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Oil Rubbed Bronze vs Venetian Bronze: Which one’s Better?

Oil Rubbed Bronze vs Venetian Bronze
Written by Jenny Molin

You will find faucets finished in Venetian bronze or oil-rubbed bronze in both the bath and kitchen.

They all have very similar appearances, but they also require the same care to keep them in good shape.

Here we will see how they differ from each other and what might be your best choice!

Oil Rubbed Bronze vs Venetian Bronze: What’s the Difference

oil rubbed bronze vs venetian bronze

Take a quick look at key differences

Comparing factors Oil rubbed Bronze Venetian Bronze
Finish The finish uses a chemical process (powder coat) Powder coat finish
Residue Leaves oily residue No oily residue
Color tone Lighter than Venetian bronze Lighter
Oxidation Oxidizes over time Oxidizes over time
Cleaning Easy Easy
Installation Extra care is needed Extra care is needed
Price Relatively cheaper Costlier than oil-rubbed

Look and style

  • Venetian Bronze

With a powder coat finish, Venetian bronze comes in lighter color tones.

A warm, golden light emanates from its top layer, simulating ancient brass with a rich glow.

Venetian Bronze leaves no oily residue behind, and it won’t wear away over time.

  • Oil rubbed Bronze

The oil-rubbed bronze finish uses a chemical process to create an antique appearance. It is profound in its color and is slightly oily when handled.

It comes in a powder-coated finish that is lighter in color than Venetian bronze.


oil rubbed bronze vs venetian bronze Maintenance

Both finishes need extra care, and this process is the same for both oil-rubbed bronze and Venetian-rubbed bronze.

A little extra care is needed for both finishes, especially when installing them for the first time.

Wax and oil are removed during installation.

You should use a light coat of wax for furniture rather than polish to protect the finish.

Apply the wax to the fixture and lightly polish it. For fixtures that are touched frequently, this should be done every month.


The cleaning for both types of finishes is the same for both.

Spots on faucets, especially those caused by water, are common.

To help prevent water spots or mineral deposits, wipe your faucet down with a soft cloth after you shower, wash your hands, or do dishes.

You should use mild cleaner whenever your faucet has hard water buildup or you’d like to clean it.

Using water and vinegar in equal parts is best, and a brush with soft bristles works best.


Both these finishes will oxidize over time. Their appearance will be slightly altered.

A bronzed copper appearance will be achieved, which is quite pleasant to look at.

The finish still needs to be maintained regularly, even after oxidation.

Maintain both finishes by waxing them regularly and wiping them over with a cloth each day.


  • Venetian Bronze

You can expect to pay $170 for a basic mixer set but can range up to $1000 and more for a designer, deluxe model.

  • Oil rubbed Bronze

A basic set will set you back about $120, but designer sets can go for over $1000.

Oil Rubbed Bronze: Pros & Cons

Oil rubbed bronze


  • Better at hiding water spots
  • Give off a traditional look
  • Less expensive


  • Has an oily residue
  • Can only use gentle cleaners
  • Needs ongoing maintenance

Venetian Bronze: Pros & Cons

Venetian bronze


  • Delicately hand finished
  • Golden highlights are seen through the lighter color


  • Needs ongoing maintenance
  • More expensive

Which Finish Is Best for You?

In terms of finish for the kitchen or bathroom, it’s a matter of personal preference and what works for your home.

Both of these finishes need regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them in good condition.

The Venetian bronze is the lighter option, but you might choose that if you prefer the darker look that oil-rubbed bronze produces.

Either way, they make a stunning addition to a kitchen or bathroom.


1. Is the oil-rubbed bronze trend coming to an end?

Ans. A decorating trend that has gone out of style is oil-rubbed bronze.

Make the fixture more contemporary by spray painting it a more contemporary color. Alternatively, you can use black metal. Matching everything in is out of style.

2. Does oil-rubbed bronze have a higher price?

Ans. There are fewer style options in oil-rubbed bronze, and its price is usually higher.

The price is higher due to the fact that creating it is so labor-intensive.

3. Can the oil-rubbed bronze finish be restored?

Ans. It may be possible to restore some Oil Rubbed Bronze finishes.

If possible, use a wax, which complements your Oil Rubbed Bronze fixture.

When the wax is re-applied to the hardware or fixture, mineral oil should be applied to protect it further and restore the shine.

4. What finishes go with oil-rubbed bronze?

Ans. Sage green, lush gold, terra cotta, rich wood, and light-colored marble tones match better with oil-rubbed bronze as it has deep hues and a shiny surface.

5. Will vinegar damage oil-rubbed bronze?

Ans. No, if you use it for a short time. It’s also better to use diluted vinegar for cleaning.

Long-time (more than a few minutes) uses of vinegar of any concentration can do harm to the bronze surface.

6. Does oil-rubbed bronze rust?

Ans. No, they are corrosion-resistant. They are also resistant to water spots, scratches, and fingerprints.

About the author

Jenny Molin

Interior Design Artist

Hello, I’m Jenny. I’ve been an interior design artist by profession since my B.S. in Interior Design. I’m a minimalist and prefer to save space when choosing fixtures, sinks and fittings. My style tends to make the most out of the least amount of space. The idea behind every interior design project is unique and it reflects personal style, taste and tradition. I’ve learned more when working than I ever did while I was studying in college. I worked in more than 12 hundred households all across the US and got positive feedback. I’ve been working with FaucetsReviewed as one of the founding members and regularly contributing to the site via testing and reviewing various interior fittings and fixtures.

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