Oil-Rubbed Bronze brings warmth and elegance to almost any decor with a look that's reminiscent of early, hand-finished metals that have aged naturally over time. As one of the first companies to offer Oil-Rubbed Bronze for architectural metalwork, 4Rails.com has been in a unique position to influence its evolution as a staple finish for foot rails and other products. Our enhancements to traditional finishing techniques have resulted in products that maintain their look longer and are better-suited for foot rail use.
The oil-rubbed bronze finish is achieved differently from one company to another and its characteristics vary depending on a number of factors. In fact, the methods used in creating an oil-rubbed bronze finish are so diverse that few interpretations conform to any single standard or will look identical to any other. While there is no single standard for the color and look of Oil-Rubbed Bronze, our finish is the choice for many architects, designers and building professionals, world-wide.
Initially, the most common guide for an oil-rubbed bronze finish was the ANSI/BHMA US10B "Satin Bronze, Oiled". To be clear, this standard referred to the finish NOT the process. This finish was supposed to be a living finish that changed over time. It was not consistent from one manufacturer to another and, by design, it was not supposed to be. Additionally, once products were put into use, their appearance changed rapidly from normal wear and exposure to the elements.
A perfect example is a foot rail on a bar. As they are supposed to, people put their feet on foot rails. However, the natural abrasion caused by their shoes will result in removing the oxidation or plating from the foot rail. Where the foot rail is not stepped on, it will remain oxidized or its plating will remain intact showing a darker finish than the more used areas. Therefore, the base metal(s) used in an oxidized or plated process for creating an oil-rubbed bronze finish, is critical to how the product will look and wear over time.
One method used to produce a premium, oil-rubbed bronze finish is to start with a solid brass that is chemically darkened. A copper-plating is then applied over the darkened brass, followed by another dark brown plating or chemical process over that. This type of living finish, which we still offer as an option, wears beautifully over time and changes hues/colors depending upon the use it receives. It is most often used on hand rails, guidance rails and light-duty foot rails.
Other types of Oil Rubbed Bronze processes are used to produce "non-living" or "static"oil-rubbed bronze finishes. That is, finishes that are intended to maintain their original look as long as possible. There are many methods used for oil-rubbed bronze "static" finishes from plated/lacquered finishes to powder coats like our Duracoat foot rail finish. The 4Rails.com Duracoat foot rail finish, our standard, has been specifically formulated for high contact areas and is ideally suited for foot rail use in both residential and commercial environments and for indoor or outdoor applications. While no finish will wear indefinitely, our oil-rubbed bronze foot rail finish is among the finest available.
Every foot rail and all tubing and components are available in Oil-Rubbed Bronze. If you don't see what you need, please call 877-747-2457 to discuss your requirements and we will be happy to provide assistance.