Choosing hardware finishes is largely a matter of personal aesthetic, of course—you know what appeals to you and what doesn’t. But it’s good to know the basics about finishes before you begin the selection process.
Generally, you’re going to see hardware selections in the following finishes: polished, brushed, satin, and oil rubbed. What distinguishes these finishes from one another?
- Brushed – A brushed finish is just that—brushed with a tool to give the metal a matte finish with the abrasions (or brush marks) all following the same direction. You can see those brush marks on the finish.
- Satin – Satin is another matte finish, but it’s achieved by chemical process, not brushing. You can tell satin from nickel by checking for brush marks—satin doesn’t have them.
- Polished – As the name implies, a polished finish is a glossy, shiny, mirror-like finish.
- Oil rubbed – This specialty finish creates a brown, bronzed look. Different manufacturers create the oil rubbed finish in different ways. It can be made by applying actual oil to a copper-plated base material. This type of oil rubbed finish will change its patina over time. The other method is done with brown plating that has a lacquer applied on top. This type of oil rubbed finish will retain its original color.
Hardware Metals and Finishes
The base material beneath the final finish is what gives your hardware its color.
- Antique brass – Antique brass typically means the brass has been brushed to give it a matte finish.
- Polished brass – This shiny, bright gold finish goes in and out of vogue. It makes a bold impact, so make sure you like the way it looks in your décor!
- Oil rubbed bronze – Oil rubbed bronze is ideal for a Tuscan, Mediterranean, or otherwise rustic, old-world style setting.
- Brushed chrome – Brushed chrome is one of the most popular residential hardware finishes, due to its versatility and subtle beauty.
- Polished chrome – For that classic shine, polished chrome complements a wide variety of décor styles, from vintage to country to contemporary.
- Brushed nickel – Why go with nickel over chrome? It depends on whether you like warm or cool colors. When you compare them side-by-side, chrome is more silver (cool) while nickel is more gold (warm).
- Polished nickel – Shiny polished nickel brightens up kitchens and bathrooms alike.
- Satin nickel – Again, a side-by-side comparison is useful if you are deciding between brushed nickel and satin nickel. It all comes down to your personal taste!
Finishes Available from Portals Hardware
All of our hardware lines and styles are available in a variety of finishes. Take a look through our extensive luxury hardware selections and give us a call with any questions!
Browse our inspiration gallery to see our hardware installed!