Polished Nickel - (PN)
What colour is Polished Nickel?
Polished Nickel is the ultimate "warm" finish, it is a highly shiny, smooth, mirror like finish with a very slight golden tint.
Polished Nickel is very popular with architects and designers for being softer and less harsh then Polished Chrome. It has a deep lustre and is used primarily in classic settings but on the right product we're increasingly finding it being specified for use in contemporary designs where chrome plated products can be too stark. Over time a patina forms over the nickel causing it to look slightly "cloudy" creating a softer finish.
Are there any other colours similar to Polished Nickel?
Yes, if you can’t find the item you are looking for in Polished Nickel, the next closest finishes are Polished Stainless Steel, or Polished Chrome.
Polished Stainless Steel
As you can see from the above images, Polished Nickel has a slight golden tint as does, Polished Stainless Steel making them very close matches. Polished Chrome has more of a blue tint.
What are Polished Nickel products made from?
Most of the Polished Nickel items we sell are made from solid brass. Traditionally brass has been the best base material for nickeling on to, as the brass could be highly polished to a smooth mirror finish so that when electro-plated, the best possible mirror finish Polished Nickel is produced.
In recent years as raw material prices have risen the cost of brass has increased massively, manufacturers have had to try and source alternative base materials for nickeling on to, to help keep their products competitively priced. We’re now seeing Polished Nickel plated on to base materials of Zinc Alloy, Mazac, Aluminium, and Stainless Steel with very good results that are almost identical to plating on to brass.
Please check individual products to see what base material they are made from.
How is the Polished Nickel finish produced?
Polished Nickel is an electro plated finish. Electro-plating is the process for producing electro deposited finishes on to a metal surface, commonly known as “plating.” The process consists of passing an electric current between an anode and a cathode through a chemical solution. If you liken the set up to a car battery the anode is “positive” and the cathode is “negative.”
In the nickel plating process the anode is a piece of nickel rod and the cathode is the product being plated. The nickel rod and the product are lowered into a vat containing an electrolyte solution. The power is turned on and the nickel starts to dissolve into the electrolyte solution. At the same time the current is traveling from the positive anode (the nickel rod) through the solution "carrying" the dissolved nickel particles and depositing them as a thin layer on to the negative cathode (the product.)
Before the nickel plating stage the base material of the product must be smooth and highly polished to help produce the mirror effect. Underneath the nickel plated layer will be an electro-plated layer of copper which acts as a “primer coat” to help ensure the nickel is as hard-wearing and long lasting as possible.
Are all Polished Nickel items the same colour?
Yes, the Polished Nickel will be the same shiny finish on all products from all manufacturers.
Will the Polished Nickel fade or discolour?
Yes, as the finish ages a patina forms over the nickel causing it to look slightly "cloudy" making the Polished Nickel an even softer finish.
Are Polished Nickel products suitable for outside use?
Yes, the nickel plating process is hard-wearing and will help protect the base material well. The best Polished Nickel products to use externally are the items with a base material of brass.
Polished Nickel products fitted externally must be cleaned regularly to keep the finish looking its best. With so much pollution in the air and acidity in the rain, if you don’t clean externally fitted items you will find the nickel will start to “pit” and eventually start to wear off. A quick regular clean with a soft cloth and wax based furniture polish to remove dirt and water marks will ensure your Polished Nickel products will look as good as new for a very long time.
How to clean and maintain Polished Nickel products?
Polished Nickel products should be cleaned regularly with a soft cloth and wiped over with a wax based furniture polish ideally beeswax, but products like “Pledge” and “Mr Sheen” work well too. For stubborn stains warm soapy water can also be used.
For items fitted outside if you start to see pitting marks in the nickel a metal polish such as “Brasso” or “Peek” can be used to polish the layer of nickel.
Regular cleaning to remove dirt, finger prints and water marks will ensure your Polished Nickel products will last for a very long time.