-how the metal coated plaques are made:
Each address plaque is custom carved from a solid piece of HDU board. High density urethane, HDU, board is the industry standard for the highest quality signs and plaques. It will never rot, swell, warp or have any of the drawbacks of wood in an exterior installation. It is not a heavy material and is comparable in weight to solid wood.
After the plaque has been machine carved it is time to do all of the hand detailing. While the router makes quick work of creating a plaque, nothing can replace the hand and chisel. Adding details to motifs and lettering, removing rough areas, and giving the plaque character are a few of the things done by hand.
After carving, each plaque is then given 2 coats of high-build primer followed by 2 coats of metal resin. This coating is made from copper or brass powder mixed with epoxy resin. This metal mixture is nothing like a metallic paint, it is extremely durable and will not 'come off' even after years of harsh weather. This is the same process used worldwide to make carvings and sculpture look foundry cast.
After coating, I etch the surface to remove a thin layer of resin and reveal just the metal. At this point, the plaque can be treated as if it were solid metal. I apply a traditional acid darkening patina to it.
Then a steel brush is used to remove the patina from the raised parts to re-expose the fresh metal.
A lacquer coat is the final step to prevent the fresh metal from darkening over time. All at a fraction of the cost of a solid metal plaque.