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Door Hardware Finish Color Differences

At Doorware.com we are often asked about the different color choices of Brass and Nickel finished door hardware products.


The three most popular finishing options are Antique, Polished, and Satin. Each option dramatically changes the final color of a product, as you can see from the Deltana Brass Door Hinges pictured on the right and the Nickel plated hinges pictured below.

Adding to the color confusion, manufactures use different terms that mean the same thing. Examples are (Polished or Bright) and (Satin or Brushed). Polished Brass and Bright Brass are same color as are Bright Nickel and Polished Nickel.

Nickel Plated Finish Colors

Let's look at how they make the 3 colors of Brass and Nickel plated door hardware:
Antique: The parts are placed in a oxidizing solution that quickly ages them, to the point they are almost black. Then with a soft, fine brush or cloth, the oxidizing solution is mostly wiped off. How quickly the oxidizing solution is removed, will create a lighter or darker finished part. This is why Antique Brass and Antique Nickel items may have color shade differences especially if they are from different manufactures.

Antique Brass and Antique Nickel are non-living finishes, meaning the parts are coated with lacquer to protect them from further aging.

Polished or Bright: With soft cloth, the parts are buffed in progressive stages using increasingly finer polishing compound. Each polishing stage adds more shine creating a mirrored effect. The rich luster created by polishing has made it an enduringly popular door hardware finish choice.

Polished Brass and Polished Nickel are also non-living finishes, meaning the parts are coated with clear lacquer to protect them from further aging. Some door hardware products are available in an Unlacquered Polished Brass or living finish.

Satin or Brushed: Depending of the part's shape, different types of fine abrasive materials, including sand paper and sanding brushes are used to soften the metal's color. The lower luster of a Satin finish adds warmth to the color.

For decades, Satin Nickel door hardware has been a popular finish for traditional and contemporary designers, while Satin Brass is the latest craze for more trendy designs.

Also see How to Clean your Hardware and Hardware Finish Colors to view the finish choices from the leading manufactures.

Brass Hinge Finish Colors



3 1/2 Inch Door Hinge Sale
3 1/2 Inch Hinges Sale
Iron Strap Hinges
Strap Hinges
Door Hinges
Door Hinges
4 Inch Door Hinge Sale
4 Inch Hinges Sale


Our Steel Hinges and Brass Hinges are available in up to 11 different finishes.
door hinge finishes available

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