Easy + Cheap Metallic Furniture

Introduction: Easy + Cheap Metallic Furniture

About: I'm an artist and designer of interiors, furnishings, and graphics who is in love with her Mother Earth and the many joys of life. Check out my website to see more of my work, and have a lovely day!

Metallic finish furniture has been trending for some time now and can be a great addition to any room. Unfortunately, it can also be super expensive or hard to find on a restricted budget, so when I was moving into a new space, I decided to take matters into my own hands with this dresser. Here's what you will need to easily and cheaply make your own metallic furniture:

  • A piece of furniture (I got this dresser on CraigsList for $50)
  • Rub'n'Buff wax medium in color(s) of your choice (This can be found in most art supply stores)
  • An old rag
  • New knobs or drawer pulls to add the finishing touch if you desire

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Step 1: Step 1: Prepare Your Surface

Before you start working on your piece of furniture, there's a few things you should do for ease and best results:

  1. Your painting surface needs to be clean and dry so take a minute to wipe it down with a wet cloth and let it dry or dry it with a towel. For most wood furniture, a paper towel will get little flecks of paper stuck to the wood, so a piece of cloth is a better option.
  2. Remove any knobs/drawer pulls or other things that don't want to be painted.
  3. If you are working on a mirror or other object that has an attached surface that should not be painted, use painter's or masking tape to tape the edges in case you get crazy with your rubbing.
  4. This method is pretty clean compared to most furniture refinishing methods, so you may not need to worry too much about drips, etc, but I laid down some newsprint under my dresser anyway so that when I got down to the feet I could just go for it and not have to worry about marking up the floor.

Step 2: Step 2: Make Your Palette

I wanted to give this piece a bit of variation in the color to help reflect the light off of the metallic finish, so I actually mixed two colors of Rub'n'Buff.

To achieve the mostly gold effect, I used a 2:1 ratio of European Gold and Pewter, but not all together.

  1. On one side of my palette, I mixed 1 part gold to one part pewter just enough to make a swirl with the two colors.
  2. On the other side of the palette, I squeezed out an equal amount of just the gold.

Depending on the size of your piece, you could either mix the palette on a separate surface, like the top of a paint can or a paper plate, or you could go ahead and squeeze your pigments directly onto the surface of the piece of furniture. For this dresser, I did a combination of both. For the smaller crevices and detail places, I mixed the pigment separately and then spread it on using my fingers. For the larger surfaces such as the top and sides of the dresser, I just put the pigment directly on the surface, mixed it in place, and then started spreading with a rag.

Step 3: Step 3: Rub and Buff

Now that your palette is made, the rest is really quite simple.

  1. Using either your finger or a cloth, take some of the mixed gold and pewter pigment and simply start rubbing it on your piece in a fluid motion, not worrying too much about covering every bit of the surface.
  2. Next take some of the gold and fill in the areas you missed, blending with the other color as you go.
  3. The more you blend/buff the pigment, the shinier and more metallic-looking it will become.

* Depending on the effect you are going for, you could use either linear strokes or a circular buffing motion. I used the linear style and it came out looking like gold-leaf. As with most artistic endeavors, it will really be up to you to find the style you like and a method you feel comfortable with.

4. Replace the drawer pulls and you'll be ready to use your beautiful new dresser!

*PRO TIP: Mix your colors in small batches, as the wax medium dries faster than most paint products and will end up getting too chunky to spread if it sits out for too long.

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago

    This is a great idea. I'm always looking for used furniture but what I find is often too dark for my small spaces. I also have no outdoor space to paint anything and don't want to risk losing my deposit because of paint drips. I will use this on the next piece of used furniture I find. Thanks for the Instructable!