The sky is the limit here, but these are the most commonly chosen options.

Raw brass. Which in basic terms means ‘no finish at all’. Usually this is a brushed surface just left as is. Can be polished if required. Both will mellow to a soft nut brown in colour so long as handled properly. The brushed surface will keep a more matt appearance. The polished brass will mellow with a slight sheen to it.

Phat boy raw brass finish

Straight clear gloss lacquer. This can be applied over polished brass as in the picture of the copper Chicago Standard Or, over a brushed surface, or combination of both, See picture of Chicago Lite.

Clear gloss finish
Clear Gloss Finish

Tinted lacquer. This can be applied to polished or brushed, or a combination of both. The depth of tint can be varied from light to quite dark. See the Picture of the Chicago Custom which has been finished in a med-dark Vintage tint. Other options would be a gold tint, or for the more adventurous, bright translucent colour tints. These are not solid colours so they allow the shine (or brush finish) to show through.

Tinted Lacquer finish Tinted lacquer Tinted lacquer

Stenciled. This visually striking look is achieved using special vinyl masks when preparing the surface for lacquer. Then clear or tinted lacquers prayed over as usual in a normal lacquer job. It does not erode or remove metal and all the structural integrity is kept unaltered. The pattern is only on the surface. We have a small selection of designs to choose from, but one of a kind designs can be done but there is a set up charge for this. This effect can also be done under silver plate as well.

Stenciled finish

Silver Plate.
A regular finish same as many other manufacturers would use. Can be teamed with gold plated highlites for a more ‘glitzy’ appearance. Silver can be applied to brush surface as well but it will show the finger prints much easier, and will appear very grey in colour.

Silver plate finish
silver plate finish

Gold Plate. Very beautiful, but also very expensive. Gold plate prices can only be given at time of being done due to heavy fluctuations in the gold bullion market price. This in turn means that gold plate cannot be guaranteed (this holds for nearly all instrument manufacturers). Gold is often considered very hardwearing. This is only true if the gold plate is thick enough! More gold, higher cost. Just being honest.

Gold plate finish

Verdigris finish

Verdigris finish.
A popular option for the more wacky minded as cost is very reasonable and the finish is relatively easy to re apply. It involves a special dipping solution, careful timing and rinsing. After successful application of the verdigris, the instrument is then quickly clear lacquered to seal in the finish.

Due to the slight changes in the verdigris surface the clear lacquer is not quite so smooth as over a polished surface. To the untrained eye this is almost unnoticeable but it is something you must take into account. It’s admirable to look at but not a perfect finish. Looks best with polished or plated parts.

Utley Collection

There are plenty of other options, but that covers the most popular choices.

The fancy finishes on some of the Custom Shop instruments can be duplicated but these can be fragile and not really formulated for every day use.

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