Custom Metal Products of Distinction Since 1909

Metal Finishes That Provide Distinct Looks

Posted Thu, July 30, 2015

Image of a curved metal finish

We’ve covered the kinds of metals we offer and their makeup in this post comparing compositions and use, but that’s not the only option contractors and architects have. When it comes to creating a unique piece of metal for any project, the finish that is applied to that piece is what will make it stand out OR blend in, depending on the need. No matter if the metal work is our linear bar grille or any custom perforated metal; the finish can be unique to the project with a little detail work.


Brass & Bronze

Stainless Steel



With a chrome-like shine and a lightly brushed texture, this popular finish is used to convey prestige and sophistication. This finish is easily recognizable as it is often found in bathrooms of residential homes, hotels and businesses. We use a belt to grind to create a soft texture and very fine lines in the metal. This finish is designed to showcase the metal itself without masking anything. Whether you want a vent cover in a hotel lobby or the body of a DeLorean, the Satin/Brushed finish can be applied to aluminum, brass, bronze and stainless steel for that recognizable look.

Mirrored Polish

A smooth, bright finish to metals, the mirrored polish finish is perfect for aluminum, brass, bronze and stainless steel. If the metal is unfinished, the abrasion process begins with a lower grit, increasing grit abrasives with each pass until the desired shine is obtained. The metal finish will have a high shine, like that of a mirror.

Duranodic (Bronze Anodized)/Anodized Colors

Anodizing metals increases a metal’s resistance to corrosion, as well as increasing its strength. Anodizing refers to the process in which the metal is treated and forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. This process is used primarily in aluminum. To create this strength, the microscopic surface of the metal is actually altered through this process. Each piece is then sealed to help prevent corrosion of the metal. This strength and protection that comes from this process also helps the metal adhere to primers and glues better than untreated metal.  With the availability of different colors; anyone’s personal preference can be pleased in these easy-for-the-manufacturer steps: 

  1. Cleaning
  2. Pre-treatment
  3. Anodizing
  4. Integral Coloring
  5. Sealing

Baked Enamel Colors

With baked enamel coloring metal finish, an enamel coating is applied directly to the metal without any need for a primer. This finish is used mostly in long-term indoor applications. Baked coatings are completely different than wet paint finishes, as the baked enamel coating creates a much harder and corrosion-resistant metal. However, the baked coating is not nearly as tough or resistant to corrosion as other finishes; therefore, indoor use is recommended with this metal finish of aluminum. At Coco, we offer power coated finishes, which are baked on as well as Kynar products which is baked on wet paint. Both of these options have exterior uses with warranties that can cover up to 15 to 20 years depending on its use and application.

In addition to these baked on finishes, we also do in-house custom color matches. Our customers can send us a manufacturers paint spec (part number/name) along with the sheen level (flat, satin, semi-gloss, gloss, etc.) and we can get the color match formulated.


Using this finish on aluminum and steel is common as these metals have a tendency to be painted to match or complement their environment. Usually when one thinks of steel metal’s finish, a primed finish comes to mind because of its use in construction. However, with grilles and metal work that will be very visible, a primed finish on steel and aluminum takes a little more detail into consideration to prevent rust and corrosion and more importantly to be eye-catching.

Statuary/Antiqued (light, medium or dark)

There is a how-to that can be found on YouTube and Pinterest for anything and everything. Same goes with creating metal finishes, especially one of an antiqued finish. But duplicating the expertise and knowledge found at Coco is difficult to do. Creating the antiqued finish for metals takes technique and expert know-how to get the brand new wall panel, tree gate or linear bar grille to return to a pleasing, vintage look. Used in mostly historical renovations with brass and bronze, this finish gives the metal a classic look and feel that looks great in a ballroom, lobby or bedroom.

Oil Rubbed

Oil rubbed brass or bronze finish uses chemicals to darken the surface of the metal designed to simulate an aged metal.  Typically used in historical renovations, this finished gives the metal a distinguished look that one might associate with earlier time-periods. Though the finish of oil rubbed metal may not exactly match, the one-of-kind, hand-crafted finish will definitely be unique to the project.


This metal finish can only be applied to stainless steel and steel metals. The process starts with mixing different chemicals to coat the metal and results in a dark black, attractive but very thin oxide finish. This finish is only marginally corrosion-resistant so indoor applications are likely.

Coco Architectural has a variety of styles, metals and finishes available to anyone and their project. No matter what type of grille someone may need or what kind of metal crafting is needed, Coco has an endless amount of options to fit any need. Like any fine craftsmanship, a fine piece of metalwork deserves nothing less than a fine finish to bring out the character and quality of the work and materials. With our ability to use both waterjet cutting and laser cutting, no metal, technique or finish is out of reach.

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