Category : Door Hardware
Date : 22/01/2020

For your architectural hardware, the style of finish you select gives the final touch of design in your house. Just like the way clothing can reflect your mood for the day, the tone of your home decor can be set by a hardware finish. Is it bold, lustrous or demure and low lustre? Along with colour preference, when choosing a finish for your hardware, there are other considerations to consider. Should it have a natural or organic finish mellowing with age or a life-long finish that never loses its hue from the day you bought it? In Europe, the preference is to buy bare metal in iron, bronze or brass which will mellow with age and patina.

In Australia, the tendency is to buy hardware that has some sort of protective coating, though organic or living finishes are becoming increasingly popular.

Whether you have an old house that hardware is in serious need of renovation or you have a new house and want to incorporate a custom finish to store pieces of hardware, a stylish finish can be a remedy for a variety of sins.

When we talk about architectural hardware, brass, bronze, iron and stainless steel are the four materials that most often come up.


Brass is a copper & zinc alloy. It has a bright, yellowish look, readily tarnishes when subjected to water, and is usually coated with a lacquer coating. The brass colour can be slightly changed by changing the ratios of the metals and treating the finished castings with acids. Knobs and roses are typically brass but are often coated with thin chromium or nickel plating — two popular market choices.

Protective coatings include lacquer, a clear powder-coated surface, or a thin chrome or nickel layer applied using the physical vapour deposition (PVD) process. This process increases surface hardness, resistance to scratches and creates a lifetime warranty against tarnish.


Bronze is usually a copper- and tin alloy. It is less maleable and harder than brass, and can be casted easier. It also oxidises more easily than brass, and can therefore be offered in a wider colour range than brass. Most makers of high-end hardware let the bronze's natural colour make a bold style statement.

For example, silicon bronze contains copper, silicon, and zinc which produces a colour of copper. White bronze consists of copper, manganese, nickel, and zinc which produces a silver colour. Time, touch, and climate can all enhance and alter the bronze patina, creating a unique hue.

Brass and bronze are superior to iron because they are both cast easily, and when formed from a well-made pattern and mould can yield intricate details.

If you want to maintain the brass or bronze look without oxidising it, you should apply modern, organic coating treatments such as anodizing. Anodizing produces a durable, standardised oxide on the sheet, which gives it a smooth, hard skin. A variety of anodised finishes such as black and oxidised bronze are available.


Iron is one of the oldest products produced. Original and replica strap hinges and thumb latches made by blacksmiths are usually used as a pliable metal when exposed to extreme heat. Iron is difficult to cast because it melts at such a high temperature, but with a small percentage of aluminium added to the iron, an alloy is formed that melts at a lower temperature, providing a degree of fluidity in the casting process. This cast iron alloy melts at a low temperature and provides a sharp detailed casting. Cast iron hardware is always finished, because if left in its natural state, it will easily rust. A number of goods are made using die-cast zinc as a base metal. It's cast, machined, and plated with ease.


Stainless steel is an iron product and there are approximately 40 standard types available. Each contains substantial amounts of chromium and a small number of other elements. Most of them also contain nickel. Because it is rust resistant, has a high lustre finish and is easily maintained, stainless steel is a popular choice for architectural hardware.

PVD is best suited to coastal house hardware where salt air can speed up bleaching.


There are several types of hardware finishes: polished brass, oil-coated bronze, brushed nickel, satin nickel, polished nickel, matt antique brass, burnished antique brass, chrome, zinc — do I need to go on?

For every type of design style, there is literally a finish. The natural finish is based on the colour of the base metal, for example, brass or bronze. The natural finish can be protected with a life-long finish.

A living finish is a finish that will change over time as oils from your hands and climate change react with the finish to create the appearance of patina and age. Oil-rubbed bronze, with a dark rich hue, is a great finish for the Arts and Crafts house, while polished chrome, with its cool, futuristic qualities, is perfect for a sleek, modern townhouse.

It's better to stay with one finish when buying hardware for your room design, but to add interest, mix the shape of the hardware used in the space. Nickel-plated iron was popular for kitchens and baths 100 years ago and is still a good choice for a period-inspired look because it holds well in these high-humidity areas.

The most popular finishes today are chromium, both polished and satin.

Most designers stay with one type of finish for the hardware of the room. It is also possible to establish a hardware hierarchy, putting more decorative finishes in the public areas of the home, such as the living room and the dining room, while having more modest hardware finishes in the private areas of the house, such as bathrooms and bedrooms.

At Architectural Design Hardware we offer all finishes and quality door hardware to meet your desire.

  • DESIGNER doorware
  • Gainsborough
  • Ingersoll Rand
  • KABA
  • madinoz
  • Pittella
  • Bellevue Imports