Classic Kitchen: Unlacquered Brass Cabinet Hardware

unlacquered brass cabinet hardware - hinges, knobs and pulls

Unlacquered brass hardware. Classic, timeless, yet much more difficult to find than I had dreamed, but some things are worth searching for. Raw / unlacquered brass has my heart and was worth every minute of the search. Is it normal to spend countless hours searching for just the right hinge? 

Unlacquered brass can be brushed, satin or  polished, but left without a protective coating. It therefore ages over time developing a beautiful patina that adds character to new and old homes alike. 

When designing our new kitchen, I decided to invest a little effort into finding the perfect unlacquered brass hardware to grace our kitchen. I love the warmth the matte finish offers and enjoy watching it turn over time.

unlacquered brass cabinet hardware - hinges, knobs and pulls

Call me boring, but we used cup pulls in our last 2 kitchens and still love them just as much today. So surprise, we selected unlacquered brass cup pulls for our new kitchen as well. 

unlacquered brass cabinet hardware - hinges, knobs and pulls

unlacquered brass cabinet hardware - hinges, knobs and pulls

At our last house our existing cabinets had holes for knobs, but in our 80’s kitchen we had holes for handles, so I updated them temporarily, but I’m so excited to return to knobs for the cabinet doors for a more traditional look. We selected 1″ unlacquered brass knobs which is often smaller than what you see in kitchens, but I like the understated elegance they add to the kitchen without detracting from other features. 

unlacquered brass cabinet hardware - hinges, knobs and pulls

unlacquered brass cabinet hardware - hinges, knobs and pulls

Hingeless cabinets have become increasingly popular, but I love the added decorative detail hinges provide. Who doesn’t love a little extra jewelry? I think a new kitchen deserves plenty of jewelry, too!

Finding unlacquered brass hinges was a bit more challenging. Almost all quality cabinet hinges are lacquered. My cabinet maker said that inexpensive solid brass hinges can be easily compromised and reminded me that it’s important to find quality hinges for durable cabinet doors that will stand the test of time. 

unlacquered brass cabinet hardware - hinges, knobs and pulls

unlacquered brass cabinet hardware - hinges, knobs and pulls

I tried my friend Diane’s trick to remove the lacquer from brass these solid brass lacquered hinges to no avail, but these hinges are heavy and oh so pretty, and have found a home in our new kitchen. I am head over heels in love with them, which is great considering the amount of time I spent locating them!

unlacquered brass cabinet hardware - hinges, knobs and pulls

I also wanted to incorporate cabinet latches in our new kitchen – I can’t get enough of them. I considered using them throughout the kitchen, but for ease of use we opted to use them just for the hutch {which will be installed after the marble counters}. It’s so fun to mix it up a bit. 

unlacquered brass cabinet hardware - hinges, knobs and pulls

Do you share my affinity for unlacquered brass or do you prefer a more polished look? 

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entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner

20 comments on “Classic Kitchen: Unlacquered Brass Cabinet Hardware”

  1. Julie- so beautiful and timeless! Where did you find the hinges?

  2. I love un-lacquered brass and want to change out my kitchen hardware. I have hickory cabinets and I’m not sure the brass will look good with the tone of the cabinets, so I haven’t done it yet.

  3. I am so in love with your stove where did you find it??

  4. Julie, I’m a huge fan of unlacquered brass. Don’t see it often, but it always reminds me of the 1910 house we lived in when we got married. Can’t wait to see your brass when it gets a little age on it.

  5. Hey Julie, loving the unlacquered brass against the white cabinets – and I absolutely adore that oven stove. We’ve been trying to renovate the kitchen in our new house for about 4 months but temporary cash flow issues has meant that it’s had to go on the back-burner. We moved in about 6- 7 months ago. Fortunately, we had managed to get all the other rooms and the garden done but were saving the kitchen until last as that was the room I really wanted to get right. Money is picking back up now so we’ve got a bit saved up to start renovating the kitchen finally. I’ve been searching high and low for different ideas as I don’t want a plain old boring kitchen. This is another great idea to add to my short-list so thanks for that. I’m a big antique fan so love the aging look that this brass will give you over time. I’ve got a lot of wood, brass and copper around the home. I do tend to shop around at antique sales or I buy second-hand furniture online when I spot a good discount on something that catches my eye – this site: used.forsale) is quite good if you want some bargains on used furniture and you often get free delivery. I get an old table or cabinet, give it a bit of TLC and you’ve got a lovely piece to help give one of your rooms some extra character. Fab looking kitchen anyway, hope I can come up with something equally as elegant. Look frwd to seeing it when everything is in and that brass has started to age a bit. Thanks, Michelle

    • Thanks, Michelle! I also love going to architectural salvage stores – they’re often organized and have really pretty inexpensive hardware options. You may want to try that as well. It took us two and a half years before taking the leap on our kitchen. Take your time – you may learn how you really use it and what would be best for your layout after using it a year or two.

  6. Hello Julie, I was searching for unlacquered brass fixtures and your blog came up. We have a 1896 Folk Victorian that we are renovating. We are starting with two bathrooms and then the master bath and kitchen. The house has brass everywhere: door handles, hinges, window pulls… I do not want the fake gold look. I went to a local plumbing supply and the only line they carry with unlacquered brass is California faucets. What companies did you find that you liked? I’m also going round and round about what counter tops. I would love marble, but like you said in a post a few years ago everyone is trying to talk me out of them. What are you using for your counter tops in your new kitchen?

    • I used marble again. It’s risky, but SO worth it!
      Are you looking for an unlacquered brass faucet? If so, Newport Brass, Barber Wilson’s and Rohl were my favorites. I really wanted a Barber Wilson’s, but the sprayer {which Chris really wanted} made it unattainable.

      • Another idea for an unlacquered brass faucet is to purchase a quality chrome faucet & have the chrome professionally stripped down to the brass. I purchased a wall mount from Chicago Faucet to use in our circa 1823 stone home and it is beautiful! Interesting point: not all of the pieces of the faucet were the same color – a couple pieces were more rose than yellow – but with time, they have weathered to a beautiful patina. I wish I could take credit for this idea, but it was my savvy historical architect who put me on point.

  7. Yes, I’m looking for unlacquered for all the baths and kitchen. My home sits directly on the Gulf of Mexico and the brass that was put in in the 80’s has really tarnished and does not work properly. I hope I don’t regret using it, but what was here lasted a long time and the house was vacant for about 4 years so that might have contributed to the tarnish too. What marble are you going with? And are you using it in your baths too?

    • I used Olympian Danby marble – I’ve written a couple posts about it if you want to learn more. I just love marble. If you want to try to polish your brass, salt, flour and vinegar works!

  8. Hi there,

    I’m currently searching for unlacquered brass cupboard latches – any recommendations as to where I should look?

    Cheers,
    Megan

  9. Would love to know your cabinet paint color! Just beautiful, all around! Thanks for sharing!

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