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Metal finishing Q&As since 1989


Champagne gold stainless steel

Q. Hi,

Does anybody know the process of making a stainless sheet into a champagne gold finish?

Kenneth Dedel
- Manila
October 21, 2008

A. Hi, Kenneth. It may be possible to anodize the stainless to this color, but it's probably more likely that you are thinking of stainless steel with a titanium nitride or zirconium nitride finish.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

A. It depends on what you mean by "champagne" color, but perhaps you should investigate Electroless Nickel, which is yellower than conventional electroplated nickel or stainless steel (certainly not as yellow as TiN or real gold).

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

Q. Thank you for the quick replies. Would you know of any supplier who sells champagne gold stainless sheets?

Kenneth Dedel [returning]
- Makati, Manila, Philippines

Ed. note: B&M Finishers / Prismatic Stainless Steel [a supporting advertiser] offers the Prismatic coloration process, apologies but we can't post sourcing info ( huh? why?). Sorry :-(

A. My company has developed a real gold plating that is very light in color and comes very close to the pale yellow color of champagne. In fact we market it as Champagne Gold.

If you are talking about small pieces then it could be done in this kind of bath but large pieces would be cost prohibitive for you as this is a real gold bath and is very expensive to make up and maintain.

Tim Hamlett
Tim Hamlett, CEF
- West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

Q. Can you provide more info on how this is done and what the requirements are?
I am specifying a high end kitchen for a customer and all the appliances are stainless steel. We want to match the look of the faucets that have a brushed champagne finish - pale bleached yellow or gold that mimics the faint color of champagne...

Chris Hinze
CHD Studio - New York City
March 28, 2024

A. Hi Chris. Tim's posting was from 15 years ago and we haven't heard from him meanwhile, so I don't think you will :-(

The big issue of course is that most methods, from PVD application of zirconium nitride, to CED coating with a light gold color post-dye, to color anodizing of stainless steel, to gold electroplating are well suited to raw sheets but not to assembled appliances. Gold electroplating can theoretically be done by 'brush plating' (electrochemical metallizing), but it's probably too dark, and plating onto stainless steel is problematical. Gold-leafing might be possible, but again it seems like it would be too dark.

There are paints which are intended to simulate gold colored anodizing [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] by offering a translucent light gold color, plus there are translucent metal dyes [metal dye / alcohol ink on eBay or Amazon (adv.)](similar to indelible markers). One of these two, probably followed by a high quality two-component automotive clearcoat, all done by a good body shop, might be a practical approach. Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

A. I think you're referring to titanium gold or zirconium brass stainless steel sheets.

Michael Liu Taylor
Michael Liu Taylor
specialty stainless steel distributor - Dallas, Texas

A. You can activate or strike the stainless steel and plate an alloy gold bath with gold content as low as 1 g/l.

Lee leong tee
plating company - malacca, malaysia
March 11, 2009

A. Another option that may be easier depending on the size & quantity is a light heat treatment, as temperatures from about 160 °C to 210 °CC create a yellow colour oxide on the surface of steel. The colour is very delicate and does fade with time; however, a lacquer coating would do much to preserve the coat. Further the colour is easily tuneable by simply changing the temperature of the bake, and may be done by a coupon of material being done is a domestic oven, although best results will obviously come from a full mimic of final bake conditions.

Andrew Speer
- Ballarat, Australia
April 9, 2024

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