How to Add Color to an Aluminum Finish - Options in Printing on Metal

Printing on Aluminum

Finishes printed on aluminum build on a layering of process to create surfaces with depth.  Printed colors are one of the basic options in creating these finishes. Combinations of transparent tints, opaque color and metallics are available to be integrated into custom finishes.  All can be combined with brushing and texture to add visual and tactile depth.

This article, the third in a series of articles focusing on designing a custom finish, focuses on your options in printed color on metal. 

tinted aluminum colors

Transparent Tints of Color on Aluminum

In printing on aluminum, we often take advantage of the reflective nature of the substrate using transparent tints of color.  A tint of color applied to a selectively brushed background gives you a tone on tone effect as the color is printed on both bright and brushed aluminum.

marble, woodgrain and leather aluminum finishes

Spot and Process Color on Aluminum

Faux finishes such as marble, woodgrain and leather are simulated on aluminum using process color or spot color.  Virtually any surface can be duplicated on metal.

transparent tints and opaque color combined

Combination of Transparent and Opaque Colors on Aluminum

Layering transparent tints of color with opaque color results in an endless range of possibilities in surface design. 

aluminum finishes using metallic colors

Metallic Colors Integrated into Aluminum Finishes

Metallics are one more option in printed color used to create eye-catching finishes.  An attractive option is to match a color as both a transparent tint and a metallic color combining them into one finish.

Additional information on your options in creating aluminum finishes is available in the following articles:

How to Design a Custom Finish - 3 Building Blocks of Aluminum Decoration
How to Add Depth and Movement to a Finish - Understanding Options in Brushing on Aluminum
How to Add a Tactile Dimension to Aluminum Finishes - Choices in Textures