Buyer Guide: Hardware Finish Descriptions and Color Codes

Hardware Finish Description and Color Codes


In the United States there are two finish code systems: BHMA finish codes (Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association) and U.S. standard finish codes, created by ANSI (American National Standards Institute). In general, U.S. finishes describe only the color whereas BHMA finish codes describe both color and base material.

Architectural Hardware Finish Designations and Descriptions

The most notable exceptions to this rule are US32, polished (bright) stainless steel, and US32D, satin stainless steel. These U.S. finishes describe both the finish and the base material. The corresponding BHMA finish codes would be 629 for polished stainless and 630 for satin. BHMA finish codes are different for different base metals. For example, BHMA 626 is satin chrome plated brass whereas BHMA 652 is satin chrome plated steel.

  • Polished (or “bright”) finish - is a finish that has been buffed until it reflects like a mirror. You can see your reflection in a polished finish.
  • Satin Finish - the opposite of a polished finish is a satin finish. You cannot see your reflection in a piece of hardware with a satin finish.
  • Antique Finish - is a finish that is similiar to Satin with black accents to appear aged when first installed.
  • Living finish - is a finish that has been designed to age naturally over time, such as US10B, oil rubbed bronze. Individual hardware items with living finishes will age differently over time depending on use and slight differences in how the finish was applied at the factory.

The following chart lists some of the common finishes found on locking hardware and components. The first column indicates the BHMA finish code, the second column represents the US standard finish code (when available) and the third column indicates the finish and base metal that the finish is applied to. Finish descriptions aligned with the above cylinder color code chart are listed in bold. For a complete itemized listing of all the ANSI / BHMA Numbers for Materials & Finish please visit here.


BHMA USxx Finish/Base Metal
600 USP   Primed for painting - steel
602 US2C Cadmium on steel
603 US2G Zinc on steel
604 none Zinc dichromate on steel
605 US3 Bright brass on brass
606 US4 Satin brass on brass
609 US5 Satin brass blackened (antique) on brass
610 US7 Satin brass blackened (bright) on brass
611 US9 Bright bronze on bronze
612 US10 Satin bronze on bronze
613 US10B Oil rubbed bronze on bronze
616 US11 Satin bronze, blackened on bronze
618 US14 Bright nickel on brass or bronze
619 US15 Satin nickel on brass or bronze
620 US15A Satin nickel (Antique) on brass or bronze
622 US19 Flat black coated on brass or bronze
623 US20 Oxidized bright bronze on bronze
624 US20A Bright stainless steel - stainless steel
625 US26 Bright chromium on brass or bronze
626 US26D Satin Chromium on brass or bronze
627 US27 Satin aluminum - aluminum
628 US28 Satin aluminum (anodized) - aluminum
629 US32 Bright stainless steel - stainless steel
630 US32D Satin stainless steel - stainless steel
666 US3 Bright brass plated aluminum
667 US4 Satin brass plated aluminum
668 US10 Satin bronze plated aluminum
669 US14 Bright nickel plated aluminum



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