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Updating Old Mercury Glass Ornaments with Rub ‘n Buff

I love that sometimes what’s old can be new again! For years I bought mercury glass ornaments for a silvery, sparkly tree to the point where it was an obsession. I loved their old world, vintage look. I actually haven’t used them on my tree for a few years because they felt kind of old. I decide to give them a new look for this year’s golden tree theme by updating old mercury glass ornaments with Rub ‘n Buff, and wanted to share how I did it with you with this tutorial.

Gold mercury glass ornaments makeover

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You might wonder…What is Rub ‘n Buff?

Rub ‘n Buff is a caranuba wax (also known more generically as Gilder’s Paste or Gilding Wax ) product that has metallic pigments in the wax. Just like a car wax after it cures, it can be buffed to a high shine. But also like car wax, it has smelly solvents so it needs to be applied in a well-ventilated area. It’s important to follow all of the directions and safety guidelines on the tube, because of the metallic powders that give it it’s gold and cooper sheen. It also comes in a lot of different, pretty metallic colors.

Using Rub N Buff to update old ornaments to make the silver look gold

Because of the way it’s formulated, it’s the perfect project to make over items that aren’t high use and need a metallic luster such as picture frames and other nonporous hard surfaces. Because it’s a wax it will scratch if heavily abraded, so it’s best application is to make things pretty as it works like more of a wax covering than a permanent finish.

Shop: Find Rub ‘n Buff here

Using gold rub in buff on an ornament to maketeh silver look gold

Used a darker Spanish Copper on most of the ornaments to make the a copper-ish color, but I was really excited to try the Antique Gold on the pine cone mercury glass ornaments.

how much rub n buff to use, Use a small dab of rub n buff to update ornaments use a pea sized amount when applying

When using Rub ‘n Buff on a surface, a pea-sized amount goes a long way.

When applying the Rub ‘n Buff, I used a glove so it wouldn’t get on my hands and made for such easier clean up when updating the old mercury glass ornaments.

What to do with old mercury glass ornaments apply a gold wax to the surface with a glove

I used a finger to apply the Rub ‘n Buff to the nooks and crannies of the pine cone ornaments. For the larger ornaments, I found it was easier to gently rub the mercury glass between two gloved hands over a padded area (Make sure to follow the directions and safety precautions on the tube.). If you are worried at all about the ornament breaking, I recommend using a brush to apply the product and make sure to apply Rub ‘n Buff gently. You don’t want to apply pressure , because you don’t want the glass to break. Place an old towel right underneath your work area also so if you drop it there is a soft surface for the ornament to land on.

Use a gloved fingertip to apply rub n buff  to make over the ornament with a gold wax

Once the wax has cured and hardened the wax can be buffed to a pretty, metallic shine. When shining, place the ornament on a soft surface, and use a soft cloth to gently polish the surface. You should use gloved for this as well, because sometimes the metallic powder will come off when shining the wax. I noticed it much more on the copper wax than the gold.

Gold mercury glass ornaments makeover

They look so pretty with the lights. I love how the Copper ornaments look in contrast with the gold pine cones. The gold ornaments almost look gilded. Another update that can be done to these mercury glass ornaments are gold leafing.

DIY it: How to gold leaf Christmas ornaments

Copper rub n buff on silver mercury glass

Rub ‘n Buff is such a fun product to use when used correctly, and was perfect for updating old mercury glass ornaments for a golden and glowy Christmas tree.

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