A note on “Oil Rubbed Bronze” and “Antique Brass” finishes:
Though we are commonly asked for these finishes on items, we have largely stopped carrying items in these finishes for several reasons:
The largest number of problems with these finishes result from
difficulties in matching colors on different items, especially when the items are made from different alloys of metal or by different manufacturers. The reason for so many
color differences is because these finishes are artistic representations of aged metal, they are not particularly accurate renderings of what old brass or oiled bronze really look like.
Further complicating the issue are the numerous ways
these finishes are achieved. Short of letting the metal weather naturally for several years or using expensive bronze, the only way to produce these colors is to
either chemically etch brass with acid or apply a painted or anodized finish. The resulting finishes can range anywhere in color from light brown to nearly black.
The range of customer expectations are as varied as the range of possible colors. The result for us was a staggering number of returns, most citing
“wrong color” as the reason for the return.
Wear is another problem with these trendy faux finishes. The chemically etched finishes are considered
“organic finishes” which by design wear and change with time. Some customers like this feature, other were aghast when their fixture turned green in some
places and bright and shiny in places where it was worn more from handling. The more durable epoxy, powdercoated, and anodized finishes have better wear characteristics
but come at the price of a “plasticy” look that isn’t even close to realistic.