Embracing the Character of a Living Finish

When beginning your home remodeling project, selections can be the most crucial aspect. This is even more true when choosing materials that have “living” characteristics, that may change naturally over time. Understanding the characteristics of your material selections is important when you are deciding whether or not you’d like to preserve the original look of your choices or allow them to naturally change over time.

soapstone is an example of a living finish for your kitchen countertop or sink“When choosing to incorporate living finishes into your home, it is important to know the product you are purchasing and the subtle variations that the materials can make as time passes,” says Normandy Design Manager Troy Pavelka. “Choosing finishes for your home is all about the aesthetic you are trying to capture, the expectations the homeowners have for the space, and the care you wish to put into the materials over time.”

When allowing your finishes to naturally alter, in some cases you can help preserve them by applying sealants that create a defensive coating. This is a common selection for homeowners who wish to achieve a vintage or classic look, with natural and artisan-like qualities.  If you prefer that the finishes retain their pristine look, some are available with factory-applied coatings that avoid any major changes from exposure.

“Living finishes take on their own unique appearances, which is one of the main attractions homeowners have to these materials in the first place,” added Troy. “But these natural materials are referred to as living finishes due to the fact that they can tarnish and oxidize with everyday wear and use.” For example, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Copper, and Soap Stone products take on unique patterns that cannot be duplicated, making these particular finishes, one-of-a-kind.


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