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The joys and dangers of oil rubbed bronze finishes

Bronze finishes provide consumers with highly versatile colors for cabinet hardware. This range of finishes can be used in classic and contemporary hardware designs for your kitchen or bathroom. In recent years, oil rubbed bronze finishes, in particular, have become extremely popular for kitchen and bathroom accents, such as cabinet hardware.

The savvy consumer should be aware that many manufacturers offer smooth, uniform bronze finishes designated as “oil rubbed bronze” which are actually plated bronze finishes. Silver bronze finishes can be beautiful and are optimal for those looking for a warm but even look.

The color, in fact the highly textured look of a real oil rubbed bronze finish is considered “vivid” and ranges from black to a golden brown coloration over time. Those who want such an authentic oil rubbed bronze finish should be aware that it will change as the oils in your hands ‘mature’ the finish on your knobs and pulls. This diverse patina can add depth and texture to hardware accents.

We can compare the vivid appearance of oil rubbed bronze finishes to batches of yarn dye when weaving or crocheting. It has been suggested that the yarn be purchased from a dye lot to create a better looking garment. With oil rubbed brass knobs and pulls, it’s best to buy an extra item or two to take your look into the future in case you need to replace a knob or pull or if additional cabinets are added to your space.

We hope this short article serves as a starting point for consumers to educate themselves on the range of bronze finishes and the pros and cons of uniform vs. Finished hardware for living cabinets. Purists who delight in the natural range of rich finishes and those seeking consistency should clarify their selections with their hardware vendor and send inquiries directly to manufacturers if necessary.

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