Solid brass is one of the best materials for home hardware because it can be cast in a variety of designs that range from simple to highly ornate and it is available in a variety of finishes. For example, did you know that a solid brass knob can come in a polished chrome (silver colored) finish? It is a common misconception that brass equals a gold tone when, in fact, it can range from a shiny gold tone to dark bronze (almost black) finishes.
Brass is a highly malleable material and that has made it an ideal choice for metal work throughout history. Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper and this combination can create several different types of brass for different applications. Brass has many other qualities that make it a popular material such as its high resistance to tarnish.
Brass hardware can be lacquered or unlacquered – a lacquer coating will be more resistant to tarnish over time. Most unlacquered polished brass will quickly become darker in tone. Once brass is “finished” it will have a coat of lacquer applied to prevent protect the color and prevent the finish from becoming darker. Brass is available in Polished Brass, Antique Brass, Polished Chrome, Brushed Nickel and Oil Rubbed Bronze finishes.
Brass hardware is a great choice for the home – not only because of its durability over time but because it is a user friendly material. For example, plastic is a common choice because it is resistant to breaks. That’s true but did you know that plastic can also warp and discolor? Thinner metals or even brass coated materials may seem like a pocket book friendly alternative but these metals will tarnish, scratch and dent easily. Knobs and drawer pulls are frequently banged, scratched and of course pulled and pushed every day – rough treatment requires strong materials to resist that damage.
Selecting new cabinet knobs and pulls should be a fun process that enhances your home design and will ease the burdens of daily life (such as hard to open doors and drawers). Search for patterns that coordinate with an existing theme or create an entirely new theme throughout every room in the home. Remember that solid brass hardware is available for door, window and general home hardware so it is easy to select a pattern that will be available for all your home hardware needs. Remember to search for solid brass (not brass plated) and be sure to ask questions.