A detailed guide to determining what you have and what you want.
Satin nickel is the most popular nickel finish, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to silver tone cabinet hardware. Polished nickels and satin nickels are on the lighter side of satin nickel while matte nickel and antique nickel are on the dark end of the spectrum.
Brushed Satin Nickel
Brushed satin nickel is always a shade or two darker than satin nickel and the finish is very smooth. You can see the brush marks in the finish. It will still be hard to see the exact shape online, but this should be darker than satin nickel.
Matte nickel is generally the same shade as the standard satin nickel, but it has a “matte” finish, which simply means that it doesn’t shine. Matte finishes are dull for lack of a better word.
There are several names for the brass finish from polished brass to bright brass. On the internet, brass is one of the hardest finishes to differentiate just by looking at a product picture, so below we’ve shown examples that all look very similar. In order to know what you are getting you’ll have to pay attention to the terminology.
Solid Brass will have a softer, warmer, look than the hardware out there that is brass plated. Brass plating is done through an electroplating process that really shines. Real solid brass will use the world “solid” in the title and will give off a softer look. Solid brass is also pricier than brass plated.
Polished brass is really bright and is probably the same thing that people are calling bright brass. Much cheaper than solid brass and it’s far more popular than solid brass for this reason.
Satin or Sterling Brasses & Gold
These types of finishes will vary greatly by the manufacturer, but the basic idea is that a satin brass or a sterling brass is going to have something similar to a matte finish. These finishes will be far less bright and shiny than polished brass or solid brass.
Oil Rubbed Bronze
Oil Rubbed Bronze is one of the toughest finishes there is to put a name to exactly what you have. This is an important reason to never mix any ORB finishes from supplier to supplier. The finish has that much variety. The standard oil rubbed bronze is a very deep, nearly black bronze color. The finish will give way to highlights of a much brighter bronze with use and each knob becomes even more beautiful with time if you ask me.
Venetian bronze is one of the fastest growing finishes the past year. To us, this is basically just the new term for bronze with copper highlights. This finish will vary greatly in the degree to which the copper highlights are featured and it’s best not to mix and match manufacturers.
Liberty OB3 Finish
Distinct to Liberty Hardware is the OB3 abbreviated finish. This knob borders on being a very dark marooned bronze. The color is consistent, throughout the entire finish of the knob, giving it a nice solid look to help accent proper décor appropriately.
Rubbed Bronze is, essentially the same thing as, oil rubbed bronze. But in our experience, if it means anything, it means a lighter shade of oil rubbed bronze. The starting finish of oil rubbed bronze hardware varies quite a bit, and we’d call the lighter shades just “rubbed bronze.”
You’d think there wouldn’t be much to say about the black finish, and generally that’s true. Black is black and, for the most part, is going to look the same unless you are comparing ceramic to die cast or wood. There are however a few variations and we’ve listed them below.
This simple, yet elegant finish creates a traditional aesthetically pleasing complimentary finish to any other home décor. Flat black blends into the surroundings of any home furnishings and/or decorations incredibly well. This finish is as subtle as it is elegant allowing it to maintain that casual or upscale feel to the room’s proper atmospheric condition.
Weathered or Distressed Black
This finish provides an air of timeless and old tyme feeling to any home décor and furnishings. Distressed black gives an antiquated, day in and day out, weathered look and charm.
A bit more of a solid black color is infused in the background of black nickel, yet it still maintains somewhat of a shiny or reflective surface. However with more of a gloss or freshly windexed mirrored coating it loses some of black chromes’ coloration and changing hues.This makes black nickel its own unique finish that is still retro and flashy, yet classy.
Black chrome has a few different looks. First, take note of that it is very weather durable and will hold its look despite outside conditions. The only drawback in this area is that it does tend to, if scratched significantly, show a silver line or two. Otherwise it displays an old retro smoky feel similar to a grey tinted or smoky glass.
Chrome is a lot like black in that nearly all of the pieces of hardware you see in chrome will be the standard bright polished chrome finish. The few variations are usually to tone it down a little bit by adding a matte or satin finish.
Polished chrome is the standard and it’s just like the flashy rims on sports cars. This finish will show up differently depending on the light source. This knob is actually the same exact finish as the main chrome image. Just know that if you choose chrome or polished chrome that you are getting a bright, shiny chrome.
Matte chrome is a softer and cooler finish than polished chrome. A little less flashy and could almost be described as brighter matte nickel.
Satin chrome is like a bit of a brighter satin nickel finish. Take the glare out of chrome and you get the soft feel of satin chrome.
Antique Brass is one of the most diverse finishes out there. Antique brass can range fro
m a soft brown with gold tones to a dark nearly oil rubbed bronze. There are a lot of subtle differences between what people are calling this finish or that finish, but below we’ve laid out what we think each of these finishes mean.
Dark Antique Brass
The dark antique brass finish will vary a bit but we consider dark antique brass to be similar to oil rubbed bronze except it has brass undertones instead of bronze undertones.
Tumbled Antique Brass
This bruised brass finish accompanies home décor with an old world feeling quite well. The dark undertones provide a rustic look and antique look and feel that will compliment many of old tyme homes with great pleasantry.
Burnished Antique Brass
This cabinetry hardware gives an accent that is a bit more distinguished than weathered brass. The finish has darker tones that are distinct and often front and center when compared to the more distressed or weathered styles and finishes.
Inspired by the times that have come and gone, weathered brass accents home décor and furnishings, looking to compliment an aged and antiquated atmosphere. The days that have come and gone, along with the weather, create a soft undertone of dark brass and worn brass creating quite an atmosphere for time honored home décor.
Satin Antique Brass
Satin polished brass brings a warmth and shine to a room that fulfills a classy futuristic or modern look to home décor and furnishing in the immediate surroundings. With a focus on the flash and class, this finish can provide the look and feel to modern or forward looking rooms and surroundings.
Pewter is one of our favorite finishes and can create a great contrast between it and lighter colors. While we have a small line of solid pewter, solid pewter hardware is very expensive and is therefore not really that common. The rose to the left is solid pewter. Since most hardware is not really solid pewter, but a die cast, there are quite a few pewter like finishes to choose from.
Brushed Satin Pewter
Brushed satin pewter follows the rule that “satin” means a softer smoother look and you can see a clear difference between this and the solid pewter picture above.
Antique pewter is usually a nickel that has been dulled and darkened to give an aged pewter look. This is a real deep grey, almost black finish at times. As with the others, it will vary from brand to brand a bit.
A light pewter color with dark highlights and distressed areas. Very simply, it has the look of having been dulled by tumbling.
Similar to antique brass, antique copper has a diverse array of finishes. We’ve snuck in an extra finish in the header burnished antique copper. This finish, nearly distressed, has deep dark undertones and appears to be well worn with time. Antique copper can always provide a range of different looks and feels to your home décor and furnishings.
Brushed Antique Copper
Dark lines that appear to be worn into the finish, from time honored use, gives antique burnished copper a very distinct look. This finish can provide the class needed in a modern home décor setting or provide the accent to aged setting.
Copper Kettle, as the name describes, has the look and feel that any aged worn, well used kettle would produce over time. Slightly beaten or bruised undertones from countless days of use, this elegant old tyme feeling can only be uniquely provided by copper kettles’ hand worn finish.
Weathered Antique Copper
Days gone by, have worn this finish into a distinguishable dark and rustic tone. Nearly as dark as it is copper, weathered antique copper is a simple description that provides time-honored subtleties to any aged décor setting.
Satin Red often appears close to Bushed Antique Copper, but more often that not it contains a deeper shine-bruised undertone of worn black polished over its entirety. The color has this distinctive reddish hue that softens the look a bit more than a weathered or distressed pattern.
We thought some of you might need some help in selecting your finish for that perfect home décor look and feel. Please use our latest infographic below to aid your selection process.
We originally posted this on our Finish Helper Page and just wanted to share! This infographic will really help you figure out what finish you have currently and need to match and allow you to search for that finish by name to speed the process along.
To the point, a useful infographic for standard screw US measurements and non-standard decimal conversion information for screw sizing.
D. Lawless carries a wide variety of screw sizes in numerous different finishes and head types. As always our prices are second to none in the online hardware retailer world. Please see the screws available from our store at www.dlawlesshardware.com/screws.html.
This graphic is from our help website about hinges. The website is a little outdated so I thought I’d post some of the most useful information on the blog. Below is a diagram that explains in detail all of the major terminology that is associated with your basic cabinet hinge. This can be very helpful when shopping around trying to find an exact match hinge.