Updated: Aug 4, 2022
Look around your house, and you’ll see that there’s metal in all sorts of places throughout. From drawer pulls to air vents, decorative accents, appliances and shower frame structures, hardware coexists in the home environment quite nicely alongside your other structure and décor accoutrements. A nice finish will enhance the metal’s look and bring out the finest that they have to offer. Several finish options exist to offer that final touch to your interior design. Keep in mind, however, that the finish of a fixture can often make or break the design of an entire room, so you should take some time when considering it.
COMMON METALS AND FINISHES Wayfair fills us in on one of the most common metals used in houses. Stainless steel, itself actually an alloy of carbon, iron, chromium, and other metals, is quite often found in furniture and fixtures throughout the home, especially in things like accent tables and kitchen sinks. The chromium prevents it from rusting, oxidizing, or corroding, and bonus(!), stainless is also a low maintenance material that’s in reality much stronger than its lookalike aluminum.
Finishes that work well with stainless steel, says RCH hardware, include polished brass, a shiny gold color achieved by brass-plating the item, then giving it a good polish. Stainless steel will also look like antique copper via the use of a chemical stain followed by brushing. Polished nickel is another great finish for stainless, achieved by nickel-plating the item, then polishing. Use a powder coating for a black finish. Give stainless a satin chrome matte silver finish by spray coating the item with DACROMET, a water and rust-resistant coating, or the bluish tint of zinc by zinc-plating the item. The variety continues to dazzle for stainless steel with an option for white by using a powder coating.
DIFFERENT METALS FOR DIFFERENT STYLES Think about the style of your house or individual rooms, knowing that you have the availability to use the same type of metal with different finishes in a room or mix it up using different metals to create your own style, recommends RCH Hardware. Gold finishes work well with Mediterranean and Bohemian styles while silver finishes give a more modern/contemporary feel. Antique Nickel and Antique Copper are popular for vintage and Steampunk décor. Black is popular for Traditional, Country, Rustic, Mid-Century Modern and Farmhouse themes while white is preferred for Shabby Chic and Eclectic styles.
ALUMINUM If you’re looking to save a few bucks, aluminum can be a low-cost replacement if the steel rusts. which btw is lighter than steel and can’t hold the weight like steel does. Although aluminum doesn’t rust, it does oxidize, which creates a chalky white residue. Try a hammered metal finish to give the look of having been pounded with many small indents to add texture to the surface.
COPPER Copper is another popular metal good ‘round the house. Very bronze-looking with its reddish-brown color, copper is quite often used for décor like lighting and sinks. Copper is also quite effective for cooking and is used for high-quality cookware because of its superior heat conductivity. Oxidation is not copper’s friend unfortunately, and over time copper will take on a greenish-blue hue. Tip: To prevent copper from oxidizing, try coating it with beeswax or carnauba wax and lacquer.
BRASS Brass, a yellowish, gold-like alloy of copper and zinc, is quite often found on lighting and fixtures like curtain rods, knobs, and sink faucets. All this low-maintenance metal needs to stay clean and look great is a good soap and water cleaning, assures Wayfair. There are several finishes for brass, including solid brass, polished nickel, oil bronzed black with its matte black look achieved by rubbing black oil onto the brass, acid dipped, satin nickel and antique brass with its aged/rustic golden look. Brass is great for lighting and fixtures like curtain rods, knobs and sink faucets. A smooth, somewhat matte and polished look makes a satin finish vibe well with brass.
WROUGHT IRON Wrought iron refers to metal that has been hammered or bent into shape, giving it a roughed up surface. Wrought iron is commonly used to make fireplace accessories, pot racks, rustic beds, lighting, and more. Try an antiqued finish with wrought iron to give it that darkened “having stood the test of time” appearance.
Whether you mix and match, or keep a similar look to your metal fixtures throughout, you’ll still achieve a stylish look and easy upgrade down the road with the array of choices in hardware for your custom luxury home. J. Sweet Construction has an answer to your metal finish questions. We’re always happy to help!