Oil rubbed bronze is a metal finish that is softer and more neutral than regular bronze. While a normal bronze finish exhibits a soft, golden glow, its oil rubbed counterpart has a deeper, darker cast. There are some variations in the oil rubbed bronze finish, depending on the manufacturer; some tend a bit to the yellow and others a kind of soft gunmetal. The main color component is neutral, however, which means you will have a lot of options coming up with compatible colors.
A warm neutral color will pick up the warmth of the metal, especially if the finish has any of the warmth sometimes found in oil rubbed bronze. Taupe or beige, infused with a touch of yellow or light earth color, can bring that out. If the warm neutral is on the light side, it will be more compatible with the rest of your decor, as darker neutrals can be oppressive at times.
A light mint or light yellow-green color toned down with a touch of gray will compliment cooler, gunmetal finishes. The added gray tone keeps the color from overwhelming the subtle tones of the oil rubbed bronze. In general, staying with lighter and more neutral colors will help highlight the finish.
Use a color from the warm part of the color wheel, like a yellow-gold or amber for a bolder color scheme. Russet, ochre or other fall colors provide a glow to the room and will go well with the soft radiance of the oil rubbed bronze. Fall colors can be easily mixed and matched provided they are not too saturated or intense.
Bill Brown has been a freelance writer for more than 14 years. Focusing on trade journals covering construction and home topics, his work appears in online and print publications. Brown holds a Master of Arts in liberal arts from St. John's University and is currently based in Houston.