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What is a satin nickel finish?

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Quick Answer

A satin nickel finish is a nickel plating that covers another metal, such as brass; it has been dulled to remove the shine and lacquered to preserve the finish. Items with a satin nickel finish are typically much less expensive than those with polished nickel finishes, which lack the lacquer and offers a shinier finish, and is often comparable to chrome.

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Full Answer

A satin nickel finish can be applied to numerous hardware and fixtures found throughout the home. For example, kitchen and bathroom cabinetry might feature satin nickel knobs, handles and drawer pulls. Choosing similar finishes for lighting, faucet handles and other fixtures can create a cohesive unity in the space.

In some cases, satin nickel and brushed nickel are considered synonymous. This varies from one manufacturer to another. However, true brushed nickel finishes feature lacquer that has been applied with a small brush. All of the strokes are aimed in the same direction, but the brush strokes serve to further dull the shininess of the metal.

Both satin nickel and brushed nickel are prized for the dull finish. It makes them easier to keep clean and attractive, as polished nickel is more likely to show dust, dirt, scratches and other blemishes. Since satin nickel is supposed to be dull, it doesn't need to be polished or otherwise maintained on a regular basis.

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