The Beauty of Oil Rubbed Bronze Home Hardware


Oil rubbed bronze is an extremely popular color when it comes to home hardware. It’s a beautiful color that gives a home a warm, lived-in, almost antique feel, as if the house is much older than it actually is. Oil rubbed bronze can actually come in several different shades, and the way it looks can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Depending on how it’s made, it can even look different from piece to piece.

If you love the look of oil rubbed bronze and you’re thinking of installing oil rubbed bronze home hardware in your kitchen or bathroom, there are a few things you should know about it first.

How is Oil Rubbed Bronze Made?

There are two different kinds of oil rubbed bronze, which are referred to as “living” and “non-living”.

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(Amerock Designs and Hickory Hardware)

Living oil rubbed bronze, is when a plate of copper is treated with a dark oil solution to give it that deep chocolate color, and left to dry. Over time, the dark patina will wear off over time as it is used. It’s dubbed “living” because it changes over time, as if it is alive and changing right along with the house and the people living there. You will begin to see the copper underneath. Very old and well-worn oil rubbed bronze doorknobs and cabinet knobs will have plenty of the copper showing through, giving it a beautiful duo-toned look.

Some people love the thought of their home hardware changing over time, while this isn’t for everyone. If you want all of your oil rubbed bronze pieces, or at least most of them, to look as uniform as possible, then you don’t want to go with living oil rubbed bronze.

Non-Living oil rubbed bronze will look the same for much much longer, because of the way it’s made. The dark brown metal is plated over a base metal such as brass or steel, and it’s made to look uniform throughout the different pieces as much as possible. Oil rubbed bronze will also look different depending on the manufacturer, because one will create a finish that is distressed, while another will design it so that the copper appears to have rubbed through in certain spots.


(Playful frog knob from Big Sky Hardware)

How to Shop For Oil Rubbed Bronze

Browse our selection of oil rubbed bronze pieces, to see which manufacturer creates the look you like best, on the pieces that you need, such as bath hooks, cabinet knobs, cabinet pulls, latches, etc. This will help you make sure you all the pieces will match. This will also help pull a room together, through the small details of the home hardware.

Now you can enjoy the beautiful look of your cabinets, adorned with the oil rubbed bronze home hardware in the designs you love.