Allied Brass offers 17 finishes to choose from for brass hardware and home accessories, including no finish at all for customers who want to let the brass naturally darken to the shade they want.
Unfinished, or unlaquered, brass arrive highly polished and like our polished brass finish. But since they aren't finished, they will darken with time.
What's the Appeal of Unlacquered Brass?
If you like antiques, you already know the answer to this question! Unlaquered brass naturally ages to complement older furniture many people cherish as family heirlooms or enjoy as yard sale finds.
Take a look at the unfinished brass designer knob above. Its slightly darkened patina would look great on the secretary desk our mother bought from a New Jersey antique dealer in the 1970s. (We recall a woman named Mrs. Holmes - anyone remember her?)
Early in our brass career, some of our customers asked us how to remove finish so that they could let it darken to the shade they wanted. That's why we decided to offer our unlacquered brass as well as different finishes.
We've seen it ordered for knobs, cabinet and door pulls, and votive candle holders, which we agree look more romantic with that antique patina. Here's one from our Carolina Crystal collection. We think that crystal glass inlay will really stand out as the brass darkens.
Lots of people also like the way unlacquered brass feels. It's a bit rougher than the powder-coated finishes we offer (which also include a couple of antiqued looks).
Some customers have commented that unfinished brass feels more natural in their hands.
Is Unlacquered Brass Dirty?
No, not if you clean it regularly. In fact, brass has antimicrobial qualities from the copper and zinc that compose it. It repels bacteria that sticks to most other surfaces.
Most brass hardware needs a wipe every few days to remove fingerprints, oils from or hands, and even the air in your home, without affecting the darkening patina. The brass will continue to darken unless and until you decide to polish it back to the desired shine you want. You're still in charge of just how dark, or tarnished, your brass will turn.
Brass will tarnish in different shades depending on the air. If you live near an ocean or bay and keep your windows open, the humid, saltier air creates more of a green tarnish, like the Statue of Liberty, which was made from copper.
Beach baby, beach baby, give my your hand. Photo: Wallula/Pixabay
If you're in a dustier environment, the patina tends to be more brown or gray, like this doorknocker that looks like a cross between a lion and Mr. Monopoly:
Polish Unfinished Brass Back to the Original ShineEaster's coming up and it's time to give your best metalwares a polish. If you have high-quality brass products to clean or polish, you can soak them in warm soapy water or gently clean them with a clean soapy cloth.
You can also run out and buy brass cleaner to remove older tarnish. Or you can save yourself some money and use tomato paste or ketchup; both have the right balance of acid to remove tarnish pretty easily. The same goes with lemon juice and baking soda. These natural mixes are also less abrasive then some of the manufactured brass cleaners. Brass will stand up to them, but wood or paint adjacent to wall-mounted brass products could be damaged.
If you want to bring your brass back to a shine, just clean or polish them for a longer time than you would for a quick wipe down. Remember, you can always let them darken again on their own.
Contact us with with your questions or comments.