So I know most DIY’ers have their own method for creating that oil rubbed bronze look, and I think I’ve tried most of them! Our last house was all brushed nickel, so all my decorations were also brushed nickel. This house had oil rubbed bronze door knobs, lights, etc. Which meant with the exception of my dining room which had a light that had some silver accents, none of my decorations matched. What’s a girl to do? Paint of course! I liked my stuff and wasn’t about to chuck it all, as it was I needed more stuff just to fill the space!
|Detail of my faucet|
I think I tried it all. Spray paint, metallic decorative paint, glazes, and of course… Rub’nBuff. Rub’nBuff is what turned a lot of my things that weren’t silver when I bought them into silver in my last house. My problem was that even the oil rubbed bronze spray paint didn’t look as real as something that came that way, like my faucets for instance. I wanted the gradations although they are slight, and the light to dark. So I kept trying, and finally came up with what I think is a pretty darn good imitation of oil-rubbed bronze.
I started by spray painting the item gloss black. This helps with the overall sheen even when you cover it with the next coat. Then I took a sponge brush, dipped it in a tiny bit of Turpenoid. If you aren’t familiar with Turpenoid, it’s a low odor form of Turpentine (notice I didn’t say no odor). Turpentine also works for this. You want the brush wet but not drippy wet. Then a dab of Spanish Copper Rub’nBuff on the sponge brush. This thins out the Rub’nBuff so much that it totally changes the consistency. It goes on like an extremely thin paint. And the way it looks on is so much richer because you actually have those light and dark gradations like the faucet picture above. And that tiny tube of Rub’nBuff will last forever. I did so much with it, I even painted it on some drywall, and still had most of a tube left.
If you’ve worked with Rub’nBuff before, you may be expecting it to instantly dry. The turpenoid slows down this process. The good news is it gives you more working time and changes the consistency to a paint so you don’t have to use your finger. The bad news is that you need to let it dry.
My candlesticks, picture frames, and tub surround all held up fine to wear and tear once they were dry. But if you are doing this finish on something high use, I recommend a clear coat in gloss or semi-gloss. You want to keep the shine. It’s part of what makes it a good imitation of the real thing.