What colour is Matt Chrome?
Matt Chrome is a dull grey/blue colour with no brush marks in the surface
* The manufacturers still call the above finish Satin Chrome, but because we feel it's not a real "Satin" finish as it has no brush marks we call products like this Matt Chrome.
Yes, if you can’t find the item you are looking for in Matt Chrome, the next closest finishes are Satin Chrome, Satin Nickel or Satin Stainless Steel.
As you can see from the above images Matt Chrome has a grey/blue colour with no brush marks in the surface while Satin Chrome is the same colour but with visible brush marks in the surface. Satin Nickel and Satin Stainless Steel have more of a grey/yellow colour to them.
Most of the Matt Chrome items we sell are made from solid brass. Traditionally brass has been the best base material for chroming on to, as the brass could be highly polished to produce a nice smooth item, then easily "dulled." The "dulled" item is then electro-plated in chrome, producing a dull grey/blue colour.
In recent years as raw material prices have risen the cost of brass has increased massively, manufacturers have had to try and source alternative base materials for chroming on to, to help keep their products competitively priced. We’re now seeing Matt Chrome being plated on to base materials of Zinc Alloy, Mazac, Aluminium, and Stainless Steel with very good results that are almost identical to plating on to brass.
Please check individual products to see what base material they are made from.
Matt Chrome is an electro plated finish. Electro-plating is the process for producing electro deposited finishes on to a metal surface, commonly known as “plating.” The process consists of passing an electric current between an anode and a cathode through a chemical solution. If you liken the set up to a car battery the anode is “positive” and the cathode is “negative.”
With chrome plating the anode is usually a lead rod and the cathode is the product being plated. The lead rod and the product are lowered into a vat containing a solution of chromic acid (or similar) the power is turned on and the current travels from the positive anode (the lead) through the solution, where particles of the chromium in the solution are carried and deposited as a thin layer on the negative cathode (the product.)
With Matt Chrome items before they can be chrome plated the base material of the product must be "dulled" to produce the matt effect. This is usually done by dipping a shiny polished product in a vat of chemicals. This process takes away the shine and leaves a matt product ready for the plating process. Before the item is chrome plated the item will first be electro-plated with layers of copper and nickel which act as “primer coats” to help ensure the chrome is as hard-wearing and long lasting as possible.
No, due to the process of making the items a dull, matt finish, each manufacturers matt chrome finish will have a very slightly different colouring, depending on how long it was dipped for initially in the chemicals to make it a matt finish.
Yes, the chrome plating process is very hard-wearing and will help protect the base material well. The best Matt Chrome products to use externally are the items with a base material of brass.
Matt Chrome products fitted externally must be cleaned regularly to keep them looking shiny. With so much pollution in the air and acidity in the rain, if you don’t clean externally fitted items you will find the chrome will start to “pit” and eventually start to wear off. A quick regular clean with a soft cloth and wax based furniture polish to remove dirt and water marks will ensure your Matt Chrome products will look as good as new for a very long time.
Matt Chrome products should be cleaned regularly with a soft cloth and wiped over with a wax based furniture polish ideally beeswax, but products like “Pledge” and “Mr Sheen” work well too. For stubborn stains warm soapy water can also be used.
For items fitted outside if you start to see pitting marks in the chrome a metal polish such as “Brasso” or “Peek” can be used to polish the layer of chrome.
Regular cleaning to remove dirt, finger prints and water marks will ensure your Matt Chrome products will last for a very long time.
We tend to find products from Primalite and Samuel Heath tend to be produced in a Matt Chrome finish rather than Satin Chrome. We try to list these products as Matt rather than Satin on our website.