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I like mirrors as much as the next person…Well, maybe not as much as Emily, as she has been amassing a collection…but that’s another post! So, as I was saying – I like mirrors as much as the next person, but I don’t want my furniture hardware to be reflective. On my quest to fill our loft with furniture, I recently acquired this wonderful Duncan Phyfe (style) buffet.

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Please excuse the “Honey, look what I found at someone’s moving sale…” style of this photo.

Once this buffet was installed in our foyer, I realized that the hardware was just wrong. I knew it was shiny to begin with – and, I will say, it is quality hardware…but it’s SHINY. Like 1990s, Gordon Gecko, sparkle to distract shiny. I couldn’t put away a vase without seeing an out of place hair, or walk past it without seeing five mini-mes also passing by.

A quick interwebs search showed me I wasn’t the only one with brassy hardware in need of a quick-patina. Without 80 years of use – and the chemicals they put on top of new brass to keep it shiny (??!!!!) – I wanted something to work fast. Not spray paint fast, but close. So – what can one do? One can Rub-N-Buff, that’s what!

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This stuff was incredible. I purchased two colors – Antique Gold and European Gold – because, without any true color descriptors, I couldn’t tell which would have my desired effect. Turns out both would have been serviceable – but I liked the smoky undertones of the European Gold best.

All you’ll need for this project is a pair of gloves (not required, but recommended if you don’t want to ruin your manicure and smell like a professional), something to work on top of, and something to label the pulls as you take them off. Four of the six pulls I did are the same shape and size, but I didn’t want to risk that they weren’t 100% interchangeable.

This is an instance in which a dab will do ya. A little too much of the RNB and you get clumpy. Truly too much RNB, and you start reversing the effect. Darker tones can be achieved by allowing the RNB to dry for 10-15 minutes between applications, though you won’t get significantly darker results. In addition to all the nooks and crannies of the hardware, don’t forget to do the underside of the pull and the edges.

All in all – a quick and dirty way to fake age, remove the reflection, and give this buffet the character it deserves! (Below is a side-by-side comparison and a before/after.)

A word to the wise: people often put hardware on too tightly, as can be seen in the photo below. Use this opportunity to ensure you are not damaging your furniture by tightening the screws too much. As long as the hardware is sitting still and flush (rattling around could also cause damage), it’s fine. There’s no need to dig it in and ruin any chance for changing the hardware again in the future.

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The best part of this project is that it took less than 30 minutes from start to (new, less shiny) finish!

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Happy buffing!