Antique Brass

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If you’ve been following along on my Instagram, then you already know that we’re currently renovating our master bathroom, which I’m super excited about! Renovations are so fun, there’s something very magical about seeing a room transform before your eyes. But, they’re also a lot of work and include a lot of decisions. One of these decisions is finding the perfect hardware to accent the bathroom design. Our remodeled bathroom features a white carrara marble tile and a truly beautiful customized wood vanity. I knew antique brass hardware would be the perfect accessory to compliment this space!

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Antique brass bathroom faucet with Carrara marble.

Brass Bathroom Hardware

If all antique brass held the same color, brightness, and finish across different suppliers, this would be a much simpler task. But, as anyone who has shopped for this finish knows, this isn’t the case. It can be tricky to find antique brass finishes from different manufacturers that don’t perfectly match, but still look great together. In this post I’m going to answer some of the commonly asked questions about this metal including what color is antique brass, if it is a “true” brass, how it’s different from regular brass, and if antique brass is currently in style. I’m also going to share how I was able to mix different types of antique brass in my bathroom and successfully pair them well together. 

Bathroom with brass fixtures like narrow brass mirrors and faucets.

What is Antique Brass?

Before jumping into the brass bathroom hardware we used in our home, let’s start with some commonly asked questions about antique brass.

FAQ’s About Antique Brass

  • What is the difference between brass and antique brass? Brass in an alloy (a combination) of copper and zinc. The natural finish of polished brass is shiny, bright, and gold. Antique brass, on the other hand, is made to appear old or “antiqued” with a darker, low-luster finish. It absorbs more light than it reflects and usually has more brown tones.
  • Is antique brass real brass? This depends on the item. Some antique brass items are made from solid brass while others are plated or wrapped in a thin layer of brass. It is also possible to use brass paints to create an antique brass finish on any item. Typically, if you hold a magnet to a “brass” item and feel a pull then it is brass plated with iron or steel beneath. If there is no pull from a magnet then it is most likely solid brass.
  • What color is antique brass? Antique brass is a rich, deep brown color with golden undertones. It is made to appear aged with a warm, dull finish.
  • Is antique brass in style? Yes, absolutely! As Southern Living Magazine stated, “Brass is Back!” The best part is it works for many different design styles including modern, traditional, coastal, and more. I also love how well antique brass pairs with other metals.
Natural wood bathroom vanity with Carrara marble and brass fixtures.

Antique Brass Accessories in Bathroom

While mixing metals in a bathroom is popular, trying to mix finishes in the same metal family is much more difficult. If we were to buy all of our bathroom accessories from the same store it probably would have been easier to ensure that they matched, but where’s the fun in that? If I’m going to renovate a bathroom, then I want to go all out and find the exact pieces that bring my vision to life in that space. Knowing that I wanted antique brass bathroom hardware, I started my search to find the perfect items. I came across bathroom hardware in different antique brass finishes that weren’t exactly the same, but blended well together. I love how the pairing of these different finishes turned out!

Brilliance Luxe Gold Hardware – Brizo 

The hype behind Brizo’s Brilliance Luxe Gold finish is real and so worthy! If you’re not familiar with Brizo, it is the luxury line from the same company that makes Delta products. Brizo’s Brilliance Luxe Gold finish is an antiqued brass that gives off a gleaming warmth without being too golden. This finish brings beauty to any room and I’m excited to use it for our bathroom faucets and shower hardware. If you’re looking for a very similar finish for a lower price, Delta products in Champagne Bronze are essentially the same finish as Brizo’s Brilliance Luxe Gold.

Luxe Gold tub filler with handheld shower.
Overhead shower head with handheld shower on sliding bar.

Hand-Rubbed Antique Brass – Visual Comfort 

On my Instagram bathroom renovation videos, I shared footage of 3 different antique brass sconce options. Although I loved them all, I decided the Visual Comfort Thomas O’Brien Hulton wall sconce in hand-rubbed antique brass was the best style and finish for our bathroom. It’s an interesting finish that is a touch more gold than most antique brass finishes, but it’s hand-rubbed so it will evolve with time. As oils from fingertips collect and as it ages, the color will age as well.

Double vanity with brass mirrors and double sconce with shades.

French Antique Brass – Emtek 

We selected classic door levers for our bathroom in Emtek’s French Antique Brass finish. It also has a brighter finish with more warmth than the other antique brass finishes. This finish pairs really nicely with luxe gold and champagne bronze hardware.

Shaker doors with white paint in Chantilly lace and emtek levers.
Emtek levers in French antique brass.

Tumbled Brass – Pottery Barn 

Pottery Barn accessories come in two different finishes, brass and tumbled brass. The brass finish is a brighter gold while the tumbled brass is deeper and richer, making it more of a match with antique brass finishes. We selected Pottery Barn Tumbled Brass for our bathroom towel hooks, towel ring, and toilet paper holder. 

Art above toilet in powder closet.
Tumbled brass toilet paper holder.

Antique Brass – Williams Sonoma 

Lastly, we went with a pair of Williams Sonoma rectangular mirrors in antique brass to complete the space. This Williams Sonoma Antique Brass finish is actually darker than the rest of the brass bathroom hardware, but they pair very nicely together. The slightly different brass shades, all with the same undertones, add character to the bathroom without being too overwhelming.

Bathroom vanity sink with narrow antique brass mirrors.

How to Search for Antique Brass Finishes

If you’re looking for hardware for your next project, try searching for rubbed brass, champagne bronze, and vintage gold. Also, don’t rule out a simple brass search also. Each brand has their own interpretation of brass, so you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find. Finally, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can always use one of my favorite brass spray paints.

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Budget-Friendly Options

Mixed Brass Bathroom Hardware

I was a little nervous about mixing different antique brass finishes from different manufacturers, but I am so happy with the end result! Even though finishes including luxe gold, french antique brass, and champagne bronze are slightly different shades of antique brass, they all pair beautifully together. If you’re nervous about mixing metals in the same family, I would advise checking out the finishes I shared in this post and giving it a try!

Bathroom vanity with vintage rug runner.

What are some of your favorite antique brass items in your home? Have you had any luck mixing different brass finishes in the same room? If so, did you use one of the finishes I mentioned in this post or do you have a different favorite? I’d love to hear all about it! Your comments could also help others who might be searching for antique brass pieces for their homes!

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