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Memorial Plaques - A Tutorial - Surface Finishes


Once the background of the plaque has been painted, the surface areas(these are the raised letters of lines of artwork) are highlighted by sanding (flat areas) or buffing (sculpted areas). To inhibit natural oxidization, a clear, protective coating is then applied.

Highlighting Finishes

Satin Bronze
The Natural metal color with subtle horizontal grain lines meets NAAMM finish designation M33-C11-060.


Polished Bronze
The natural metal color buffed to a high gloss, obtained by polishing with successively finer abrasives, then buffing with fine buffing compound. Meets NAAMM finish designation


Chrome Plated Bronze
The raised surface of the memorial plaque is polished to meet the polished bronze specifications. The background of the plaque remains in its "natural sandblast" state, providing contrast with the polished raised surface. The entire plaque is then electro-plated using a standard commercial copper/nickel/chrome plating process.

Protective Finishes

In order to protect the natural, highlighted finish of a cast memorial plaque, two options are available:

Clear Protective Lacquer

Providing a low gloss appearance, this clear coating was developed to help ensure many years of carefree maintenance. This option should be selected when matching older plaques or when a lower gloss look is desired (particularly for interior applications.)

Diamond Shield® Protective Coating

A 2-part coating for protection in the harshest environments. Diamond Shield® can be factory-applied only and provides maximum protection. This coating is applied with a heavier thickness than our clear protective lacquer and is available in a high gloss version only. Diamond Shield® is particularly effective in harsh, exterior environments, where memorial plaques are exposed to salt, pollution and weather.

Diamond Shield® has a lifetime warranty.

Helpful Hints

  • The maximum size available for polished memorial plaques is 48" x 36". A polished finish is not recommended when there are large raised areas due to normal surface inconsistencies inherent in the casting process.
  • The casting alloy of aluminum does not lend itself to polishing. Polished aluminum plaques are not available.
  • Diamond Shield® is our standard clear, protective coating. Unless otherwise specified, all plaques will receive Diamond Shield® clear protective coating.


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