Brass faucets have become a must-have in the kitchen, along with farmhouse sinks and open shelving. It’s easy to see why: brass faucets add so much warmth to a kitchen and look beautiful in kitchens of every color.

Brass is different from stainless steel or nickel because some brass finishes need more care. If you want brass, your main choices are to leave it as it is or choose a more stable aged brass finish.

I’ve talked about this with a lot of my clients, so I’m going to list some pros and cons of these different finishes to help you decide which one is the best brass faucet for your home.

Brass Faucets That Aren’t Painted

This is exactly what it sounds like: brass that doesn’t have a coating or special sealer to keep it shiny. Fingerprints, oil, and water splashes will give the faucet a patina of age as you use it.

The best thing about unlacquered brass is that it has what’s called a “living finish.” Luxury faucet makers like House of Rohl, Waterstone, and Rejuvenation all use this finish. The cost is a drawback, and some people don’t like the dark marks that patina leaves behind. It doesn’t just react to fingerprints, but also to water and foods that are acidic.

If the randomness of the patina bothers you, you can bring back the original finish with a metal polish like Brasso. California Faucets says that you should take an unlacquered brass faucet out of the box two weeks before you put it in so that the patina can start to form. Before you use the faucet, polishing it with butcher’s wax will help you control the patina and keep it more even.

Faucets Made of Burnished Brass

There are only a few faucet makers that offer a burnished brass finish, but it’s my favorite. Faucets give their unfinished brass faucets a “burnished” look by rolling them in a bin of corn kernels. I love how this finish gives you that “always been there” look and helps hide the uneven patina that comes with use. This is the finish on my own kitchen faucet.

Antique Brass Faucets

When making antique brass, the maker adds a little bit of patina to make the finish a little darker, and then they seal it to keep it that way. They have a shiny finish or a satin finish, which is a bit softer. Antique brass is a good choice if you’re busy and don’t want to spend a lot of time keeping up with your kitchen faucet.

PVD Brass-Look Faucets

Most people are surprised to find out that there is a third option for faucets that look like brass. You should think about the PVD finish if you like the idea of a patina but want your faucet to keep its shine. Even though PVD looks like brass, it is actually a high-tech process that changes the molecules on the surface of the base metal.

The term “physical vapor deposition,” which is short for “PVD,” comes from a technology that was made to help cannons work better. Scientists found that they could use the process to change the color of the metal, and eventually it was used to make faucets.

PVD is the best option if you don’t want the finish to change at all. The only problem is that purists might say it’s not really brass, but most people won’t notice. Our favorite PVD finishes are very good alternatives that will work well in your kitchen or bathroom and last for a long time.

A Few of My Favorite Brass Faucets

Kohler Purist Faucet

Even though this is a bathroom faucet, it could also be used in a kitchen. It has a Vibrant Moderne Brushed Gold PVD finish and cross handles that look like they’re from the past but have a sleek, modern shape.

Trinsic Pull-Down Single-Handle Kitchen Faucet

The new ceramic disc technology used to make this touch-control faucet will make it last for 5 million uses. It has a Champagne Bronze finish from Delta, which won’t change or tarnish. And if you leave it on by accident, it turns off by itself after four minutes.

Henry High-Profile Bar Faucet With Metal Cross Handle

This one-hole faucet is strong and would look great in a farmhouse or industrial kitchen. If you don’t follow the Waterworks wax routine (which is explained in the first Waterstone 1625-01 Fulton Faucet art of this document), this faucet will keep getting old.

Waterstone 1625-01 Fulton Faucet

This single-hole faucet is made for a wet bar sink, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use it somewhere else. This sleek faucet is made of brass and has no coating on it. It comes in two finishes: Tuscan brass, which is warmer, and weathered brass, which has more patina.

Rocky Mountain Hardware Kitchen Deck Mount Faucet With Straight Spout

I liked this faucet because it had little T-shaped handles and a last-minute curve in the spout. RMH’s unlacquered brass-look finish is called bronze for some reason, but it comes in two styles: lightly brushed and highly polished.

Corsano Faucet

I love the Corsano design by California Faucets because the pull-down sprayer is small and out of the way, and the spray is very strong. The line also has a soap dispenser, water spout, and trash button that all go together. This is burnished brass, so it will age over time and give the modern lines of the faucet a vintage look. With my picture window and this brass faucet, doing the dishes is almost fun.