8 Amazing Difference between Brushed Nickel and Satin Nickel

What is the difference between brushed nickel and satin nickel?

Modern homes tend to have a unique design and style. It is recommended to pick fixtures that would perfectly match the décor.

Most of these fixtures are made from nickel and they can either be brushed or satin. It is upon the homeowner to choose the one that suits the design and style of the home.

The article provides the difference between brushed nickel and satin nickel. Take the time to read through the guide to spot the difference.

Difference between Brushed Nickel and Satin Nickel

Brushed Nickel Definition

Brushed nickel is a form of plating that brings out the lustrous finish. The final touch is attained by brush plating using tools or wire brushes.

It is quite affordable to get a brushed nickel than pure nickel. It tends to be quite suitable for designing doorknobs of the house and other bathroom fixtures.

Satin Nickel Definition

Satin nickel is a form of plating zinc or brass to bring out an amazing final touch. Electrolysis is the method behind the application of nickel and it can be applied anywhere.

The main aim of satin nickel plating is to increase the durability of the fixture and not only to bring out the lustrous finish.

However, a small amount of luster lacquer should be applied first before plating with nickel. Failure will make the fixture to be dull after plating. The process tends to be relatively expensive.

Comparison Chart: Brushed Nickel vs Satin Nickel 

Basic Terms Brushed Nickel Satin Nickel
Meaning A type of plating that gives out a better finish than other nickel plating process. A form of plating that is done on zinc or brass.
Appearance Has lustrous finish Tend to have a dull finish in case a small amount of luster lacquer is not applied.
Method of Application Use of wire brush or similar tools Use of electrolysis method
Cost Relatively affordable Relatively expensive

Core Differences between Brushed Nickel and Satin Nickel 

  1. Brushed nickel plating is relatively affordable while satin nickel plating is too expensive.
  2. Satin nickel plating tends to result in a dull finish when luster lacquer is not used whereas brushed nickel plating brings out a lustrous finish.
  3. Brushed nickel plating brings out a better finish when compared to another method of nickel plating.
  4. Satin nickel plating is applied through a method known as electrolysis while brushed nickel plating by use of wire brushes or similar tools.
  5. Brushed nickel require regular cleaning whereas satin nickel regular cleaning is not required 
  6. Satin nickel cannot reveal fingerprints or scratches due to dull appearance while brushed nickel can easily reveal fingerprints or scratches. 
  7. Brushed nickel is more common in commercial areas whereas satin nickel is more common in residential areas
  8. Satin nickel has a slight gold tint whereas brushed nickel has a golden or brownish tint 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are Satin Nickel and Brushed Nickel the Same?

Yes. But the brushing is what makes the difference between satin and brushed nickel. Both finishes hide water or dirt spots better than polished nickel or chrome.

  • Can You Mix Satin and Brushed Nickel?

Absolutely. Having fixtures made of satin and brushed nickel look quite attractive. The majority of shower fixtures tend to accommodate the two mixtures. They are resistant to rust and corrosion despite prolong periods with water. 

  • Is Brushed Nickel Warm or Cool?

Brushed nickel is a cool metal. But the emerging quality gives it a warmth. The combination of the neutral metal with brushed nickel results in a soft modern effect. 

  • Does Brushed Nickel Go with Stainless Steel?

Yes. Stainless steel is shiny in appearance and brushed nickel has a matte or semigloss finish. The combination can be excellent if you have more stainless steel kitchen appliances.

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Comparison Video


Both brushed and satin nickel plating are terms used to describe the final touch or finish. Spotting the difference between brushed nickel and satin nickel is quite easier after application.

The main brushed nickel vs satin nickel is that brushed nickel brings out a lustrous finish that is smooth and consistent while satin nickel results in a dull finish unless luster lacquer is applied.

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