Satin Brass - (SB)
What colour is Satin Brass?
Satin brass is a warm mustard gold colour with visible brush marks in the surface.
Are Satin Brass products made from real brass?
Yes, 90% of our Satin Brass products are made from real brass, there are some exceptions such as some cabinet handles and cupboard knobs which are made from a Zinc alloy and then have a Satin Brass effect applied to them satin brass effect items will not tarnish like real brass. Please check individual products for more details.
How are Satin Brass products made?
Brass is a non-ferrous metal alloy produced of copper and zinc. The colour of satin brass products will vary depending on the amount of copper used during production. The brass being non-ferrous will not rust making it ideal for both internal and external applications.
Once the copper and zinc have been mixed together to form the brass it has to go through a production process, such as casting, pressing or hot stamping, to make it into shapes or parts for products.
The raw brass once made into it's required shape is highly polished to produce a nice smooth item. To create the stain finish the brass item is satinised “brushed” during the final part of production using a satin wheel to give the product a brushed, satin look.
Satin brass items are then usually coated in a high quality clear lacquer to help protect and maintain the finish.
Are all Satin Brass items the same colour with the same brushed pattern?
Satin Brass items will vary in colour slightly between manufacturers depending on how much copper is used during production. Due to the nature and process of satinising, each Satin Brass item will have a slightly different brushed pattern.
Are Satin Brass products suitable for outside use?
Yes, as brass is a non-ferrous alloy (it contains no iron) Satin Brass products will not rust when fitted outside. However the brass will eventually tarnish and turn brown.
Why has my Satin Brass item turned brown?
Whether you buy the highest quality most expensive brass products on the market or the cheapest budget quality brass products, brass will always want to dull and turn brown. This is because the metal (the brass) is reacting all the time with the oxygen in the air to tarnish the brass. This process is known as oxidation. This tarnish is trying to preserve the brass by forming a patina on the surface. The patina layer turns the surface colour of the brass a brown colour.
Traditionally in years gone by people would prevent brass products from tarnishing by polishing the surface of the brass with a metal cleaner such as “Brasso.” The polishing of the brass temporarily reduces the effect of the oxidation and keeps the brass looking golden.
However in modern times with people living faster paced life styles, very few people have the time to actually go round their homes and polish all their brassware. So to help keep the brass products looking as golden and new for as long as possible, manufacturers now lacquer over the brass to seal the brass finish.
Are all your Satin Brass products lacquered?
Yes all of our Satin Brass products (unless otherwise stated) are lacquered. For un-lacquered Satin Brass products please see below.
How long will the lacquer last and the brass stay golden looking for?
While the lacquer is an excellent solution to keep the Satin Brass looking golden for a long time, it won’t last forever. For Satin Brass items that are fitted internally in residential homes, you will find the lacquer will last for many years. The below scenarios are examples of where the lacquer will breakdown much quicker and the Satin Brass items will then start to tarnish quite quickly:
- Items fitted in moist or damp areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
- Items fitted in public buildings and public areas with constant use, this is due to the moisture and acidity in people’s hands.
- Items fitted externally such as on front doors which are exposed to the elements such the wind, rain, pollution and general dirt.
- Items fitted in coastal areas, the salty sea air will break down the lacquer very quickly
It’s difficult to say quite how long the lacquer will last as there many factors to take into consideration, such as how exposed it is to the wind and rain, or how much use it will receive in public areas. For normal internal use you can expect the lacquer and the brass to stay looking new for many years.
Can you preserve the lacquer?
Yes regular cleaning to remove dirt, finger prints and watermarks with a wax based furniture polish such as beeswax, “Mr Sheen” or “Pledge” will help preserve the lacquer finish for as long as possible.
What happens when the lacquer starts to breakdown?
The brass will now start to be exposed to the air and will start to oxidise, the brass will then start to tarnish turning it brown.
Can lacquered Satin Brass products be polished and refurbished?
Yes, Satin Brass products can be polished, but first before you can start polishing your Satin Brass items all the lacquer needs to be removed first. This is the main disadvantage of lacquering products. The lacquer very rarely breaks down evenly, which can leave items looking nice and golden on one part but on another part of the same item looking dark brown, making the brass look "dirty". Unfortunately in most cases the remaining lacquer will still be too tough for the metal polish to have any effect.
With Satin Brass products if you polish them to much or too hard you will start to remove the brush marks and eventually turn the item into a Polished Brass item.
We offer a professional refurbishment service for Satin Brass items. Please contact us for more information.
What if I want an aged, tarnished brass look?
With lacquered Satin Brass items, unfortunately you can't just leave them and not clean them to achieve a nice even aged look. Because the lacquer won't break down evenly and thus the brass wont tarnish evenly, they tend to look “dirty” rather than a natural aged look. We would suggest stripping off the lacquer from the products using an acetone based thinner or paint stripper such as “Nitramors.” With all the lacquer removed the brass will tarnish naturally and evenly.
False aged, antique look items are becoming very popular and there now lots of products that can be purchased off the shelf. Please view our Antique Brass and Florentine Bronze pages for more info on these antique look finishes.
Can you buy non-lacquered Satin Brass products?
Yes, if you want to be able to polish your brass items or would like your brass products to oxidise and tarnish naturally for an authentic aged look, please contact us for details on these products.
How to clean and maintain Satin Brass products
Satin Brass 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. Regular cleaning with furniture polish will help preserve and maintain the lacquer.
Do not use any form of metal cleaner on new Satin Brass products as this will damage the lacquer.