9 steps to creating a compass rose!

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rubnbufftable, diy compass rose

Recently I had this wonderful table that needed some loving.  The table had good bones, and a great antique vibe, but was just rather sad looking.  As if it hadn’t been loved in its previous life.  It really was quite pathetic.  So I set about remaking it into a loved piece of furniture using Rub N’ Buff and a DIY compass rose.

Here’s the table at the start of the project:


You can see what I mean, right?  A good table…just unloved.  I bet we all come across a few of these every year at garage sales.  We see them, think they have potential, don’t know what to do to bring that potential out, and move on.  But I decided to add Rub N’ Buff all over this table.


Looking much better, isn’t it!  But I felt like it was the perfect candidate for a Compass Rose.

I thought about a stencil. Too much work.
I though about a vinyl. Too expensive.
I left her to her own devices for a bit while I pondered.
Then…I decided to just tackle the darn Geometry that doing it myself would mean.
I hate math.

But…she ended up as the beautiful table you saw above.

Oh…you want to see the top? Well. stop fussing. I’ll show you.


Pretty happening, don’t you think!
Read on to get 9 steps to creating a compass rose…


Here’s how to do one for yourself… in 9 simple steps.
It really is more simple then it looks.
It looks overwhelming.
But…take a breath and go for it!

compass rose1










Did you get all that?
Do you think you can handle it?
Well I know you can!!

By the way…can you guess what her name was?
Penelope Cruz.
:) She’s so foxy!

For some other furniture refinishing ideas try…

dresser turned T.V. buffet
Eleanor Roosevelt.
Gertie, the gossip bench.

Nellie is the founder of NellieBellie, and takes basically every photograph you've ever seen on this site. She also runs our web design business, the Savvy Sites Administration.


  1. Deb

    June 13, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Just curious on how much rub n’ buff did it take to finish a table that size? Thanks.

    • Nellie

      June 18, 2015 at 11:25 am

      I used a full tube. I think I opened a second but used only a small amount of it. A little really does go a long way!

  2. marcia

    June 9, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    LOVE THIS!! thankyou for sharing. EXACTLY what i am looking for to apply to an outdoor wood slat table, i love you gave instructions. thankyou again. great job!

  3. gabrielle

    April 8, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    I am curious about using a paint colour under the R&B; maybe a strong red… Will I be able to keep areas of red open/away from the R&B? What about distressing through the R&B back to the red? Is this workable?

    • Nellie

      April 9, 2015 at 10:26 am

      You can use a color under the R&B but use a gentle hand when applying the R&B. I’m not sure about keeping color away. But, you can distress it with a sandblock or sandpaper. Good luck!

  4. Jana

    February 11, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    So how did you get the compass rose onto the table top? Did you draw it with a pencil and fill it in with paint? Use different colors of stain? Did you mark it off with masking tape or just use a small paint brush and you have a very steady hand? I love the detailed instructions on how to draw a compass rose, but wondering how you put it onto the table top, since we have a set of 4 of these tables scattered throughout our extended family.

    • Nellie

      March 8, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Jana, I’m sorry this is so late in reply. It looks like this comment got into our spam file and just found. I drew it on with a pencil first and then filled it in with paint. I think a steady hand would have been okay but I’m terrible at straight lines and didn’t want to chance it!

  5. Shelly

    August 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    How did you get the table that gold color? Paint? Gold leaf?

    • Nellie

      August 25, 2014 at 8:50 am

      I used Rub and Buff. Love that stuff!! It was time consuming, but worth it! There are some great paints out there that would easily achieve the same look!

  6. Sharon

    August 7, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    I have an antique family piece like this. If I screw it up I’m in trouble.
    My thoughts r to restain it and THEN put the rise on top!!!

  7. Belinda Blanche

    January 26, 2014 at 9:52 am

    What color Rub and Buff did you use? Grecian Gold? or another gold?
    You Did A BEAUTIFUL Job!

    • miznelliebellie

      January 26, 2014 at 10:56 am

      I used Antique gold? I think. It’s been a while. Thank you!

  8. Shelly

    October 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Beautifully Done! Bravo!!

  9. Becky

    September 18, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Thanks so much for using AMACO’s Rub ‘n Buff. I love this style of table, and I love what you did with it! I’d like to share this on our Facebook page, Rub ‘n Buff Metallic Finishes, and link back to your blog.
    Can’t wait to see what else you Rub ‘n Buff!

    • miznelliebellie

      September 18, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Please do! It was a joy to work with!

  10. Honeyat2805

    September 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    She is a real beauty!   Gold, compass rose, sigh!

  11. House on the Way

    September 7, 2012 at 7:02 am

    OMG! I am so glad you gave instructions on doing a compass rose! That’s awesome! I’d love for you to share this at my party, Twirl & Take a Bow at! It would be a great addition. I hope you can stop by.

  12. kathryn

    September 6, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Rub -n-Buff where have I been, love this look and thinking of a fun piece I have how many tubes did this take….

  13. laurie

    September 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    LUV that you used Rub-n-Buff for the whole table, Nellie!!!!  I’ve used it on small craft projects and just love how easy it goes on.  You must’ave had to buy a lotta tubes for that table, girl.  lol!  But it looks just fabulous!  So unique!  And thanks for sharing how to create a compass rose, too!  :)

    xoxo laurie

  14. Katie Drane

    September 5, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Awesome! And thanks for sharing how you did it. I pretty much suck at all things math. Great post!


  15. Brandi

    August 31, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Beautiful makeover! Love the gold. Love the compass. 

    • miznelliebellie

      September 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      Thank you! Isn’t that gold stunning!

  16. Theconsignerdesigner

    August 30, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    This looks great. You make it sound so easy. It looks exceptional. Great job!

  17. Micmanno

    August 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Gorgeous job girl! I really love the look. Pinning now.

    • miznelliebellie

      August 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      Thank you so much!! I love it too!

  18. Janet

    August 29, 2012 at 7:16 pm


  19. Cassie Bustamante

    August 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    WOW!!!  that is so cool!

  20. Meg @ Nutmeg Place

    August 29, 2012 at 10:51 am

    This is gorgeous Janel.  I might even try the compass rose.  :-) 

    • miznelliebellie

      August 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      You should! It was alot easier then I though it would be!

  21. Shannon Fox

    August 29, 2012 at 9:38 am

    That is stunning! I love the absolute elegance of the design :)))

    • miznelliebellie

      August 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Oh wow…thank you! Elegance used to describe something of mine…love that!

  22. Jill

    August 29, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Blown away. I predict seeing compass roses on everything now since you’ve made it so easy :) 

    • miznelliebellie

      August 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      I’m glad. It really wasn’t hard. I think I psyched myself out for so long because of the darn geometry involved.

  23. karin chudy

    August 29, 2012 at 9:26 am

    IT LOOKS FAB!!!!! Thanks for showing me so I don’t have to do math…I HATE MATH!! LOL!!
    Love it and sharing it!!

    • miznelliebellie

      August 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      Math smath…who likes that?? Thanks for sharing!

  24. Bliss

    August 29, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I know….. Penelope Cruz.  I would of guessed that without the hint.


    • miznelliebellie

      August 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      Cause she’s so shiny :)

  25. Bliss

    August 29, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Did you name her…… Buff? Compass? Maybe ROSE? No? Goldie?


  26. Evelyn

    August 29, 2012 at 7:33 am

    I could try to guess her name but the obviously isn’t always the answer over at your place:) But then you might be throwing a curve and doing the obvious to throw us off. LOL
    Outstanding job. The design is just perfect for this shape of table:) I am pinning this because “one of these days, one of these days!!

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