To lacquer or not to lacquer

Let’s talk about lacquer. What is lacquer? Lacquer is a coating applied to an item as a way to seal an item and prevent the finish from aging or wearing. Lacquer finishes are applied to all sorts of things, including metals, of course. Most hardware manufacturers apply a lacquer coating to their hardware to keep the finish from aging. Horton Brasses, traditionally, did not do this.  All of our finishes have have typically been “living finishes”. Our various pieces of brass hardware are finished in one of our five brass finishes and left to age naturally. Please note-nickel does not tarnish like brass and this discussion isn’t relevant to nickel hardware.

But what does it mean that our brasses have a living finish?  Well, in the case of shinier finish, polished brass and the like, it means that the hardware will tarnish over time and look like an antique piece of hardware — which it will be.  Everything we make is intended to last forever. Most of our clients prefer to let their brasses age naturally. But, and there is always a but: New hardware that is patinaed in our shop will not age the same way. Our antique brass, which is a brown color, will lighten gently in some areas. This will give your furniture or cabinetry a very natural look. As if it has always been there, even if it is only a few years old. Our version of oil rubbed — we call it dark antique — will age more drastically. In a kitchen setting, you will find that some spots, such as the silverware drawer, will get quite light. In essence, our hands act as a polish and you will see some gold showing through. The aging is inconsistent and to some is considered quite attractive. Do you like that look? Great. Dislike that look? I certainly understand.  If you want to keep your brasses uniform, we would suggest having your hardware lacquered. While probably not necessary for a piece of furniture, a dark finish in a kitchen setting will keep your hardware looking exactly the same as the day you installed it for a long time.

We do offer lacquering as a semi-custom finish option on any and all of our hardware, in all of our finishes.  As of last week, our most popular kitchen cabinet hardware is now being stocked in dark antique and antique with a lacquer coating.  This includes items like our BN-3 bin pull, K-12 knobs, and SL-4 cabinet latches.

We do charge an additional 20% for lacquering.  For a variety of reasons, we cannot do the lacquering in our own shop, so we send it out to a professional in Maryland, who has a proper lacquer spray booth and knows a thing or two about hardware.