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Cast Plaques
Cast Plaques
Item# cast-plaques

Product Description

Cast Plaque Materials


Cast plaques are manufactured using sand molds in a state-of-the-art foundry from raw ingot alloyed in the following materials:

Cast Bronze

Equivalent to Copper Development Association Alloy C92200; 88% copper, 6% tin, 4% zinc, 2% lead.

Cast Aluminum

Cast from Aluminum Association Association Alloy Designation C443.2.

Helpful Hints
Bronze castings are the material of choice for interior as well as exterior applications. Although the finish of bronze will naturally patina over time, the material itself will not deteriorate. Objects made from bronze have been found submerged in seawater for over 3000 years still in excellent condition.
The weight of a bronze plaque may be roughly estimated by calculating the plaque's volume in inches (height x width x depth) x .31. For most smaller plaques (under 36" x 30") allow .25" as the approximate depth. Use .375" for plaques over 36" x 30".
Example: For a 36" x 24" plaque calculate 36" x 24" x .25" = 216 cu. inches x .31 = 66.96. The plaque's estimated weight would be 67 lbs.
An aluminum plaque is approximately 1/3rd the weight of a comparable sized bronze plaque. In the above example, simply divide the answer by 3. A 36" x 24" aluminum plaque weighs approximately 23 lbs.

Cast Plaque Border Styles


The border on a cast plaque is cast integral with the plaque and is generally highlighted by either a stroke-sander, a buffing wheel or hand-rubbed to provide a pleasing contrast with the background finish.

Standard Borders These consist of flat borders and are available at no extra cost on all standard sizes. Some designs are not practical on small namestrips under 3" in height.

Straight Edge (SE) (no border)

Bevel Edge (BE)

Double Line (DL)

Single Line (SL)

Single Line Bevel Edge (SLBE)

Ornamental Borders

Decorative borders based on classic designs are available at additional cost on most standard sizes. These borders are dimensionally sculpted and hand finished. Because these are custom made, often they are used in combination with an unusual shaped or sized plaque

Lamb's Tongue 3/4", 7/8", 1", 1-1/8"

Beaded Bevel 1/4"

Egg & Dart (with optional corner detail) 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", 1"

Ivy Leaf 3/8", 1/2", 7/8"

Oak Leaf 1"

Laurel 7/8", 1", 1-1/8", 1-1/4"

Reed & Ribbon 3/4"

Ogee (inside curve) 1/2" minimum

Water Leaf (with optional corner detail) 1"

Union 3/4", 7/8", 1"

Flat Decorative Borders

These borders are produced from black & white line art. Borders are raised the same height as the plaque lettering and are highlighted to match the raised copy. A few standard examples are shown; others can be easily created from artwork.

Adam (1-1/2" minimum width)

Floral Stencil (5/8"minimum width)

Greek Key (5/8"minimum width)

Helpful Hints

Most of our standard borders are sized in proportion to the size of the plaque. If exact border dimensions are required (for example, to match an existing plaque) please specify when ordering.

In addition to the width of the ornamental borders shown, custom widths may be sculpted by our pattern makers.

Most of our borders - particularly the ornamental and flat decorative styles - may be cast and provided in lengths for use with other sign or decorative elements.

Cast Plaque Background Textures


All plaques provided are manufactured with a background texture. When none is specified, leatherette will be used.


Pebbled limited to 30" x 40")



Helpful Hints

In addition to the background textures shown, custom textures can be provided at additional cost. Not all textures are suitable, however, so please consult with us prior to proceeding. Depending on the texture, we would require either the actual textured material in an appropriate size, or black & white artwork.

Background textures are provided not only to provide a decorative design element, but also to disguise background imperfections inherent in the sand-casting process. Thus, we do not recommend a "no texture" (or sand finish) and do not warrant this texture if specified.

Currently, the largest material our background textures are available in is 30" x 40". Consequently, all plaques exceeding this size will have a seam in the background texture. (The plaque itself is not seamed, only the texture.) These seams are disguised during the production process by our craftsmen, but may be visible on the final product. Because of the design regularity of pebbled texture, seams on plaques with pebbled texture cannot be hidden. Therefore, we do not provide plaques larger than 30" x 40" with pebbled texture.

Cast Plaque Background Colors General

The background of most cast plaques is painted to provide a pleasing contrast to the highlighted areas. Both cast bronze and aluminum plaques may be painted with standard or optional (extra cost) finishes pictured below. Custom-matched painted colors can also be provided. Additionally, natural chemical patinas and simulated painted patinas are available on bronze plaques.

Standard Painted Colors

Light Oxide Stain

Dark Oxide Stain

Dark Green

Natural Sandblast (Bronze)

M40 Golden Bronze

M65 Beige

M28 Dark Blue

Natural Sandblast (Aluminum)

Metallic Grey


M38 Green

M71 Cream

M20 Light Blue

M70 Dark Brown

M8 Medium Grey

M102 Orange

M107 Red

M115 Dark Red

M118 Maroon

M58 Ivory

M25 Medium Blue

M5 Light Grey

M9 Dark Grey

Hand Rubbed Finishes (optional)

Antique(on Bronze)

Pewter(on aluminum)

Simulated Patina Colors (optional)

Anatole Green

Alta Mesa Green


Teal Blue

Twilight Blue

Sea Green

Moss Green

Chemical Patina Finishes (optional)

The patina finishes are created by applying chemicals and heat to the bronze surfaces. Once the desired color is achieved, the raised areas are highlighted and a clear protective coating is applied to inhibit further chemical reaction.

Sea Green

Teal Blue

Moss Green



Burnt Sienna

Helpful Hints

We can match virtually any painted color from a sample provided or from a numerical color matching system (for example, the Pantone Matching System).

Colors may vary slightly from batch to batch. In addition, background colors will change over time due to exposure to light and the environment.

Chemical patina finishes will vary from piece to piece, and uniform colors over large surface areas cannot be controlled. The color may vary from the pictured swatches and the color will change over time on plaques installed outdoors.

Cast Plaque Surface Finishes


Once the background of the plaque has been painted, the surface areas 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.

Satin Aluminum

The natural metal color with subtle horizontal grain lines. Meets NAAMM finish designation AA-M33-C11-R10.

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 M42-M22-C10-060.

Chrome Plated Bronze

The raised surface of the bronze 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 bronze or a aluminum 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

Chemists have developed 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 plaques are exposed to salt, pollution and weather.

Helpful Hints

The maximum size available for polished bronze 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 used by Matthews 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.

Cast Plaque Letterstyles


Cast plaques are photographically reproduced from typeset letterstyles. As a result of this technology, practically any letterstyle (or artwork) can be incorporated into a cast plaque.

Listed below are 36 standard letterstyles most commonly used on plaques. Other fonts are available upon request.

Custom letterstyles may also be provided for cast plaques.

Cast Plaque Emblems & Portraits

Emblems - Standard

Matthews has over 9,000 standard emblems including many civic and fraternal organizations, religious groups, government agencies, and armed services. These emblems are often available in an assortment of sizes to fit different-sized plaques. They may have flat relief or sculpted bas-relief.

Please check with us for availability of a specific emblem.

Emblems - Custom

Virtually any emblem, seal, logo or crest can be cast in one of two ways:

Flat Relief Emblems / Portraits

Line details are raised the same height as the raised copy. We require camera-ready art or an electronic file to photographically reproduce the emblem.

Bas-relief Emblems / Portraits

Many emblems or logos lend themselves to a multi-level design. The image will either be sculpted in clay from your artwork (photograph, drawing or black & white art) or modeled by using a computer-aided 3-D model maker.

Cast Plaque Mounting Methods


A variety of standard as well as special mounting methods are available to suit virtually any installation.

Standard Mounting Methods

Bosses and Studs (BS)

Recommended Uses For concealed, permanent mounting to:

  • Brick walls
  • Stone walls
  • Masonry surfaces


Drill holes in the mounting surface slightly larger than the diameter of the studs. Fill mounting holes with silicone, epoxy or quickset cement. Set into the holes, and allow the adhesive to cure.

Rosettes and Toggles (RT)

Recommended Uses For semi-permanent mounting to:

  • Hollow tile
  • Cement block
  • Drywall
  • Wood paneling over stud construction

Installation Using the plaque holes as a template, drill holes through the wall large enough to accommodate the butterfly assembly. Insert each machine screw through the plaque and screw on each butterfly. Fold the butterfly assemblies and insert them through holes until wings spring open inside the hollow wall.

Pull back on each screw head to press the butterfly against the inside wall. Turn each machine screw, first by hand, then with a screwdriver.

If rosette covers are provided, screw rosettes into the toggle bolt heads.

Rosettes, Machine Screws and Expansion Sleeves (RM) Recommended Uses For semi-permanent mounting to:

  • Brick walls
  • Stone walls
  • Masonry surfaces


Using the plaque holes as a template, drill holes into the wall large enough to accept the lead anchor. Drill deep enough so the fully driven screw won't strike the back of the hole.

Insert expansion sleeves into holes, threaded cones first. Using a metal setting tool, strike tool with hammer to drive sleeve into each hole. Insert each machine screw through the plaque and tighten screws into expansion sleeves with a screwdriver.

If rosette covers are provided, screw rosettes into the machine screw heads

Wood Screws (WS)

Recommended Uses For semi-permanent mounting to:

Wood walls Plaster walls (small plates only)

Installation Using plaque holes as a template, drill wall holes. Insert wood screws through the plaque holes and tighten screws with a screwdriver.

If rosette covers are provided, screw rosettes into the wood screw head.

Invisible Frame (IF)

Recommended uses For concealed mounting when

Plaque may need to be relocated in the future Plaque size is a minimum of 12" x 10"

Brass Rod Stake Mount

Special mounting brackets are cast in place on the back of the casting to accommodate a 24" x 3/8" threaded brass rod. Stake mounts can be angled 45° for positioning plaque at an angle.

Recommended uses

Mounting into ground For plaques 12" or less in width Maximum plaque size 12" x 8"

Garden Stake

Bronze stake measuring 24" x 1-1/2" and attached to back of plaque with 10-24 machine screws. Stake is painted to match the background color of the plaque.

Recommended uses

Mounting into ground For flat-backed plaques 3/8" thick Maximum plaque size is 12" x 8" for 1 stake or 20" x 8" for 2 stakes


*R2 5/8" *R5 1-1/8" 1"

Star with R16 1-1/8"

1-3/8" Star

R1184 7/8"

R1023 5/8"

*R32 7/8"

*R77 5/8"

*R74 11/16" *R16 1-1/8"

R4 7/8"

R57 9/16" R54 11/16"

R48 1"

R69 1-1/2"

R123 1"

R2140 1-3/8"

R95 1-3/8"

RH 2"

R99 1-3/8"

R60 2-1/2"

Rosettes are decorative elements used to cover the screw heads on a plaque installation. Rosettes can also be used with other materials to accent architectural décor.

All rosettes (except R77) are available in cast bronze, brass or aluminum. Rosettes marked with an asterisk (*) are standard---all others are available as an option.