Oil Rubbed Bronze vs Venetian Bronze: What’s The Difference?

When it comes to choosing a finish for the hardware or faucets in your bathroom or kitchen, there are a plethora of styles and finishes to choose from. Choices vary from types of brass, including polished brass, to champagne bronze, chrome, stainless steel, and matte black.

Oil rubbed bronze and Venetian bronze are two of the common choices available for the finish. While the two share many similarities, there are several differences as well.

Is Venetian Bronze The Same As Oil Rubbed Bronze?

Oil rubbed bronze, and Venetian bronze are not the same thing. Although both finishes are commonly available in varying types for your bathroom and kitchen faucets and hardware, there are a few differences that can help you determine which is right for your home.

What Is Venetian Bronze Finish?

Venetian bronze finish is lighter than the rich, deep, chocolatey color of oil-rubbed bronze. This finish is smooth, matte, and does not have an oily residue. Since Venetian bronze is hand-finished, the variations are unique and feature beautiful golden highlights.


  • Hand-finished
  • Lighter color with golden highlights


  • More expensive
  • Requires regular maintenance

What is Oil Rubbed Bronze?

Oil rubbed bronze does vary based on the company, but it is usually a deep, luxurious chocolatey color. Designed to imitate antique bronze, this finish has copper undertones that complement the deep color.

Does oil-rubbed bronze appear black? The short answer is yes, it can. Pieces vary based on the manufacturer and can appear almost black, while in other details, the color may be a warm brown.


  • Less expensive than Venetian bronze
  • Traditional look
  • Hides water spots


  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Must be cleaned with gentle cleaners
  • Oily residue

Is Oil Rubbed Bronze Going Out Of Style?

The dark finish of oil-rubbed bronze does not seem to be going out of style. If anything, it is becoming a popular finish, as the darker tones are trendy in modern looks. However, if you prefer constant deep tones, oil-rubbed bronze may not be the best choice, as it may oxidize over time and become slightly lighter.

What’s The Difference?


Now that we have established what each of the finishes are individually let’s look at the differences. The two have their fair share of similarities, but the differences are minimal.


Both of these finishes present beautifully, with stunning colors that complement the copperish undertones. While the Venetian bronze is lighter and comes in a powder-coated finish, the oil-rubbed bronze is deeper in color and has a slightly oily residue. When it comes to presentation, the primary difference is the slight variation in coloring.

Brands like Delta or Moen fixtures and hardware vary in color. The oil-rubbed bronze from Moen has more of a chocolatey hue, while Delta’s oil-rubbed bronze pieces almost appear black with a hint of coppery tones.


Maintaining these finishes is somewhat more complex than an average faucet or piece of hardware. The wax coating that protects the piece is stripped when installing, so it is essential to protect the finish with a layer of furniture wax. No need to go overboard with the protectant; a slight coating will do.

If the fixture is in everyday use and is touched often, the protective wax coating should be applied monthly. This will help protect the finish from additional wear that may change the color.

It is important to note that both of these finishes will oxidize over time, which will cause a change in appearance. The result is similar to aged copper, which is only a slight change from the original appearance.


Water spots, especially on faucets, are very common. To help avoid water splotches or hard water buildup, use a soft cloth to wipe down the faucet after running water, whether showering, washing your hands, or cleaning dishes. Showing your faucet a little love goes a long way for maintaining the gorgeous finish.

When you decide it is time to give your kitchen or bathroom a deep clean, there are a few products to avoid using on your oil-rubbed bronze or Venetian bronze finishes. Cleaners that are filled with chemicals can damage the finish.

Anything that contains bleach, toilet bowl cleaners, or products that remove rust or tarnish should not be used on either of these finishes.

In the event that hard water has built up on the faucet, or perhaps you feel the urge to give it a good cleaning, use a gentle cleanser. A mixture of equal parts vinegar and water will do the trick, and a soft-bristled brush will help clean without damaging the finish.


Oil rubbed bronze is a touch cheaper than Venetian bronze, as the latter is hand-finished. With that said, both finishes do come in around the same price within a few cents difference. Pricing will vary based on the type of hardware or faucet you get, but the Venetian bronze typically is slightly more expensive than the oil-rubbed bronze finish.

Which Finish Should I Choose?

Venetian Bronze Finish

When you are choosing a finish for your kitchen or bathroom, it comes down to your preferences and what works best for you. Both the oil-rubbed bronze and Venetian bronze require routine care and maintenance to avoid water spots or potential damage to the finish.

If you prefer a lighter hue, Venetian bronze is the better choice, but if you enjoy the darker finish that the oil rubbed bronze provides, go with that. Both are outstanding options that bring a stunning finish to your bathroom or kitchen, so regardless of which you choose, it is sure to be a great option to tie the space together.

Leave a Comment