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A Guide about Brass Finishes

Brass finishes are all the rage right now, but the term “brass” can be misleading. There are several different shades of brass available so let’s go over the most popular ones!

Polished or bright brass: Polished brass is probably the most widely known of the brass family. It is bright, shiny, and highly reflective. It can’t tarnish because it is made with a protective clear lacquer top coat, so it always looks like it has just been polished.

Unlacquered brass: Unlacquered hardware has no protective coating (either it was produced without the clear coat of lacquer, or has had this coating stripped off). This results in a living finish that starts shiny and bright, but changes over time. As the brass ages, it develops a natural warm “antique” patina. If you want hardware that has no variations, unlacquered brass may not be for you.

Antique brass: Antique brass gives the appearance of being already aged. It is more dark and muddy with deep shades of brown. It will not tarnish and does not show dirt or other marks as much, and cannot be polished back to bright brass due to a protective lacquer coating.

Satin brass: Satin brass has a more muted and matte finish. It’s not as shiny but more of a warm, subdued gold. It does not tarnish and it does not show watermarks or fingerprints.

This list is not exhaustive, but they are our most commonly purchased choices. The brass finishes are highly variable and versatile – let us help you decide what finish works for you!

Our contact information:


Phone: 205-510-4232

Avondale Specialty Hardware is a division of Richelieu America, which carries cabinet hardware and accessories, industrial coatings and finishing supplies, cabinet doors and drawers, convenience hardware and organizers, decorative hardware, and much more.


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