Venetian bronze and oil-rubbed bronze are two finishes that are commonly available in drawer and door pulls, as well as in faucets for the bath or kitchen. The two are very similar, both in appearance as well as in the proper care that is necessary to maintain their appearance.
Oil-rubbed bronze has a dark, almost black matte appearance. It will feel slightly oily to the touch. Venetian bronze is a lighter color that comes in a powder-coated finish. While it reflects more light than oil-rubbed bronze, it is still a matte finish. The feel of this finish is smooth, and the color is close to pewter. The main difference between the two is slight and is a simple variation in color.
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The cost of Venetian bronze is slightly higher, due to the manufacturing process that creates the finish. However, both Venetian bronze and oil-rubbed bronze are typically priced within a few cents of one another. You can expect to pay around $4 to $10 per drawer or door pull, depending on the manufacturer and the store. Fixtures in either finish typically cost in excess of $100 and are more expensive than stainless steel but less expensive than other finishes such as copper.
Caring for This Finish
Both finishes require a little extra care, particularly when they are first installed. The installation process strips off the protective coating of wax and oil. To protect the finish, a light coating of furniture wax, not furniture polish, must be used. Rub the furniture wax onto the fixture with a soft cloth and polish it lightly. If the fixture is touched frequently, this process should be repeated monthly.
Venetian bronze and oil-rubbed bronze will oxidize over time. This will change their appearance slightly. The final appearance will be close to aged copper and is very pleasing to the eye. Regular maintenance is still required to protect the finish, even after it has oxidized. Wax both finishes regularly, and clean them with a soft cloth daily to remove the oils from your hands that transfer to the metal.