The Oil Rubbed Bronze finish is a surface designed to simulate aged bronze. The surface is chemically darkened, resulting in a very dark finish that extends from a color like a deep chocolate brown to dark grays. Just like bronze alloy, it usually also has copper undertones.
Oil-rubbed bronze is most commonly used for door hardware, cabinet hardware, and plumbing fixtures. It’s also famous for light fixtures and other small accent pieces.
Especially for items that will see a lot of use or touch, the oil-rubbed bronze finish is easy to clean and maintain. And that’s why there is an increasing demand for this bronze finish in interior design projects, particularly in homes and for homeowners needing to get antique details right.
If you’re considering using oil-rubbed bronze in your home or already have those antique pieces and fixtures, you might wonder what paint colors go well with it.
So, in this detailed blog post, I will show you the top paint colors that can be matched with oil-rubbed bronze hardware and fixtures. Let’s tune in without any delay…
Colors that Match with Oil-rubbed Bronze
Here is my list of over 15 colors that go perfectly with oil-rubbed bronze. If you are looking for a timeless and elegant look, I bet you will never go wrong with these complementary colors.
Beige is one of my favorites because it’s a neutral, timeless shade that can be easily matched with any other color. I know I could be wrong, but I don’t think there is any color that doesn’t go well with beige.
And that’s why when it comes to oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and accessories, matching them with beige paint colors (maybe on your walls, cabinets, etc.) will create a warm and inviting ambiance in your rooms, kitchen, and bathroom.
Black or charcoal colors allow you to highlight the oil-rubbed bronze details in your space.
If you have oil-rubbed bronze accessories in your kitchen or bathroom, matte black furniture or glossy black appliances can create a stunning contrast that will make those details stand out.
3- Coral Pink
Coral pink is also a great color to use if you want to add a touch of femininity and romance to your space.
The combination of coral pink and oil-rubbed bronze lamp fixtures can create a stunning and elegant look. Try using them on your walls in the form of paint or wallpaper and see the difference for yourself.
Cream, ivory, and off-white are other classic and timeless colors that can be easily matched with any color, including oil-rubbed bronze. If you want a cozy ambiance in your rooms, matching beautiful cream paint colors with an oil-rubbed finish can be a great choice.
Consider adding the two colors near your window where the light can hit and create a beautiful contrast. I am sure you will love the reflection and brilliant charm.
Any list of colors cannot be completed without the addition of gray. It is one of the most popular colors in recent years, and there are so many different shades of grays to choose from that can be used in any room and style.
Be it light gray, dark gray, or any other shade in between, they can create a beautiful look when matched with oil-rubbed bronze.
Like gray, greige is another elegant modern color that has recently gained popularity. It’s a perfect blend of gray and beige, making it a versatile color that can be used in any room in a combination of oil-rubbed bronze.
Look how beautifully the color is used in the below picture in combination with accessories like a lamp, fan, mirror, upholstery, etc.
7- Lime Green
Lime green is a great color to create a natural and relaxing ambiance in your space. The refreshing and uplifting shade of lime green can be a great addition to any room, including the living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
The two colors can create a beautiful and inviting space when used with oil-rubbed bronze. So, if you’re looking to update your home with a soothing and natural color palette, consider using oil-rubbed bronze with some greens. You won’t regret it.
8- Light Blue
Light sky blue is a very refreshing and serene color of nature. You can use it in any room to create a calming ambiance while also paying homage to the great outdoors.
Light blue also looks beautiful and regal when used with oil-rubbed bronze fixtures. So, you can’t go wrong when you use this color scheme in your home.
9- Navy Blue
If you seek a color that will make your oil-rubbed bronze fixtures pop, then navy blue is another great way to go.
Use it on lamp shades, cabinets, wallpapers, etc. And see how this rich and luxurious satin color will give your home an expensive look while matching with oil-rubbed finishing perfectly.
10- Pale Olive Green
This is yet another cheerful color that can be paired well with the metallic finish of bronze, copper, or brass.
No matter what decor styles you have in your home or what you’re going for, this color palette will enhance the look of your space while creating a calming and relaxing atmosphere.
Venetian plaster walls in a tan hue are the perfect backdrop for oil-rubbed hardware and fixtures.
The natural earth tones in both materials will work together to create a warm, stunning space you can enjoy daily without feeling bored.
Teal, I believe, is a color that is hard to go wrong with – it’s rich and calming at the same time. Plus, it looks excellent with oil-rubbed bronze because it will help the hardware pop without being too overbearing.
Be it bronze drawer pulls, wardrobe handles, or lamps in your home or office, a bit of teal with other colors is always a good idea.
Turquoise is a rich and complex color that can work well with the oil-rubbed finish of bronze.
I have seen many times that the natural patina of bronze, copper, or brass is exceptionally well enhanced by adding turquoise, especially if you use the colors in a coastal design scheme.
The weathered look of oil-rubbed bronze mixed with the refreshing blue-green hue of turquoise is a perfect marriage of colors.
Like turquoise, white is also a great option to simulate the natural patina of aged bronze. This classic color combination can brighten any space and make it feel more open and airy.
Even if you have different colored patinas on your hardware or fixtures, you can use white to help tie everything together.
Last but not least, yellow is a happy color that can add a touch of cheerfulness to any space. It also happens to go perfectly with oil-rubbed bronze.
Whether you use it as an accent or the primary color in your decor, yellow will help brighten the space. Plus, it’s a great way to enhance the complementary colors for bronze hardware.
Bonus Tip: Pair the Bronze with Metallic Brass
While you might be a bit skeptical about combining two different metallic shades in the same room, a bronze and brass pair work quite well if used sparingly.
The color differences between brass and bronze are subtle.
Brass is a lighter shade that’s close to yellow; bronze, on the other hand, is much like a deeper metallic brown. As a result, these two hues have enough contrast to make a stunning combination.
In my opinion, the primary metallic color that you want to use should come first. Then, add a layer of appealing factor to the space, and use hints of the other hue.
For example, putting bronze on walls (as paint or wallpaper) would look lovely. Then you might consider adding a brass lamp, idols, figurines, or other decorative accessories as the finishing touch nearby. Or you can try vice-versa.
Colors to Avoid with Oil-Rubbed Bronze
The Oil Rubbed Bronze finish pairs well with a variety of colors, but there are a few shades to avoid when using this finish for a minimalist home.
While dark brown can be used as an accent color with oil-rubbed bronze, it’s best to avoid using it as the primary color in your decor. The two colors can clash and make the space feel heavy and dreary.
Like brown, orange is another color that can be used as an accent with oil-rubbed bronze. However, too much of either color can be overpowering and make the space feel like a circus.
Purple is a beautiful color, but it can be a bit too intense when used with oil-rubbed bronze. If you must use these colors together, I recommend using them sparingly and in small doses.
Employing red as an accent with oil-rubbed bronze can create a stunning aesthetic. While both colors are amazing on their own, using too much of either color could result in an atmosphere that feels overpoweringly chaotic and busy.
When using yellow-green with oil-rubbed bronze, it is essential to tread cautiously. If not done properly, the two colors can easily conflict and create a jarring atmosphere. To avoid this, it’s best to implement these colors thoughtfully in small amounts so as not to overpower the space.
How to Match Colors with Oil-Rubbed Bronze?
If you’re just starting out, matching paint and decor to create a cohesive aesthetic may seem daunting, but with the proper guidance and tricks, anyone can quickly become adept at it. To help get your creative juices flowing, here are some top tips:
1- To get the most out of your kitchen design, make sure that you select colors that coordinate and match.
For instance, if you have bronze fixtures in place, try opting for white or ivory cabinets and countertops to bring an air of sophistication into your space.
2- For an eye-catching, polished look in the bathroom, use hues that complement the bronze finish of your fixtures.
For instance, if you have oil-rubbed bronze faucets, pair them with a darker countertop or backsplash to draw attention and make them stand out.
3- Use colors that contrast and make a unified appearance in the bedroom or living space.
For instance, if you have oil-rubbed bronze door knobs, choose a light wall or door color to show them off. If all of the hardware in your room is oil-rubbed bronze, stick with typical hues such as white or ivory to link it together for an aesthetically pleasing look.
The Bottom Line
Oil-rubbed bronze is a beautiful and versatile finish used in various design schemes. When choosing colors to use with oil-rubbed bronze, you must consider the overall look you are trying to achieve.
Use colors that complement each other, enhance the finish of the bronze, or add contrast to help the bronze hardware stand out. Most importantly, experiment with different shades, have fun with them, and enjoy creating a space that is uniquely yours.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.