Caring for Windows & Door Hardware

Today’s finishes look great and are long lasting. Find out how to clean and care for Marvin window and door hardware.

General Guidelines

  • Use a clean, soft, damp cloth to polish and remove finger prints and dirt from window and door hardware.
  • Do not use household cleaners, window cleaning solutions, abrasive cleansers, bleaches, solvents, polishes or other chemical compounds to clean your window or door hardware unless specifically recommended by the hardware’s manufacturer. These products may remove protective coatings or scratch and remove finishes. Keys, rings or other sharp objects should be kept from striking the hardware.

Care and Maintenance of Solid Brass Hardware

If your window’s or door’s solid, bright-brass, laquered hardware does not have a PVD finish, please follow the directions below to care and maintain your bright-brass hardware. These instructions do not apply to antiqued brass, chrome-plated or nickel-plated brass finishes, oil-rubbed bronze hardware or PVD hardware finishes.

Solid brass hardware is typically factory-finished with clear lacquer. The durability of lacquer depends on the specific manufacturer involved and the circumstances of wear and environment. Lacquers are affected by pollutants, temperature extremes, ultraviolet light, marine salt air or spray, paint fumes, and household cleaning solutions which contain bleaches, abrasives, or solvents. Ordinary wear from frequent handling is also a factor. The harsh salt air environment of beach-front properties is perhaps the most severe condition frequently encountered, where lacquers can fail in a matter of weeks.

It is strongly recommended that ANY BRASS HARDWARE USED OUTDOORS BE COATED WITH WAX—either a nonabrasive paste furniture wax or a nonabrasive automotive wax. This waxing should be done immediately when the hardware is installed, and maintained frequently thereafter.

Painting or wallpapering can cause serious problem with brass lacquers. Although latex paints or wallpaper pastes dry within hours, their curing time is much longer, and they can remain chemically active for several days. Oil based paints and varnishes can take weeks to cure under high humidity conditions. Whenever painting, all brass hardware should be removed from the surfaces being painted, and not reinstalled until the paint is completely cured.

The initial symptom of lacquer failure consists of tiny darkened spots on the brass. If tarnishing is allowed to continue, the brass will eventually acquire an overall greenish brown “antique” look which some people enjoy. To restore a bright brass appearance the hardware must be stripped of any remaining lacquer, buffed to luster, then either re-lacquered, waxed or routinely polished.

Old lacquer can be stripped using very fine #0000 steel wool soaked in a light oil or soapy solution to reduce abrasion marks. Soaking the hardware in lacquer thinner might be necessary to loosen stubborn lacquer, but be certain the hardware contains no plastic parts, which the thinner will destroy. Then the brass can be polished either by hand with a soft cloth, or on a buffing machine, using brass polish or “wadding” compounds. Appropriate supplies can sometimes be obtained in kit form, such as the Gillespie Refinishing Kit.

If you wish to lacquer the hardware, leave it waxed. Do-it-yourself aerosol lacquers are seldom successful, and professional lacquers require very specialized equipment and facilities to be safely applied. The best lacquers are often two component “epoxy” type and are applied by opposite electrostatic charges on the metal and spray equipment. Special air cleaning, fume evacuation, and explosion proof equipment is needed. A number of commercial plating or metal refinishing shops can be found in most large cities, and are apt to have the necessary equipment and experience to refinish your hardware. But you should check the reputation of any particular shop and request to see samples of their work. After re-lacquering, the hardware should be waxed just like new hardware.

Care and Maintenance of Marvin Architectural Hardware Finishes

Marvin Architectural Hardware features designer handle sets from leading hardware manufacturers that complement a wide variety of architectural and design styles. For care and maintenance recommendations, please consult the recommendations of the specific hardware manufacturer.

Bouvet® -

Bouvet LaForge Decorative Hardware have been designed for a lifetime of beauty, with a superior finish. However, the manner in which the products are cleaned is essential to the life of the finish on the products.

Satin Black (07) or European Pewter (12) Finish

NEVER use abrasive cleaners, abrasive pastes, abrasive pads, or chemical cleaners of any kind on the products. Such cleaners will attack the protective coating and cause excessive wear to the finish. The use of such products on the hardware will void the warranty.

•Do not install the hardware before doors or cabinets have been painted or stained, or before a chemical treatment or finishing is to be done. You should also protect the hardware where any chemical sprays, solvents or thinners are being used. Be sure that all paint or stain is completely dry before hardware installation.

•It is best to clean the hardware with a very mild soap and water, using a clean, soft cloth. Be certain to clean all residues from the hardware to prevent build-up of grime or deposits of wax or soap.

•Keys, rings or other sharp objects should be kept from striking the hardware.


Nobilus hardware features an enduring, living finish that will change over time and with use. Some areas will become darker while frequently-handled surfaces become lighter. This is natural, and not a defect of the product.

Burnished Finishes: 70, 80, 90

The burnished bronze receives an anti-oxidation wax treatment. This process creates a warm, soft, natural metal glow. These finishes can be restored to their natural luster by periodically applying Flitz Metal Polish.

Hand Rubbed Oil Patina Finishes: 72, 73, 81, 82, 83

The different patina finishes are achieved by using age-old techniques of oxidation and hand rubbed oils and waxes. These finishes can be restored to their original luster by periodically applying our Bronze Rubbing Oil.

Burnished-Patina Finishes: 71, 74

The burnished patina finishes are achieved by combining the processes used to produce our burnished finishes and our hand rubbed oil patina finishes. These finishes can be restored to their natural luster by periodically applying Flitz Metal Polish very sparingly and buffing with a very light hand.

Bronze Rubbing Oil can be purchased from Nobilus. Oil should be regularly applied with a soft cloth to patina finishes 72, 73, 81, 82, and 83. Flitz Metal Polish can be purchased at most home improvement stores or from Nobilus. Please follow directions on the back of the Flitz bottle for proper application to finishes 70, 71, 74, 80, and 90.

Ashley Norton -

Oil Rubbed Bronze Hardware

Your dark oil rubbed bronze finish is not coated with lacquer and is designed to age naturally over a period of time. How quickly this process occurs is both dependant upon usage and whether the product is used externally. The natural ageing process will allow the brass color of the underlying metal to show through along areas of wear.

To retain luster to the product, clean periodically once every 2 or 3 months with a soft cloth and apply a light coating of bee’s wax to the product and buff up using a soft cloth. Alternatively you can leave the product to naturally age with elegance.

Do not use any abrasive or non abrasive cleaning materials or solvents when cleaning your oil rubbed bronze product or the Bronze color may be removed completely.

Hardware with a Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Finish

Your PVD finished product has undergone a state of the art process known as Physical Vapor Deposition. A layer of hard-wearing metals are deposited onto the solid brass substrate which means it has been given a tough finish to resist fading and discoloration by direct sunlight, humidity, and most other environmental factors, even in coastal areas.

To help retain the appearance of your PVD products for many years to come, a little periodic maintenance is required to remove any atmospheric deposits from the surface of the product.

•Once every two months clean the surface of the product thoroughly with a soft cloth moistened with light soapy water.

•To remove heavier deposits, a spot of non-abrasive kitchen cleaner may be used with a moistened cloth. Remove traces of water and cleaner and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

•When using any proprietary cleaner always follow the advice given by the manufacturers in handling cleaning materials.

•Do not use any abrasive cleaning materials or solvents when cleaning your PVD products.

Valli&Valli -

Valli&Valli products do not require excessive maintenance. For care and cleaning, except in those cases where a specific product is recommended for certain finishes, use only a soft dry cloth to polish the hardware.

Brass is an alloy and subject to oxidation. It must be covered with a protective coating if its appearance is to remain unchanged over time. Care should be taken during use and maintenance, as improper use or poor maintenance could damage the protective coating, permitting corrosion and consequently causing an anti-aesthetic appearance.

Stainless steel is considered to be very durable. However, even this material can show the occasional scratch or spot of rust. Such rust spots are so called “surface rust,” and can be removed using an appropriate cleaner, available from specialized retailers.

The manufacturer cannot be held responsible for damage due to normal wear and tear, incorrect treatment, fixing or maintenance or non-observance of the warnings above.


That’s a wrap! A recap of our final day of The International Builders' Show (IBS...

That’s a wrap! A recap of our final day of The International Builders' Show (IBS): #IBSVegas #MarvinWindows

2015 IBS: Day 3 ...