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Unlacquered Brass Hardware

Unlacquered Brass is polished, unfinished raw brass that darkens and develops patina as it ages. Keep reading to learn more about it along with the knobs, pulls, hinges and cabinet latches.

unlacquered brass

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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 is also knowns as raw brass or uncoated brass. It 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!

unlacquered brass cabinet hardware - hinges, knobs and pulls

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

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!

I worried that they wouldn’t “fit” as the unlacquered brass hardware aged, but they fit in flawlessly!

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

You can get more details on this unlacquered brass faucet here.

unlacquered brass faucet

I have received several questions about how our unlacquered brass hardware aged and I’m happy to say, beautifully! Well, that is in the eye of the beholder. I know it’s not for everyone. If you prefer the polished look, I would purchase polished rather than take the time to polish unlacquered brass.

The below photos are a year and a half worth of wear.

unlacquered brass

You can see where little hands reach and I think it’s oh so sweet!

unlacquered brass appliance pulls

Of course these can be polished and restored to look like new!

How to Polish Brass:

  • Apply cleaner to surface.
  • Using a damp rag, apply pressure to wipe brass clean.
  • Rinse the brass thoroughly using a clean cloth.

unlacquered brass

unlacquered brass faucet

unlacquered brass

unlacquered brass

unlacquered brass knobs

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


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This post was originally shared May 2017 and updated September 2018

33 comments on “Unlacquered Brass 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: 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.

      • I got the Barber Wilson 1010 in unlacquered brass with a sprayer. I didn’t see the sprayer option online or in the book but the sales woman at Ferguson’s found it and I love it

        Horton brasses has tons of unlacquered brass hardware. I love mine except the fridge handles which show every smudge and are really hard to clean

  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?


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

  10. Do you have photos of the unlacqured brass after a few years?

  11. I took the plunge and ordered unlacquered brass knobs, bins pulls and latches. They will look great with my Lacanche. I ordered forever brass for the faucet and got polished brass for the dishwasher and refrigerator/freezer pulls because they didn’t have unlacquered. Thanks for the inspiration. 

    I would love to see you post on how your brass is aging, how to clean and polish brass if you want to shine it up and what you did with your refrigerator. Your blog is stunning, as is your home!

  12. I enjoyed looking at your kitchen. It is beautiful. I am in process of remodeling and very interested in the waterstone unlacquered brass pull down faucet. I love the old mixed with the new and any natural items in a decor. I am getting mixed opinions about the brass living finish. Some say it looks dirty. Others say give it time. Have you fallen more in love with your faucet as it has aged? Do you polish it often? 

    • I personally love it and never polish it, but you definitely have to love that “weathered” look. Did you see photos of how ours looks after a year and a half?

  13. Hi Julie. Your brass aged so well. We’re looking for unlacquered plumbing fixtures for bathroom and kitchen. Where did you find your faucet? Thank you!

  14. Hi Julie, Lovely hardware! Can you please tell me where you got the long drawer pulls? I see links to the cup pulls, hinges and knobs but not the long pulls that are pictured. Thanks so much! Nikki 

  15. Hi Julie…Love your kitchen!! Where did you purchase the long two hole cabinet pulls?

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