Bronze finishes provide consumers highly versatile colors for cabinet hardware. This range of finishes can be utilized on classic and contemporary hardware designs for your kitchen or bath. In recent years, oil rubbed bronze finishes, in particular, have become extremely popular for kitchen and bath accents like cabinet hardware.
The savvy consumer should know that many manufacturers provide even, smooth bronze finishes designated as ‘oil rubbed bronze’ that are actually plated bronze finishes. Plated bronze finishes can be gorgeous and are optimal for those seeking a warm but uniform look.
The color, indeed the very textured aspect of a real oil rubbed bronze finish is considered ‘living’ and spans black to a golden brown coloration over time. Those desiring such an authentic oil rubbed bronze finish should be aware that it will change as the oils in your hands ‘ripen’ the finish of your knobs and pulls. This diverse patina can add depth and texture to hardware accents.
We can compare the living aspect of oil rubbed bronze finishes to yarn dye lots when knitting or crocheting. It has been suggested that yarn be purchased from one dye lot to create a better looking garment. With oil rubbed bronze knobs and pulls, it is best to buy one or two extra items to carry your look into the future should a knob or pull have to be replaced or if additional cabinetry is added to your space.
We hope that 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. living cabinet hardware finishes. Both purists who delight in the natural range of living finishes and those seeking consistency ought to clarify their selections with their hardware vendor and send inquiries to manufacturers directly if necessary.