Buff rocks. I just used some on an old mirror.

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  3. hey, just throwing in my two cents worth, yours is missing the little medal attachments, I was thinking that garden stores or a building store sells the temporary fencing, and it sort of reminds me of that, so I was thinking, take wire fencing spray paint it gray and attach to in side. it would look the same?
    http://www.world-trades.com/photo/699/7361/garden-fence-91.jpg

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  4. I have seen Rub & Buff around for years, and never used it because I am afraid it will be constantly comming off if you brush against it. Does it dry thoroughly? If you did it on a doorknob or something, would it come off on your hand or your clothes? What about if you are too enthusiastic when you dust? Or if you used a spray cleaner?

    Let me know! I love the look!

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  5. what if you misspell "coming" and look like a total doofus on your first comment on a blog you just discovered and really like? You got anything for that? *sigh*

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  6. For a second there I thought you were going to spray it with ORB paint. This turned out great! I have never tried Rub'n'Buff either but keep thinking I need to.

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  7. Cute project. I wonder if this would deter cats from chewing on my plants? (ha) Your hands don't look any older than mine. I blame mine on washing dishes and doing projects without gloves.

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  8. How GREAT is that terrarium! I've been looking for something similar (Or looking for a shape that would be easy-ish to recreate using 1x1s and chicken wire) for a while now to use as a birdcage for our cockatiel--obviously I wouldn't get to paint it since he likes to chew stuff, but I think the look would be so fun! I love the inspiration photo you posted, and the way yours turned out! Nice job :)

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  9. wonder if the rub and buff could be used on a door knob?.....maybe a door that doesn't get much opening and closing??....can't wait to tryi it!!

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  10. *just saw that Deb asked the same thing....although I was so distracted by the misspelled "coming"...that I hardly noticed the door knob part.....tee hee!

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  11. Very cute! I have never used rub n buff... lately I have seen it pop up on quite a few projects. Will have to give it a try.
    Cheers, Gee

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  12. I've always wanted to try Rub n Buff but haven't yet. Thanks for the tips!

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  13. Love this project! I am a huge fan of spray painting but never heard of the pewter paint...will have to try. Every time I do a tutorial, I am amazed by how old my 41 year old fingers look! LOL!
    THanks for sharing!

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  14. What a great idea! Love the depth that the R&B gives rather than a flat look from just spray paint. I love R&B too! Recently used it to give the bottom of my coffee table legs a look like brass. And, it's out right now waiting to touch up a dull frame! Here's my coffee table-
    http://dimplesandtangles.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-redo-that-didnt-happen-new-coffee.html

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  15. Looks wonderful. Love the pewter look. :)

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  16. Your planter came out so nicely!! I love the little bit of sparkle the new color gives it. Rub 'n Buff is one my favorites!

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  17. I love Rub 'n' Buff--it's such great stuff, and you're right: a little DOES go a long way!!

    Some aged terra cotta pots would look very cute in your terrarium. I came up with an easy way to make your own "aged" pots in case you'd like to see--here's the post: http://www.impartinggrace.com/2010/08/inspired-by-pottery-barn.html

    Gosh, I feel like leaving you that link violates every kind of "rule" for blogging etiquette--but I've known you a long time, so maybe it's okay for me to give you a link to my blog? I hope so! :)

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  18. Love that stuff. It transforms anything. Love how yours turned out. Hugs, Marty

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  19. I love it!! Super cute in it's new color! And looks great on your new shelves...I"m dying to see the rest of them!! :)

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  20. it looks so amazing !!!! Love it :) will be trying this rub and buff thingy :)

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  21. I LOVE rub n buff, I have used it for years! I love how yours turned out but I think you should add a cute little handle like the inspiration.

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  22. a great makeover!
    I'll be happy if you check out my blog too=)

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  23. Thanks for the rub and buff tutorial, I'm getting bolder with every step you wonderful bloggers take.

    (I actually preferred the white finish but I have this annoying, non objective way of visualizing other people's stuff in my house!).

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  24. Love it, but not happy to see books subjected to that kind of water damage. Have you tried finding those "candle stands" at yard sales? They are 4" round "dishes" with little feet that raise them off the tabletop, perfect for plants and prettier than books. Sue

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  25. I love how it turned out. I've never used rub & buff, not sure if I can get it up here, but I'll have to keep an eye out for it. (and your fingers don't look old!) Will you be showing the results when you redo it with the small pots? Would love to see it.
    Debbie :)

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  26. It totally counts as free!! That $5 was so last year. :)

    Great update!

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  27. So very caute! As soon as I saw your terrarium, I remembered seeing an article years ago on how to age your own terra cotta pots. Thanks to Richella for giving us the link to that! How perfect old mossy potted plants would look in your terrarium - like they had been there for years. Lovely!

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  28. I love this. I just picked up an inexpensive wooden bird cage that looks very similar. I'm also a huge fan of the Rub n Buff and I totally agree with you that the camera adds 20 years to our fingers:)

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  29. I used this stuff to redo my hinges! Great to know I could use it on wood.....hmmmmmm.....my brains a workin!

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  30. Anon, the books don't get water damage. :) I've had this planter for years and it has never leaked.

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  33. The frame at first looks like it's made of wood! Nice one..

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  34. Sarah, I love how it turned out. So glad you kept it! :)

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  35. Oh my gosh - I think my eyes just popped out of my head - thanks for the mention! I've been out of the loop the last few days because my allergies are KILLING me- anywho - just now saw this. Love this little makeover - and I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one that buys things at GW and takes a year to do something with them ;)

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  36. How about adding a metal handle or a stepol?(sp)

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  37. Thanks from AMACO for the Rub 'n Buff project! Love how your terrarium turned out and we appreciate the shout out. I'll post this on our Facebook page and link back to your blog so our followers can read all about it.

    We're in Indy - stop by our office and I'll give you some other colors to try.

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I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!