Living vs lacquered solid brass

July 30, 2021

Why we only use the best, unlacquered brass.

For 30 years we have manufactured the finest luxury brass cabinet, and door hardware, from our Devon factory, in the UK and where possible we source our brass from Europe. All our hardware is designed in-house from start to finish, made-to-order, and then hand finished by a team of talented artisans. Brass is the base and provides a resilient backbone for our designs, allowing us to freely build unique shapes and grip designs.

Brass has been used in the manufacture of door handles for centuries, attesting to its durability and usability. We employ many methods of manufacturing including, milling, turning, extruding, hot stamping and forging to name a few. We only use unlacquered brass to apply these different processes are applied depending on what we are trying to achieve. To assess why we have chosen brass, it is important to know what the alloy is all about. Brass is comprised of copper and zinc, it is non-ferrous (meaning it will not rust) so can be used inside or out, and when applying various methods, it will provide an extensive range of coloured finishes. Alternative metals used for hardware, such as bronze or stainless steal, have limited finish capabilities or options.

For us solid brass hardware is a must, trying to decide between a living finish and a lacquered finish for your door or furniture hardware, can be a challenge. A living finish will give you a look that develops over time and with use, whereas a lacquered finish will remain the same. Un-lacquered brass is raw brass that is purposefully left un-sealed to allow for natural oxidation to take place. 

However lacquered brass has a thin coating of a varnish that can be applied by spraying or brushing. You can easily wipe lacquered brass down to keep the surface clean, but you cannot polish it. This thin layer of varnish is however vulnerable and can be worn off or scratched up if it is touched frequently. From these tiny areas of contact, tarnish can spread under the surface of the lacquer, trapped and will be impossible to reach or clean. This could lead to needing to replace the hardware. For this reason, we have chosen to avoid this kind of lacquered brass and prefer the natural qualities of un-lacquered brass.


Northam Burrows Spring Fencing Project

Proud members of the Living Wage Foundation

Interior design collaboration: Bespoke joinery & quality hardware


For further enquiries contact [email protected]
© Turnstyle Designs 2024. All Rights Reserved.


made to measure

On certain products, we offer a ‘Made to Measure’ service, where customers can request custom lengths.

This product is available for bespoke sizes, please contact our sales team to discuss further [email protected]

Or head to our ‘Bespoke’ section on the website.