Satin Nickel Finish vs. Brushed Nickel Finishing

ECF offers a wide range of finishes for parts, including a variety of choices for satin finishes. Some of the terminology of these finishes can be confusing, however, so in this blog we will discuss how a satin nickel finish is different from brushed nickel and what that means for the finished parts. 

brushed nickel

Why Are Nickel Finishes Popular?

Nickel finishes are durable and corrosion resistant. Their natural champagne hues are very attractive, although the look of nickel does vary depending on the density of nickel used and the amount of plating. Nickel fixtures beautifully complement the earth tones that are popular in home design today. Nickel has long been used for metal finishing, and people enjoy its look. This will always be a classic choice for parts finishing. 

What Is a Satin Nickel Finish?

A satin nickel finish is nickel plated deposit that has an even, non-reflective texture. It can be produced either chemically or mechanically and has been in use since the early 1970s.

A satin nickel finish has a smooth or velvety appearance with no visible abrasions. It’s especially desirable as a finish for automotive interiors because it doesn’t reflect light so it’s less of a distraction for the driver. It also doesn’t pick up fingerprints. Today it’s also used for automotive exterior trim as well as for plumbing and hardware. Most satin nickel plating now is done on molded plastic parts. 

What Is Brushed Nickel?

True brushed nickel is a nickel plating that has been lightly abraded all in one direction to give it a brushed appearance. The brushing gives it a more handcrafted appearance, and the added texture allows more interplay of light and shadow on the part, making it more visually interesting.

To create brushed nickel, ECF adds a layer of nickel. Then we subject the part to the brushing process to remove a portion of the part and give it a brushed appearance. Nickel plating is a very shiny metal, but the brushing removes any natural shine. Still, brushed nickel will be shinier than a satin nickel finish. ECF is able to create a brush pattern on both metal and plastic substrates.

Both satin nickel and brushed nickel finishes hide water spots, smudges, or dirt better than polished nickel, and they are comparable in cost to produce. 

If your company needs satin nickel or brushed nickel parts, request a quote or give us a call at 616-531-0670 to discuss the specifics of your project and how we can assist you in creating the perfect finish for your products. 

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