Unlacquered Brass: The Living Finish

Unlacquered brass is becoming increasingly popular in recent years as everyone loves the aged and vintage look of the “living finish”. It’s a great addition to any home, whether you prefer a modern or traditional style. 

But why should you choose unlacquered brass over lacquered brass, and what are the differences in brass finishes you can choose? Here’s everything you need to know.

Lacquered vs Unlacquered Brass

Lacquer is a thin coating of varnish which protects the brass from oxidising. After several years, this lacquer can begin to wear off in parts. If this process starts, you can have increased difficulty cleaning the product. The lacquered areas can stay shiny, and the worn-off areas will tarnish, leaving behind an uneven finish. But like anything, if properly taken care of, it can last well.

However, unlacquered brass is simply brass with no protective coating. The beauty of this brass having no coat of lacquer means that the brass can naturally age and create a patina. The brass will tarnish, but do not confuse the tarnishing for corrosion. The more pollution or salt in the air, the quicker unlacquered brass will dull down. However, there’s no need to worry if you want to revive the shiny look. You can restore it with some polish and a little bit of effort.

Unlacquered brass is an obvious choice for many, the natural lustre of highly polished brass is simply gorgeous in every home. The deep patina that forms over time is special and can differ for each customer. It truly is a unique feature which gets better with age.

What are the differences between our brass finishes?

Unlacquered Brass (UB)

As mentioned above, unlacquered brass is raw brass which is shiny when it arrives, as it has been hand polished in our workshop and shipped immediately. 

The beauty of this finish is all in the ageing process. A unique patina forms naturally and reveals a well-worn and vintage-like appearance. 

Unlacquered Satin Brass (US)

Satin brass is matte in appearance and has a light, warm and shiny hue. It’s given a brushed finish by hand-sateen raw brass components. 

It’s not as shiny as unlacquered brass so therefore it doesn’t mirror. As it’s also a living finish, it will age gracefully over time and develop a beautiful patina too. 

Tumbled Brass (TB)

This is an instant-aged look finish. Its worn appearance is achieved by placing raw die-cast brass products into a tumbler containing small 5-cent-sized stones. As the product undergoes this tumbling treatment, a weathered, textured look forms. The finish is unlacquered so it will continue to age and develop a unique patina.

Areas of the tumbled brass that are touched frequently will slowly lighten, whereas the areas that don't get touched as often will oxidise and darken, resulting in a truly, beautiful lustre finish. This finish is suitable for both modern and traditional interior design.


Whichever finish you choose, be rest assured that you will have a unique, hand-crafted piece in your home which will age beautifully.