Sign Galleries

Signs & Plaques


Product Line 7 - Custom Bronze, Brass, Silver and Gold Engraved, 3-D ( Bas-Relief) and 2.5-D Wall Plaques

Great Seal, Emblem, Logo, Award and Memorial Plaques & Signs, with Metal Surfaces (Bronze, Brass, German Silver, 24K Gold, Fine Silver, Copper, Stainless Steel, Aluminum)

Bronze,  Brass, silver and Aluminum  Plaques

Examples of 3-D Carved Hand-Crafted Bronze, Brass, Silver and Gold Coated Wall Plaques

Fig 1 -These hand-crafted 3-D bas-relief metal-coated wall plaques and signs above are all carved from High Density Urethane (HDU) and coated with various metals. We can make metal plaques and signs in any size from 12 inches to 20 ft wide. . We use bronze, brass . copper, nickel-silver, aluminum and stainless steel metals in a cold-casting process to apply a veneer of real metal that adheres to the HDU surface for many decades. Our artisans also gild plaques and signs with 24K gold leaf and 0.99 fine silver leaf using a special process perfected over several millennia. All our plaques have two clear-coats for protection and can be placed outside as well as inside..

Welcome to our photo Gallery 7 which shows  over 250 examples of our premium carved (1) metal-coated, (2) metallic painted, (3) 24K gold/silver/copper-leaf gilded plaques & signs, and (4) solid aluminum, wrought  iron,  bronze cast (3-D) and machined plaques and signs. The first of these techniques, (10) above,  uses a thin veneer of real metal plated over a carved Three-Dimensional (3-D) bas-relief or 2.5-D Flat Relief High-Density-Urethane sign or plaque (these are described in Galleries 2 and 1 respectively). To view a more extensive discussion and hundreds of more examples of our metal plaques, please visit our extensive plaque website, Wood & Metal Plaques

To view painted signs and plaques, please visit Gallery 1 (2.5-D carved HDU) or Gallery 2 (3-D carved HDU). Gallery 3 shows 2.5-D and 3-D stained and painted carved wood signs and plaques. You can see these and other photo Galleries by clicking on the red links above or by clicking on a  numbered gray box in the left lower margin of this page.

Fig. 2 - The picture above shows examples of bronze, brass, copper, and nickel-silver plated plaques.

Four styles of our metal-plated plaques, bronze, brass copper and nickel-silver (German silver,) are shown in Fig 2 above. Our metal-plated  plaques and signs have major advantages over molten metal cast bronze or brass (solid) metal plaques, because they cost about 1/3  as much and weigh about 1/5 to 1/10 as much. Our cold cast Metal-plated HDU plaques look the same as cast bronze, brass, copper or aluminum, and they will last 20 years or more, for both exterior and interior applications, They are completely waterproof and the metal gives a hard shell over the HDU substrate, similar to fiberglass gelcoat on yachts. The HDU substrate itself is about the same density as Cedar or Redwood, with a density of 20 lb/ft3  depending on the application. The metal veneer is about 12 mils thick (1 mil = 0.001 inch), 10  times thicker than electro-plating, and forms a very hard, protective veneer. All our metal-coated products are polished by hand with a buffing cloth to a high luster. 

The metal-plated background areas can be covered with either a patina to provide contrast and give the effect of age, or they can be painted. The patina is not perfectly uniform (it has very light non-uniformities in shade, i.e., slight blotchiness), because of the difference in chemical bonding, temperature etc to the metal surface. Every plaque will look slightly different. This minor uneveness gives it a very authentic, antique look. We can also paint the metal backgrounds with a flat or satin black or dark gray paint to give a very even , new look that also has a higher brightness contrast than patina does. The bronze, copper and nickel-silver plaques in Fig 2 above have their backgrounds painted with 1-Shot sign enamels, either black or dark bronze. The Army and Illinois plaques on the right side of Fiog 1 above have a patina background.

Any of our metal-plated  plaques can have either a patina or painted background, or we can leave the metal without a coating. After the bright metal surface is polished and the background patina or paint is applied, we can coat the plaques with either satin or gloss clear over-coat. The gloss is shiny and reflects light whereas satin clear coat will not reflect strong light.

Fig 3 - Samples of four real metals used for plating HDU signs & plaques, from left to right: brass (yellow gold color), bronze (light brown color); aluminum (silver color) and copper (reddish- brown color).

We make most of our metal plaques & signs by first carving very High-Density-Urethane HDU (density of 20 lb/ft3) in either 3-D or 2.5-D relief (for all Techniques  described below except for Technique 5)   We  use one of five techniques to fabricate the plaque or sign (sometimes two of these in different areas of the plaque):

Technique 1 Metal Plated. We spray on a coat about 1/60th of an inch (10 to 15 mils) thick of real metal (bronze, brass, copper, nickel-silver/German silver, stainless steel, or aluminum), along with a dark patina or dark paint for the backgrounds to enhance contrast for some plaques, and then polish and burnish the metal veneer first by machine and then by hand, to make some areas shiny. Fig. 3 above shows samples plated with brass, bronze, aluminum and copper. Metal-plating  can be used  for 3-D , 2.5-D and engraved plaques and signs. The plaques shown in Fig 2 above and Section A of the photo Gallery below  below are made in this way.

Fig. 4 - The picture above shows examples of 24K gold-leaf gilded, pure 0.996 fine silver-leaf gilded. aluminum-clad Redwood, and cast bronze plaques.

Technique 2 - Gold or Silver Leaf Gilding. We have one of our artisans  gild by hand the surfaces of  some,  sometimes all areas of the plaque with 24K gold, silver, or copper-leaves, and then burnish the surface, which is a technique used by ancient Egyptians 3000 yrs ago (King Tutankhaman's artifacts were gold-leaf gilded) and used for thousands of years on architectural features and objects d'art in palaces and cathedrals. We often gild V-carved engraved letters, borders and art in wood or HDU substrates with 24K gold-leaf, leaving the backgrounds stained or painted.This technique is available for both 3-D and 2,5-D plaques.The plaques shown in Fig 4 above (left side) in Section (B) of the photo Gallery below below are made in this way.

Technique 3Metallic Painted .We paint some or all areas of the plaque or sign with a very high quality two-part acrylic polyurethane metallic gold, silver, brass, or bronze paint. This paint is similar to that used for automobiles and uses a hardening agent and a hot drying room.This technique is available for both 3-D and 2,5-D plaques.The plaques shown in Section (C) of the Gallery below below are made in this way.

Technique 4 Aluminum Cladding. We cut out thin aluminum overlays and mount them on wood or HDU texts or art. We also cut out wrought iron outline signs with our water jet cutter.This technique is available for  2.5-D plaques only (not 3-D).The plaques shown in Section (D) of the Gallery below are made in this way.  Fig 4 above also shows an aluminum-clad plaque. 

Technique 5 - Solid Cast or Machined Bronze and Aluminum. We also offer solid cast bronze and aluminum 2.5-D and 3-D  plaques, which we get from a well-known wholesale supplier. These are the only plaques we do not manufacture in-house. We design them, but they are cast using molten metal in a sand mold by an very experienced foundry.  The plaques in Section (E) below are made in this way. Fig 4 above, right side, shows a solid bronze plaque,

Technique 5 (solid cast bronze or aluminum) is generally the most expensive, and is  available both  in 2.5-D flat relief and 3-D bas-relief. It  is the most durable, and is suitable for plaques on an outside wall where people will rub it or even walk on it. Technique 2  is  about 50% to 70% of the cost of of Technique 5.  Technique 1 is about 30% to 35%  of the cost of Technique 5, and is available in 3-D.  Technique 3, metallic gold, brass, silver or bronze paint, is the least expensive method and is done at a lower  price than multi-color  painted HDU signs in Product Lines 1 and 2. We sometimes combine two of these techniques together on the same plaque (but in different areas), i.e, we often gold-leaf a small area of the plaque and use gold metallic paint in other areas, to provide visual interest in key areas of the plaque and also to keep the cost down. Many of our original and creative 3-D designs are true works of art. After all, we are "Art Sign Works".

If you are looking for a specific application for a metal sign or plaque (e.g., lawyer, CPA, business, residence, vacation home, park, golf course, church, ranch, restaurant, pub, government seal, military crest, college, etc) you can click on one of our Application Galleries in the numbered gray boxes in the lower left margin. You can also go to our Photo Gallery Overview page for a complete index of these applications. Our metal-coated HDU signs are shown interspersed with painted and stained signs & plaques in many Application Galleries.

We make most of our metal-coated signs & plaques for government agencies, especially federal, State and Municipal courtrooms (Gallery 10), the military (Gallery 31), universities (Gallery 34), attorneys and judges (Gallery 10), memorial monuments, and cemeteries (Gallery 16C).


 This Gallery 7 contains photos of our plaques & signs in the following order:

                     (A) Metal-plated Plaques

  1.  Bronze-Plated (top of page, beginning with M7002)                                                                        
  2.  Brass- Plated (top of page, beginning with M7100)                                                                         
  3.  Copper-Plated (middle of page, beginning with M7201)                                                                           
  4.  Nickel-silver (German silver), and Aluminum-Plated  (middle of page, beginning with M7250)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (B) Gold, Silver, and Copper-Leaf Gilded Plaques                                                                                         
  5.   24K Gold-leaf gilded (middle of page, beginning with M7301)                                                                    
  6.   Fine Silver and copper-leaf  gilded (middle of page, beginning with M7351)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (C) Gold and Silver Metallic Painted Plaques                                                                                   
  7.  Gold and brass metallic paint (near bottom of page, beginning with M7410)                                                
  8.  Silver metallic paint (near bottom of page, beginning with M7452)                                                                  
  9.  Bronze metallic paint (near bottom of page, beginning with M7500)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (D) Cast Solid Bronze and Aluminum 3-D , 2.5-D, and Engraved Plaques 
  10. Cast or Machined Solid Bronze Plaques
  11. Cast or Machined Aluminum Plaques                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (E) Other Types of Metal Fabricated Signs & Plaques                                     
  12. Cut-out aluminum clad (overlay)  plaques, usually over wood  (bottom of page, beginning with M7551   
  13.  Wrought iron cut-out signs  (bottom of page, beginning with M7561)                                                                                                                                                                                                                

PRICES. Custom rectangular bronze or brass-coated 2.5-D wall plaques (usually with text only), with widths that range from 12 to 24 inches, typically have prices of $250 to $600. Our custom designed smaller 3-D round wall plaques, 18 inches to 24 inches in diameter, have retail prices that range $500 to $600. Large plaques, from 24 inches to 36 inches wide, have retail prices that range from $600 to $1200 and up. Our plaque prices depend primarily on their area, their design detail and complexity (e.g., complexity and fine detail of carving , amount of hand-polishing and burnishing, amount if any of gilding, etc.). Gold- and silver-leaf gilding is the most expensive, due to the very high cost of materials and the extensive labor required to gild and burnish thin metal leaf on 3-D surfaces. Metal-coated or gold-leaf gilded plaques (Techniques (A) and (B) above) have prices about 50% to 70% more  than painted plaques (which may include metallic gold and silver paint, Technique (C) above). More detailed information on sign retail prices, along with their design features, are described on the Price, Size, and Design Features page.

PLEASE CONTACT US. Please call or email us for a price quote on a specific sign. We will work with you to design and build the exact sign or plaque you want. Our knowledgeable and helpful Customer Service Representatives, Christie and Regina, will respond to your request promptly. Call us at 951-698-8484 or email us at Or, you can fill out and submit our on-line Request an Estimate Form. We would like to make your sign or plaque, and we are confident that you will be pleased with it. We take great pride in every product we make for our valued clients. We offer a 2 year warranty on all our products.

NAVIGATION. Please move the slider on the scroll bar on right edge of the window to see the photos at the bottom of this page. Please click on a Photo below to enlarge it and get more detailed information. After you expand a photo, to return to this Gallery page, click on your back browser button or "Return to List" at the bottom right of the sign. To go to a different photo Gallery, you can click on a numbered light gray box in the bottom left margin. Other web pages (e,g, requesting a design, an estimate, or a quote) can be viewed by clicking on a gray box in the upper left margin. Other web pages, including our Home Page, can be visited by clicking on dark gray tabs at the top of the page in the header. A much more detailed discussion of our metal plaques and hundreds more examples are shown  on our other website Wood & Metal Plaques, ( ).

We make metal (wrought iron and aluminum), metal-coated (bronze, brass, copper, stainless steel, nickel-silver, aluminum), and gold, silver and copper-leaf gilded plaques and signs. These form a thin veneer over a substrate manufactured from high-density-urethane (HDU), wood, or metal. Our bronze, brass and nickel-silver metal-coated plaques are most popular, and are alternatives to fully painted or stained wood plaques and signs. These wall plaques can have either raised and sculptured 3-D carved bas-relief art (similar to Product Line 2) , beveled or V-cut engraved text , or raised 2.5-D raised art and text, sometimes called flat relief (similar to Product Line 1) . All our metal coats provide a high degree of ruggedness and protection against damage, are 100% waterproof, and will last decades.

These metal surface signs and plaques are suitable for both outside and inside locations, including memorials, dedications, monuments, government and public buildings, museums, historical buildings, informational displays, and great seals or logos on the walls of government buildings such as courtrooms. Smaller versions are suitable for walls in lobbies, offices, conference rooms, and podiums.

These metallized plaques are roughly 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of cast bronze plaques, look very similar (including ageing), and will last decades. They cannot be walked on, however.

We can work from a computer file, or a photo, a drawing, a sketch you supply, or we can create a new design for you. We can design you a custom plaque or sign design, often at no additional cost, if you do not have vector art computer files. Refer to ID number (e.g. M2307) if you want your sign to be similar to one or more signs shown in the galleries In addition to this Gallery 7, Galleries 30 through 35 show examples of metal plaques organized by application. We make the following types of metal plaques:

(A). Metal-Coated Plaques. We can coat our HDU and metal plaques and signs with a cold-casting metal coating liquid spray (using a spray gun or airbrush. We use a proprietary blend of real metal particles and a binder (similar to epoxy resin for fiberglass) that we cold-spray onto virtually any substrate, including high-density-urethane,(HDU), acrylic, aluminum, and steel, to create the look and feel of solid cast metal. Our metal-coated carved plaques use either 20 lb/ft3 or 30 lb/ft3 density (about the density of wood) High Density Urethane (i.e., Precision Board from Coastal Enterprises) for improved polishing and extra durability; this has substantially more   density and strength of HDU that most other sign companies use for their HDU signs, which is only 15 lb/ft3 (we use 20 lb/ft3 HDU for our painted and gold-leaf gilded plaques). The metal coating has a living finish and will age naturally over time. The metal is applied as part of a proprietary seven-step process by our craftsmen. At an average 10-mil thickness (metal electroplating is less than 1-mil thick), our metal-coating process adds less than four ounces of weight per square foot, provides the durability of solid cast metal, and is non-corrosive. Our metal-coating and HDU substrate has a Class 1-Class A fire rating.

Metal-coating is expensive because of the cost of the material ($800 to $1000 for a gallon), and the extensive labor required to hand polish and burnish the metal to a high shine (as much as 8 hours for a large plaque). Our metal-coated plaques cost $162/ft2 (retail), compared to our painted (including metallic painted, (C) below) HDU plaques with a price of $87/ft2 (for 3 colors or less). Our proprietary meta-coated HDU substrate may be used for on both interior and exterior locations. The metal coating will not chip, flake, bubble, or peel and will last a lifetime. Our metal coatings include bronze, brass, nickel-silver, copper, stainless steel, aluminum, and iron. All of these coatings can be applied with a patina, spot-polished, or high-polished. Samples of these colors and textures are shown in the photos above. The variations for each material are achieved by the mixture ratios of the coating material and the amount of polishing on different areas .

(B). Gold, Silver and Copper-Leaf Gilded Plaques A somewhat more expensive alternate to the liquid metal coating process described above is metal leaf gilding, which we use for a wide variety of plaques and signs. This is the traditional way of gluing thin metal leafs on a 3D plaque or sculpture, using techniques first developed by the ancient Egyptians. (Many of King Tutankhament's artifacts were gold-leaf gilded). Gold and silver-leaf gilding was refined and used extensively in palaces and cathedrals in Europe. As you would expect, the materials are expensive (24K gold leaf is $2000/ounce) and the process of gilding is exacting and very labor-intensive. We have two craftsmen qualified to do gold-or silver leaf gilding, and they do a beautiful job. We often gild V-cut engraved or raised prismatic letters and 3D carved art appliques, but only occasionally do we gild an entire plaque because of the expense. It nearly doubles the price of a wall plaque if the entire plaque is gilded, compared to being painted with metallic gold or silver paint. We can also copper-leaf gild a plaque, but the copper metal coating process described in (A) above is about the same price and looks more like solid copper

(C). Metallic Painted Plaques. A much less expensive alternative we often use is to paint the plaque or a portion of it with Matthews MAP brass or 1-Shot's gold or silver metallic paint, and then overcoat with a clear-coat to reduce oxidation and increase shine. The disadvantages of metallic paint compared to metal leaf gilding is that (1) gilding is shinier and more reflective than metallic gold or silver paint;(2) metallic paint, even when clear-coated, will lose some of its luster over 20 to 30 years due to oxidation, whereas the shininess of 24K gold-leaf lasts forever. However, metallic paints can be repainted at a fairly low cost. Note that the metal-coating process described in( A) above does not include gold and silver metals because of the very high expense; gold and pure silver must be gilded or painted onto a plaque. However the bright brass coating is nearly the color of gold, and both silver-nickel and the aluminum metal-coating have the appearance of silver. There are three options to achieve a gold-appearing plaque;(1) brass metal coating, (2) gold-leaf gilding; (3) 1-Shot gold metallic paint. Of these (3) is least expensive, (1) next, and (2) the most expensive (for an entire plaque; for a small area, it only adds about 10% to the price of a painted plaque)

(D). Solid aluminum and wrought iron metal plaques. We make solid metal plaques from aluminum and wrought iron. Most are 2.5-D flat relief plaques or signs, but some (metal cut-out holes) are 2-D. We cut these with our computer-controlled water jet cutter, to remove intricate areas, leaving artwork and text as holes or alternatively, as metal around the holes, or we can sandblast the metal to surround text and art with a blasted, rough background (no holes). These are relatively inexpensive and are very striking. We can paint these or leave them the natural metal. The iron signs and plaques will take on a patina of rust when left outdoors. which is often desirable for rustic signs and plaques, especially for ranches and cabins. Please call us at 951-698-8484 or EMAIL us at for more information on design options, prices and delivery times, and our helpful and knowledgeable Customer Service Representatives, Christie and Regina, will respond promptly.