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.
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.