Unlacquered Brass Cabinet Hardware

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If you’re in the market for cabinet hardware that brings a touch of elegance and character to your space, unlacquered brass is a great option to consider! Unlacquered brass cabinet hardware is a popular choice among interior designers and homeowners as it adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space. Today, I’m sharing the benefits of using unlacquered brass cabinet hardware, about its patina, how to maintain it properly, and some popular design ideas to incorporate this timeless material into your home decor. Whether you’re renovating your kitchen or simply looking to spruce up your bathroom cabinets, keep reading to learn more about the beauty and versatility of unlacquered brass hardware.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

kitchen with Unlacquered Brass Cabinet Hardware and cream cabinets
Design: Tiffany Leigh Design, Project PEC Cottage. Photography by Patrick Biller

Shop Unlacquered Brass Cabinet Hardware

What is Unlacquered Brass?

Unlacquered brass is a type of brass that has not been treated with any protective coating. Unlike lacquered brass, which has a glossy finish to protect it from tarnishing, unlacquered brass is left in its natural state. Over time, unlacquered brass will develop a unique patina that adds to its beauty and character. In addition, it has a living finish, meaning it will change and evolve over time and with use. 

kitchen peninsula and breakfast nook with brass Hardware and picture light
Kitchen details. Shop the kitchen: Bridge faucet, Cabinet latch, cabinet pulls, cabinet knobs, toaster, floral fields art.

Benefits of using Unlacquered Brass Hardware


One of the benefits of unlacquered brass kitchen hardware is its versatility. Whether you have a modern or traditional kitchen, unlacquered brass hardware will complement your decor beautifully. In addition, the warm golden hues of unlacquered brass create a welcoming atmosphere and add luxury to your space.

Looking for more details about my Kitchen Design? Learn More Here.


Another significant aspect of unlacquered brass hardware is its durability. It can withstand the wear and tear of daily use and maintain its original appearance for years. Therefore, when choosing unlacquered brass hardware, you can rest assured that you are investing in a high-quality, long-lasting product.

dark wood bathroom vanity with unlacquered brass hardware
Design: Tiffany Leigh Design, Project Two Spoons Photography by Lauren Miller

Unlacquered Brass Patina

Unlacquered brass is created without a protective coating, allowing the material to develop a natural patina over time. This patina adds depth and character to the brass and is a unique feature of unlacquered brass hardware. In addition, the patina develops differently based on the environment, so every piece of unlacquered brass will always look different.

Does unlacquered brass tarnish?

Since unlacquered brass has a living finish, it will tarnish over time with exposure to air and oils from our hands touching it.

close up of kitchen with unlacquered brass kitchen hardware including knobs and pulls showing patina

Maintaining your Hardware

When it comes to maintenance, unlacquered brass hardware requires a bit of extra attention compared to lacquered brass if you plan to maintain its original shine. However, this is part of the charm of the material. Over time, you can expect your unlacquered brass to develop a unique patina. 

showing the patina of unlacquered brass on a new cup pull and a 2  year old cup pull.

How to remove tarnish from unlacquered brass

One of the great things about unlacquered brass is that you can have a beautiful tarnish or polish it up and have shiny new brass giving it a brand-new look. 

There are a few ways to remove the tarnish from unlacquered brass. Using a soft microfibre cloth, you can use home remedies or any of the following brass cleaners:

  • Barkeeper’s Friend
  • Brasso

I love the patina on my hardware, so I don’t use anything to remove it. Unlacquered brass disinfects itself! I use a soft cloth with some soapy water when necessary, but I don’t scrub too hard!

view of kitchen peninsula with cream cabinets and white quartz countertops

Unlacquered Brass Kitchen Hardware

If you want to add warmth and character to your kitchen, consider using unlacquered brass hardware. Unlacquered brass cabinet knobs, latches, and pulls can be the perfect finishing touch to your cabinets, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to the space.

In addition to their aesthetic appeal, unlacquered brass kitchen hardware is incredibly durable and will last a lifetime! Also, because it doesn’t have a protective coating, it will develop a natural patina that protects the brass from corrosion and rust. This makes it the perfect choice for a high-traffic area like the kitchen.

PRO TIP: One of my favourite ways to change the whole feel of a kitchen is by switching out the cabinet hardware. If your kitchen has a different metal finish for hardware, consider swapping it out for unlacquered brass for an entirely new look.

cream coloured kitchen with woven stools
Design: Tiffany Leigh Design, Project PEC Cottage. Photography by Patrick Biller

Want to see how my friend Tiffany Leigh Design used unlacquered brass knobs in this PEC Cottage project? Check out the whole project here.

What is the difference between unlacquered brass and aged brass?

Unlacquered brass and aged brass are two different finishes for brass materials. Unlacquered brass refers to brass not coated with any protective layer, allowing it to develop a natural patina over time. This patina is caused by oxidation, giving the brass a unique and vintage look.

On the other hand, aged brass is intentionally treated to have an aged or antique appearance. This can be achieved through various processes, such as chemical treatments or physical abrasion, giving the brass a distressed, weathered, or tarnished look.

bathroom with oval unlacquered brass hardware showing patina
Shop the Bathroom: Art, Stool (similar), Light, Cafe Curtains (DIY pinch pleated), Rod (Rub n Buffed), Rings, Vase, Dried Hydrangeas (similar), Chandelier, Hook

Is unlacquered brass more expensive?

Due to the growing popularity of unlacquered brass due to popular designers like Jean Stoffer and Amber Lewis, the price has gone up with demand. Ultimately, the cost of unlacquered brass may vary depending on the manufacturer, supplier, and type of hardware or fixture.

view of c shaped kitchen with cream cabinets and decor
Shop the kitchen: Cabinet latch, cabinet pulls, cabinet knobs, toaster, Mixer, dried hydrangeas (similar), bread keeper (Sophie Conran, discontinued)

Is unlacquered brass timeless?

Yes! While it has gained popularity in recent years, unlacquered brass is a timeless finish for home hardware and fixtures. It has been used in homes for centuries and continues to be a popular choice among homeowners and designers today.

Additionally, unlacquered brass is versatile and can work well with various design styles, from traditional to modern. It can add warmth and richness to a traditional space or provide a contrasting pop of warmth in a sleek, modern space.

kitchen range hood and oven

Unlacquered brass cabinet hardware is a versatile and timeless choice that can add warmth, character, and elegance to any space. While it may require more maintenance and care than other finishes, the natural patina that develops over time gives unlacquered brass a unique and vintage look that can make each piece one-of-a-kind. So whether you’re looking to update your kitchen, bathroom, or any other area of your home, investing in high-quality unlacquered brass cabinet hardware can be a wise decision that adds lasting value and style to your space.


Is unlacquered brass worth it?

Whether or not unlacquered brass is worth it depends on your personal preferences and priorities for your home! It is versatile, durable, and timeless, making it a great home hardware choice.

How long does unlacquered brass last?

Unlacquered brass lasts a lifetime since it doesn’t corrode or rust, making it a great choice for hardware and fixtures in your home.

Is unlacquered brass trendy?

While unlacquered brass has become trendy over the recent years, it has been used for centuries, making it timeless, and it is still a popular choice for designers and homeowners!

bathroom refresh with light walls and big mirror

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  1. Hello,
    Beautiful kitchen. What is the color on the cabinets?

    Thank you.