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Antiqued Finish for Architectural Design
Posted Mon, November 12, 2018

Antiqued Finish for Architectural Design title photo with vintage spiral staircase

If you’re rehabilitating a historic property to keep its original charm, an antiqued finish is the ideal choice for your metal installations. Antique metal finishes have been a popular product among metal manufacturers for decades. Demand for the product soared in the 1970s and has continued its popularity to this day. Antiqued finishes are most popular on bronze and brass products, such as our perforated metal grilles. The treatment creates a classic look often desired in a lobby, bedroom, living room or ballroom.

How it works

The metal antiquing process begins with a thorough cleaning of the metal. It is important to remove all oils, buffing compounds, fingerprints, oxides and other materials to prepare for a high-quality finish.

Test the cleanliness of the metal grille with a water-break test. After completing the cleaning process, dip the grille into clean water. Remove the product and watch for where the water beads as it drips. The beaded areas are not completely clean, whereas the water will consistently flow off the clean areas without breaks.

Once the grille is clean, it is time to begin the finishing sequence. To achieve an antiqued finish, the underlying base metal is uncovered in certain areas to create a worn appearance. Essentially, the finish is removed from the highlights – keeping the lower areas as they are. This process can be completed by buffing, tumbling or vibrating.

A buffing machine is essentially a turntable with many buffing wheels (constructed of cotton discs approximately a half inch thick and three to four inches wide). As the grille is moved around the turntable, the buffing heads work on certain sections with abrasive or polishing compounds.

Tumbling machines create an antiqued finish by rolling the metals against each other in a rotating drum. A vibratory finisher operates similarly in a bowl instead of a drum. By using wet or dry metals – or ceramic or plastic additions – these machines can buff the grille in unique ways. While you would think this would create randomized results, the machines can be programmed to create identical products time after time.   

After the desired antiqued finish is completed, a topcoat is applied to protect the grille from tarnish or corrosion. Typically, this solution is a clear lacquer.

brass and bronze pipes

Why choose an antiqued finish

At Coco Architectural, we offer antiqued finishes on brass and bronze products. These metals are optimal base metals for antiqued results. Brass and bronze contain high levels of copper, which creates a beautiful result after the buffing, tumbling or vibratory techniques are applied.

Many designers aim to maintain the original aesthetic during a historic renovation project. Antiqued finishes create the perfect design. You can install high-quality, new metal grilles that look like they are original to the building. Our team can construct custom metal products to match the original design when replacing the corroded or broken originals.

Our linear bar grilles, perforated metal grilles and custom metal products are all manufactured with the same standard of excellence and commitment to customer satisfaction. We offer a wide variety of metal finishing options including satin/brushed, mirror polished, anodized, duranodic, baked enamel colors, blackened, statuary/antiqued and oil rubbed. If you’re considering adding a specific metal finish to your project, download our catalog for compatible products and request a free quote.

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Anodized Aluminum Finishes for Architectural Design
Posted Mon, November 5, 2018

Anodized Aluminum for Architectural Design feature photo with a metal grille across crown molding

Anodized aluminum is the ideal choice for many projects. From highly durable building exteriors to staircases in skyscrapers, anodized aluminum has a wide versatility for architectural design. It’s even trusted to protect satellites in space.

The sleek appearance of anodized aluminum is coveted by architectural designers. We’ve broken down the basics of anodized aluminum to help you determine if it’s the best solution for your project.

What is Anodized Aluminum?

Anodized aluminum is the final product of a finishing process called anodizing. To create anodized aluminum, the aluminum is placed into an anodizing tank containing a mounted plate (an electrode where electrons enter a cell and cause reduction). The aluminum is then submersed into an acid electrolyte solution while an electric current is passed through the tank.

Once the aluminum is submerged, a positive electric charge is added to it, causing it to become an anode. A negative charge is then applied to the plate, making it the cathode. The positive ions gravitate to the plate while the negative ions rush to the aluminum. This process is essentially a highly controlled oxidation process which results in anodized aluminum.

Colorants can be added to the anodization process where the pigment fills the empty pores on the surface of the aluminum and is permanently sealed. Color anodized aluminum has a metallic appearance due to the rough surface left behind after the electro-chemical process and the reaction between the electrical current, colorant, and uncolored metal.

Benefits of Using Anodized Aluminum

There are a variety of benefits of using anodized aluminum which are evidenced by the wide use of anodized aluminum in commercial, industrial, and consumer projects. Not only is it significantly lighter than copper, gold, brass, bronze, and stainless steel, but it has a strong formability, allowing it to be reshaped into many different designs.

cylinders of aluminum

Aluminum’s ease of use is bolstered by its durability. Aluminum is naturally resistant to most forms of corrosion and the anodization process increases its weather resistance. Since the anodized finish becomes a part of the metal through the oxidation process, it will not peel, chip, or flake away. During anodization, the base aluminum is enhanced with a corrosion-resistant and very strong finish, creating an extended lifespan.

Aluminum is also considered to be environmentally friendly and recyclable, lessening the architectural design’s environmental footprint. According to the Aluminum Association, approximately 75 percent of all aluminum produced since its introduction to the United States in 1990 is still in use. In addition, anodized aluminum is a much greener finish than coatings like paint. Anodizing is “recycle-neutral” and does not use toxic organics or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) prohibited by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Anodized aluminum is a crowd favorite among the architectural community. At Coco Architectural, we offer a variety of anodized colors and finishes for a variety of projects. View our product catalog for a detailed list of our products. For a consultation or to order perforated grilles today, contact us at 631.482.9449 or

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History of the Parquet Perforated Metal Grille Pattern
Posted Thu, November 1, 2018

History of the Parquet Perforated Grille Pattern featuring photo of the parquet perforated grille

The parquet perforated grille pattern (CA815) is a popular choice for historic renovations hearkening back to the 17th century, as well as contemporary spaces with geometric themes.

Parquet (pronounced pahr-kay) is French for “flooring”, a term derived from the French word parc, translated to “an enclosure”. Parquet encompasses a variety of patterns and ornamentations to create unique, fluid designs. Essentially, the parquet design is made of geometric patterns, typically angular with squares, diamonds or triangles.

The origin of parquet

In 17th-century France, marble was the preferred flooring for the elite population, compared to dirt and concrete floors among the lower class. The most famous example of parquet flooring is seen in the  Palace of Versailles. Louis XIII began construction on the palace in 1630, yet the project was not completed until 1963. At this point, Nicodème Tessin, a Swedish Baroque architect, wrote, “parquetry is quite like paneling. There’s one single room in Versailles which parquet is not by squares…the entire rest is diamond-shaped in the new style.”

The parquet de Versailles was widely popular in the 18th century and was kept in style through Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI. At the time, only a few professionals had the skill required to hand-cut and lay the wood in the proper patterns, so parquet flooring was considered a work of art and only available to the extremely wealthy. To construct parquet flooring, geometric shapes are cut out of wood and glued to a concrete sub-floor. The pattern was adopted by other well-to-do aristocrats and modified to fit their taste.

example of parquet flooring in the Palace of Versailles

[“Salon de Mars” by Jorge Láscar is licensed under CC BY 2.0.]

Another example of parquet flooring among the elite is found at The Château de Maisons-Lafitte, which features parquet flooring with floral ornamentations. Luckily, these architectural works of art are still viewable today. After Louis XVI was forced to leave the Palace of Versailles during the French Revolution, the building was still considered a work of art. In 1837, it became the Museum of History in France by King Louis-Phillippe.

Parquet patterns

There are a wide variety of parquet patterns, the most popular of which is herringbone. Other patterns include brick, hexagon weave, Bordeaux, Brentwood, Celtic, Chantilly, Versailles, chevron, basket weave and others. The key to parquet flooring is to begin in one section of the room (in Versailles, the flooring always began at the fireplace) and move to the other end. This keeps the pattern unidirectional and uniform.

parquet pattern created with rustic wood floor

CA815 Parquet Perforated Grille

The CA815 Parquet perforated grille is based on the square basket weave parquet pattern. The alternating directions of the squares create an entrancing design popular in both historic renovations and contemporary builds. This pattern provides 30 percent free air flow through the 1 3/16” squares.

Is the parquet perforated grill the perfect perforated metal grille for your space? Our team is happy to discuss installation options or assist you in selecting an alternative pattern. Make sure to view our product catalog for a full, detailed list of our products. For a consultation or to order your perforated grilles today, contact us at 631.482.9449 or


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Satin Stainless Steel for Architectural Design
Posted Mon, October 29, 2018

Satin Stainless Steel for Architectural Design - satin stainless steel outdoor installation

A satin metal finish, also known as No. 4 in industry terms, is an all-purpose, polished finish that gives the metal a smooth, unidirectional appearance. Available for aluminum, brass, bronze and stainless steel, the satin finish is a trendy addition for most projects. Here at Coco Architectural Grilles & Metalcraft, we offer satin/brushed finishes where the smooth, frosted look of satin stainless steel is achieved through a brushing technique.

How it works

Satin finishes are created through a process called metal brushing. This can be achieved with a metal brush, sandpaper or another abrasive material. In many cases, a grit belt is used for speed and efficiency.

After the metal has been cut into the chosen grille pattern, it is polished with a fine bristled brush in a unidirectional motion. It is then softened with a greaseless grit compound or abrasive, nonwoven belt or pad to create a matte finish. The result is a frosted appearance with fine lines in the direction of the brushing.

satin stainless steel

Why satin stainless steel

Satin stainless steel not only protects the metal from rust and corrosion, it also creates a trendy, modern appearance. Satin finishes are popular in heavily trafficked areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and stairs, as it is not likely to smudge or show fingerprints.

This finish is also commonly used in rooms with natural lighting because the metal becomes less reflective after the satin finish is applied. This creates the satin sheen the finish is named after.

Our linear bar grilles, perforated metal grilles and custom metal products are all manufactured with the same standard of excellence and commitment to customer satisfaction. We offer a wide variety of metal finishing options including: satin/brushed, mirror polished, anodized colors, duranodic, baked enamel colors, blackened, statuary/antiqued, and oil rubbed.

If you’re considering adding a specific metal finish to your project, download our catalog for compatible products and request a free quote.

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How to Choose the Right Perforated Grille for Your Project
Posted Wed, June 27, 2018

From new builds to historic renovations, perforated metal grilles can elevate any architectural design with patterns ranging from simple to ornate and vintage to modern. No matter your style, a perforated grille can tie together a variety of architectural projects – but how do you choose the right one for your project?

We’ve streamlined the decision-making process into four simple steps.

1. Measure your space

Each of our perforated metal grille options comes in standard sizes, although alterations can be made upon request. When choosing your perforated metal grille, it’s important to select a pattern that will accommodate your spatial limitations.


First, measure your opening for the proper length (X) and width (Y). This will help specify your perimeter, which is necessary when choosing a perforated grille size and style. Next, determine your border sizes. It is important that the perforated pattern does not extend outside the opening dimensions (B and C).

It’s important to cut the appropriate opening size for your perforated grille – but don’t worry, our team can help you find the proper dimensions and sizes. 

2. Choose your optimal air flow

When selecting a perforated grille, it is important to choose a pattern that provides the optimal air flow for your space. This is measured by the free air percentage, or open area, not covered by the metal pattern. For perforated patterns with small vent holes, you will want more free air. This will allow more air to be pushed through the grille. The opposite applies for large vent holes.

3. Select a perforated grille design

Now, it’s time for the fun part – choosing your perforated grille design. We offer a wide variety of patterns to elevate an assortment of projects from mid-century modern constructions to historic renovations and more.


You still have two more decisions to make after selecting your perforated grille design. Success is in the details. Select your metal and finishing option to add the final touch to your project.

4. Leave the rest up to us

In some cases, your perforated grille might require concealed fasting, welded support bars, access doors or installation hardware with a matching finish. Our team of craftsmen can help with additional installation requirements or challenges. After all, we’ve been in the metalworking business since the early 1900s.

Our team is ready to help you pick the perfect perforated metal grille for your project. Make sure to view our product catalog for a full, detailed list of our products. For a consultation or to order your perforated grilles today, contact us at 631.482.9449 or


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How to Choose the Right Linear Bar Grille for Your Project
Posted Thu, June 14, 2018

linear bar grille with title


Whether your project is a start-to-finish build or a renovation, choosing the perfect linear bar grille is an underrated and important task. A bar grille, which will cover the air vents in your space, blends into the room effortlessly when chosen well, but can cause problems without proper preparation. Not only can grilles look out of place with the wrong aesthetic, they can also allow too much or too little air in the room, causing discomfort. With four easy steps, you can make the right choice easily.

1. Choose the right style

photos of specialty linear bar grille installed with l-bead


Before you measure the wall, floor or ceiling opening for your grille, decide which type of grille you’d like. You’ve already decided on linear over perforated, but there’s one more stylistic choice to make: flanged or flangeless. If you’re new to linear bar grilles, a flanged grille is simply one with a lip around the outer edge, which hides any space between the wall and the grille. Flanged grilles are more popular in visible areas, as they blend the grille and wall seamlessly into one structure.

2. Measure your space

photo depiction of how to measure for linear bar grille installation

Now it’s time to measure. You’ll start by measuring the length and width of your grille, represented by X and Y respectively in the diagram. Your wall, floor or ceiling opening should equal X and Y with some added space depending on the frame type you’ve chosen. If you’re going with flanged, add an extra 1/8”, as the flanges will cover that space. With the flangeless, your grille will be mostly flush with the surface onto which it’s installed, so you’ll only add 1/16”.

If you’re unsure about your measurements, don’t worry. Send our team the rough opening dimensions and we can deduct the proper clearance for your project.

3. Get the perfect air flow

Next, settle on the proper air flow for the room in which you’re installing the grille(s). A variety of factors determine this, from the size of the grille and the opening to the degree of deflection. It all depends on where your grille will be and in what kind of room. For a larger space, a greater air flow might be ideal, whereas a smaller room may require a grille that can restrain some of the flow.

4. Make it personal

The final step is choosing a design of linear bar grille that fits your stylistic needs. This not only means choosing a color or metal, it also means deciding on the shape and size of your grilles. At Coco Metalcraft, we have several types of metals—aluminum, brass, bronze, stainless steel and steel—as well as finishing variations on those options. We also offer L-Bead installation options to provide your linear bar grille with a flush finish, creating the illusion that the grill was built into the wall. It’s important that your linear bar grille matches the room it’s in and blends into the aesthetics of your space.


No matter the scale of your project, our sales team and craftsmen are ready and willing to help you pick the perfect linear bar grilles. Make sure to view our product catalog for a full, detailed list of our products. For a consultation or to order your bar grilles today contact us at 631.482.9449 or


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