9 steps to creating a compass rose!

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.


  1. marcia says

    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!

  2. gabrielle says

    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?

    • says

      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!

  3. Jana says

    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.

    • says

      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!

    • says

      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!

  4. Sharon says

    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!!!

  5. Becky says

    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!
    Becky bfinch@amaco.com

  6. says

    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

    • miznelliebellie says

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

  7. says

    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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