Satin Nickel Vs. Brushed Nickel


Satin Nickel Vs. Brushed Nickel
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The main difference between Satin Nickel & Brushed Nickel is the way they look.

In simple words, brushed nickel has a matte, dull appearance as compared to satin nickel.

Satin nickel has a glossier, more lustrous finish that not only gives it a brighter but also a more modern appearance.

Satin Nickel Vs. Brushed Nickel | Comparison Chart

FeaturesBrushed NickelSatin Nickel
AppearanceLustrous appearanceDull look yet vintage appearance
MaintenanceEasy to maintain but regular cleaning is a must for a longer lifespan as well as to maintain its shining appearanceRegular cleaning isn’t needed as spots or marks are hardly visible on it
ProcessEtching is the application process and is achieved by using a wire brushLacquer treatment and electrolysis are the application process
FinishIt has a matte finish so stains, fingerprints, water spots, and most importantly, scratches are visibleDue to its dull finish stains, fingerprints, and even scratches aren’t easily visible
PopularityMore popular in the commercial hardware domainQuite popular in the residential hardware domain
ExpensesIt is budget-friendly and will not make a dent on your pocketDue to its complex production process, the cost of production rises making it costly
ApplicationSuitable for indoor pulls, machine parts, kitchen cabinets, and in bathroom fittingsSuitable for electronic locks, bathroom fittings, door levers, and zinc or brass faucets

Satin Nickel | Pros & Cons

Satin Nickel is easy to clean and maintain as any kind of spots including fingerprints, scratches, etc aren’t visible due to its dull finishDue to its high durability, it can easily match fixtures and other accessories
Due to its high durability, it can easily match fixtures and other accessoriesNot the best choice for places that require a glossy and shiny touch

Brushed Nickel | Pros & Cons

It has got good quality and you can expect it to last longer than chromeCostlier as compared to satin nickel and chrome and may not be the best choice for someone who is on a tight budget
It is popular and a favorite choice for homes with new and old elementsDoesn’t sync well with stainless steel as it starts to blend

Frankly speaking, when you’re looking for a new home, it isn’t easy to make the decision when it comes to choosing the type of finish that will sync well with your new home.

However, we’re here to help you in the best possible way that we could be providing you with adequate information that will help you in making an informed purchase decision.

Does it make sense?

So, without any further ado, let’s begin…

What Is Brushed Nickel?

Brushed Nickel is definitely one of the most popular and trusted finishes that are used in today’s home design.

It has got a very diversified use.

In fact, you can find it on almost everything including hardware, bathroom fixtures, kitchen counters, and appliances.

In layman’s terms, brushed nickel is a type of finish that you can easily apply to metal by brushing the surface with an abrasive agent.

Don’t confuse it with Chrome as both are quite different.

And, the best part is that it requires less effort and time as compared to other finishes because you can easily spray-paint or spray it onto a substrate in just one coat, interesting, isn’t it?

The abrasive agent plays an important role in removing the roughness from the surface leaving behind a smooth and shiny finish, and as a result, it finds a wide range of uses including furniture, appliances, and other metal objects.

Again, I want to remind you that don’t get it confused with satin nickel as both are very different.

Brushed nickel finish is a household name as it is in use since the early 1900s.

It was created by American nickel plater Henry and Frank Daniel and was used first on furniture and hardware.

Later on, the finish was used on the car’s doors as well.

What Is Satin Nickel?

Satin Nickel finish is known for giving off more of a warm glow with no visible abrasions.

If you don’t have a budget constraint and are interested in something more elegant and sophisticated than brushed nickel, then satin nickel will do the trick for you.

So, now you know why satin nickel is so popular with homeowners.

Satin nickel is a type of finish that is in use for decades in bathrooms and kitchens.

It offers more durability and resistance to tarnish when compared to a brushed nickel finish.

Not only is it more grey in color but also offers a more reflective appearance.

It is known to provide a lustrously smooth finish and the credit goes to dry powder polishing treatment.

And, the best part is that you’ll not find any brush markings on its surface making it appear less polished than a brushed nickel.

Are Satin Nickel And Brushed Nickel The Same?

Definitely, satin nickel and brushed nickel aren’t the same as the process involved to reach the final finish is entirely different.

Let’s have a quick look at some distinctive features that will clear your doubt if you’ve been thinking of them being the same.

Finishing Process

As mentioned earlier also, the process involved in achieving the final finish is entirely different.

Electrolysis is the process that is involved in achieving the satin nickel finish and as a result, satin nickel finish is widely used in various plumbing fixtures including faucets.

The final finish is created by plating zinc or brass.

In layman’s terms, the primary purpose of the electrolysis process is to increase its overall durability and bring out a lustrous finish.

But, at the same time, you need to understand that the finish may appear dull without an application of luster lacquer before plating so you need to be careful.

On the other hand, the brushed nickel process is entirely different wherein brush plating with tools or wire brushes is used to attain a lustrous look and feel.

Because of the use of a brush, you may find small brush marks on the finish.


Satin nickel fixtures tend to be more expensive because of the process involved in them.

Creating a brushed nickel finish is relatively easier due to the simplified process involved in its production.

However, if you’re looking for a lustrous and elegant look then you must go for a satin finish.

Satin Nickel Vs. Brushed Nickel: Which Is Shinier?

Satin nickel is more elegant and lustrous because electrolysis is used in the process of producing it.

It will give your home an elegant look and will act as a beautifying agent.

On the other hand, brushed nickel may have a brushed mark on its surface.

Is Brushed Nickel Going Out Of Style?

It goes without saying that brushed nickel has been around for decades and has been serving in traditional kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

For a few years, there has been a decline in its popularity.

However, in recent years, there has been a surge in brushed nickel finish, and the credit goes to its durability and overall appearance.

In short, brushed nickel isn’t going out of style as of now.

Is Satin Nickel Going Out Of Style?

Trust me, Satin Nickel isn’t going out of style in recent times for sure.

Many of you wouldn’t be aware of the fact that satin nickel finish has been around for many years.

Today, satin nickel finish has become a staple for high-quality luxurious items such as jewelry, silverware, etc.

In simple words, a satin nickel finish is a great choice for a wide range of applications including kitchen sinks, bathroom faucets, etc because of its sleek, modern, elegant, and timeless appearance.


In this section, I’ll be responding to the queries related to Satin Nickel Vs. Brushed Nickel in order to help you make an informed purchase decision.

In case, I’ve covered your question in this section, then please reach out to us and our core team will help you in the best possible way that they could.

Which is better satin nickel or brushed nickel?

Satin nickel has many benefits over brushed nickel such as durability, shine, elegance, and lustrous.

Also, satin nickel has a lower maintenance cost as well as easy to clean.

What should you not use with brushed nickel?

You shouldn’t use acid, alcohol, or even solvent-based cleaners with a brushed nickel finish as they can damage the delicate surface of the brushed nickel finish.

Never use vinegar solution on a brushed nickel finish because of its acidic nature.

Are brushed nickel and satin nickel the same color?

The satin finish has a more reflective appearance than brushed nickel and is more of a gray color than the light silver color of brushed nickel.

What finish is closest to satin nickel?

Brushed nickel is closest to satin nickel.

Is satin nickel timeless?

Yes, satin nickel is timeless.

Satin nickel fixtures feature a softer, muted finish that is ideal for more subtle looks.

It can give any space an elevated look and feel and could be a great option for modern, polished kitchen hardware.

Does satin nickel look like silver?

Satin nickel is a warm-toned similar and belongs to the same color family as polished nickel and stainless steel.

Is brushed nickel more gold or silver?

Brushed nickel has cooler silver tones throughout.

Does brushed nickel rust easily?

No, brushed nickel will not tarnish or rust easily.

Can satin nickel finish be painted?

Once you’ve conditioned the nickel-plated metal, it can be painted.

Before painting a satin nickel finish, it needs to be treated with a special acidic primer, formulated with the ability to etch durable metallic surfaces.

Does satin nickel oxidize?

If satin nickel isn’t cleaned and maintained properly then it may oxidize.

How do I get my brushed nickel to shine again?

First and foremost, you need to spread a layer of paste wax onto the brushed nickel surface using a soft and dry cloth.

You need to apply the wax paste in a small, circular motion.

Slowly and gradually, you need to apply it over the entire surface and then buff it out with a new cloth.

Paste wax is made from mineral spirits making it gentle on brushed nickel finishes.

Is the satin finish too shiny?

A satin finish doesn’t shine as much as gloss paint and is less reflective as well.

It’s A Wrap

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for being with us till the end.

Secondly, I would like to bring to your notice that I along with my core team have put loads and loads of effort into coming up with this idiosyncratic superlative piece of information on the topic, Satin Nickel Vs. Brushed Nickel.

And, in case, you liked our effort and want to appreciate us then please do share this post with like-minded people and the ones who are in search of a similar piece of information.

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Long story short, both are good in their own sense, and depending upon your requirements and budget, you can choose one among them.

The satin finish has the same base material as the brushed finish, that is, copper and nickel plating on steel.

The way it is applied makes all the difference.

It is applied by dipping the metal in chemicals that cause it to develop a shiny, smooth appearance.

The making process is very important as it involves electrolysis.

A thin layer of nickel is electroplated onto the surface of other metals such as copper to create a micro-thin layer of metal on top of the base metal, making it look like polished or satin chrome.

The satin finish produces a smooth surface that has a silky appearance and a mirror-like texture and quality.

On the other hand, brushed nickel is made from the alloy of nickel and copper resulting in a coloration that is more even than other types of finishes.

The process involved in making brushed nickel is called electroplating wherein nickel is plated onto the surface of a metal such as brass and copper by using a soluble salt solution.

Then, the solution is heated until it reaches the boiling point.

Furthermore, the molten salt is poured onto the surface of the object being plated, then allowed to cool and solidify.

In the process, the molten salt leaves behind tiny particles of pure nickel that are evenly distributed throughout the surface of the object.

As a result, you get a smooth, even layer coated with nickel.

You can apply either of the two finishes to metal furniture.

Needless to say, each finish has its own set of advantages and disadvantages so it’s always advisable to choose the one that not only caters to your requirements but also falls well within your budget.

For your information, satin nickel is costlier than brushed nickel because of the process involved in its making.

If you’ve got a budget constraint then brushed nickel would be a better option but it has a more dull appearance than a satin nickel.

Brushed nickel finish is available in a wide range of colors including silver, gold, and copper.

Warm gray, satin nickel has a very faint golden sheen and obvious brush traces on the surface of the product. Because it is softer and less harsh than satin chrome, architects and designers like satin nickel.

Needless to say, nickel is a great metal for use in bathrooms and kitchens, thanks to its corrosion-resistant feature.

Both satin nickel and brushed nickel have a longer lifespan.

However, satin nickel will last longer as it doesn’t tarnish easily.

Also, satin nickel looks more modern and elegant.

Long story short, both satin and brushed nickel possess the same basic properties, that is, they are both shiny and reflective.

However, the satin nickel finish gives you the feeling of real metal.

On the other hand, a brushed nickel finish gives a plastic appearance.

Satin nickel is also easier to clean and maintain because you’ll not find random brush marks on it.

That’s all, as of now:):)

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