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Top Black Hardware Finishes and Key Differences

Posted by Elaina on

Clockwise from left: Mountain Lodge | Knob in Black Iron, Maven | Hook in Matte Black, Williamsburg | Knob in Oil-Rubbed Bronze

Choosing the right finish on hardware for your space can be overwhelming with the wide array of choices we have available. With this educational blog series, I’m setting out to cover our bestselling Hickory Hardware finishes while explaining the differences so you can make a more informed decision. We always encourage our customers to take advantage of our Sample Program to try before you buy! 

A fair disclaimer: finishes can vary widely by brand, manufacturer, and supplier. These blog posts will strictly be focusing on Hickory Hardware finishes and their respective names.

We continue the series to discuss everything about our top selling black finishes. Stay tuned for our closely-related post on top Pewter finishes which we’ll cover soon!

Matte Black

Matte Black is the quintessential black finish for modern black hardware. Its popularity in interior design has skyrocketed in recent years. It is a true neutral black with a low sheen lacquer applied. 

Due to its neutral undertone, Matte Black will coordinate with any cabinet color and will work with most other black fixtures and appliances. 

Matte Black is most strikingly similar to our Oil-Rubbed Bronze finish, with Oil-Rubbed Bronze being a hair warmer. The difference is very difficult to notice unless compared side by side or over top of each other which I’ve tried to do below, under shade conditions and in direct sunlight.

Knob (on top): Williamsburg | Knob in Oil-Rubbed Bronze, Hook (on bottom): Maven | Hook in Matte Black

Oil-Rubbed Bronze

As mentioned previously, Oil-Rubbed Bronze is very similar to Matte Black, the only difference is with Oil-Rubbed Bronze being a touch warmer with a slight brownish undertone. Because of this slightly warm undertone, Oil-Rubbed Bronze will coordinate well with most other black and dark brown finishes. The finish is covered in a matte protective coating. Many of our top selling collections are available in Oil-Rubbed Bronze including Cottage, Bungalow, Williamsburg, and Greenwich. For a unique organic design check out Willow!

Black Iron

Black Iron is the most easily distinguishable out of the black finishes we’re featuring. It is a soft neutral black color with a subtle weathered texture for a time-worn appearance and has a matte protective coating. 

Mountain Lodge | Knob in Black Iron

In the photo above, the knob has been flipped to show a better view of how the Black Iron finish looks over a smooth surface as opposed to hammered.

Black Iron coordinates with most other black finishes that aim for that rustic feel. Forge is a great modern farmhouse collection that is available in Black Iron. For those aiming for a Cabincore aesthetic, collections like Mountain Lodge, Refined Rustic, and Craftsman are also available in Black Iron.

That’s it for our top black finishes! To recap:

  • Matte Black is a true neutral black with a low sheen lacquer. 
  • Oil-Rubbed Bronze is a warm black with matte protective coating.
  • Black Iron is a weathered neutral black with a matte protective coating.

To learn more, check out our other posts by finish color families:

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