Get the details on purchasing an unlacquered brass kitchen faucet (also known as uncoated brass, a living finish or raw brass). You’ll learn where to shop, what to look for, and what to expect as it ages!
If you’re shopping for an unlacquered brass faucet, you’ll find that your options can feel limited and they are quite the investment. Get all my favorite tips and tricks for that charming aged brass finish you’re searching for!
When we undertook our kitchen remodel several years back, I knew right away that unlacquered brass had my heart. There’s just something about that patina that I cannot get enough of… it adds an immediate warmth and elegance to any space.
After receiving so many questions about our new Cream Kitchen, I knew it was time to update you about our unlacquered brass faucet. It pairs beautifully with our Farmhouse Sink, doesn’t it?
Learn where to find them and how to care for them, too, in this complete guide!
What is Unlacquered Brass?
Unlacquered brass, (also known as raw brass, uncoated brass or a living finish) is polished, raw brass without a protective coating. It darkens and develops patina as it ages.
If you enjoy embracing imperfection (like marble countertops), you will love unlacquered brass because it requires very little maintenance. While a polished brass faucet has to be frequently wiped down because it shows spots, on an uncoated brass faucet, they just blend in with the patina!
Unlacquered Brass Kitchen Faucets
It’s hard to make a timeless decision… one that will stand the test of time and something you’ll love just as much 10 or 20 years from now!
- This faucet needed to feel special! Because my style is so minimalistic and simple, I wanted the faucet to be a star in our kitchen.
- This warm, timeless finish has no comparison in my eyes. It’s timeless, ages beautifully and cannot be replicated in less expensive formats. Simply put: it’s special!
- Is it possible to fall in love with a faucet? I love the delicate knobs that mimic those on our nearby Lacanche Range. I also love that a living finish allows us to choose whether we want the brass to age gracefully or polish to its original state.
Frequently Asked Questions
As you can see in the photos in this post, it takes around a year to really start to see the patina. In fact, two years is probably when it was darkest.
Yes! Unlacquered brass ages to the perfect patina, which adds so much charm and warmth to your home.
Vinegar is safe on uncoated, raw brass. Find all the best methods for cleaning your brass with this Brass Polish.
Yes! You can give your uncoated brass a patina by using vinegar and salt or a brass ager.
Unlacquered Brass as it Ages
There’s a reason that raw brass is also called uncoated brass, or a living finish. Quite simply, it’s brass that has been stripped of any protective lacquer.
This means that it changes as it ages, and you can choose to polish frequently or enjoy the patina over time.
I much prefer the patina of our unlacquered brass kitchen faucet vs. frequent polishing. Oxidation happens fairly quickly in my experience.
Several years later, this is how it has aged…
If you want to restore it and make it shine, you can get my favorite product and the step by step tutorial and tips in the guide linked above!
- If you want polished brass all the time, I highly recommend you install polished brass, not unlacquered. However, you can return unlacquered brass with patina to its original condition by polishing it.
- Anything with acidity including tomatoes, citrus juice, toothpaste, etc will tarnish brass – often in a way that feels uneven and unwanted. A powdered brass polish or soft cleanser can renew the finish in just a few minutes.
- Be careful to protect surrounding surfaces, especially marble.
Clean using a soft cloth, soap and water or a surface spray. Dish soap effectively removes oils, food, fingerprints and more with a soft cloth, microfiber or a paper towel.
A quick tip: More than anything, the side sprayer is a life saver! We contemplated doing without the side sprayer, but I’m so thankful we didn’t.
With our farmhouse sink, it’s almost a necessity to encourage bits of food down the drain. It has made cleaning the farmhouse sink a breeze. Now that we have it, I’m convinced we could never live without it!
It can be difficult to find true unlacquered brass. And without question, it’s a long-term investment for your kitchens or baths so you’ll want a quality piece that will stand the test of time.
A few tips as you shop for your unlacquered brass faucet:
- Try to visit high-end kitchen show rooms in person. This can give you a better idea about scale, shape, and details that photos might miss.
- Order a sample whenever possible. Because brass has become such a popular finish in home design, there are manufacturers who put claim on a variety of “brass” finishes that are certainly NOT true unlacquered brass.
- Allow plenty of lead time. In many cases, these higher-end kitchen fittings are made to order and can take a long time to receive. Plan ahead for your kitchen renovation needs!
- True unlacquered brass can genuinely last a lifetime. Be sure to consider a timeless style if you’re investing in a brass kitchen faucet like this… you don’t want to regret your decision down the road by choosing a “trendy” style. Refer to historical kitchens for context and help in choosing a style that will stand the test of time!
Where to Buy Unlacquered Brass Faucets
Newport Brass Kitchen Faucet with Sidespray
As seen in our St. Louis kitchen.
Georgian Era Bridge Faucet
As seen in our lake cottage kitchen.