Background Colour

This is the colour that you choose for the background surface texture of your plaque or sign. The background colour provides a contrast to the raised elements of your product (the inscription, border and other design features). There are basically two choices for the colour of your background surface. These are a Painted Background Colour or a Patinated Background Colour. 

Painted Background Colour

This can be done in any colour with enamel paint. The paint used at Phoenix Foundry is high quality baked enamel which is sprayed on the plaques and other products in a painting booth. The techniques used for this are similar to car body painting. 

Customers requesting other than the Phoenix standards can choose from  “Australian Standard Colours”. These can be found at

Colour Accuracy

Phoenix Foundry advises that there may be colour variation between the colours represented on web sites or colour swatches and the final colour on our plaques.  This is due to a number of factors such as: 

  • variations in computer monitors and colour rendering online
  • the colour of the bronze
  • the stipple finish
  • the protective clear coat applied to our plaques
  • the baking process that plaques undergo to provide a long lasting durable finish and
  • different brand paints. 

In addition to this, plaques that have been exposed to sunlight for extended periods may have faded so that a match to an old plaque is not always possible.

Whilst every effort is made to match the colours represented by the Australian Standards, we cannot guarantee that the match will be accurate.

If you need to specify colours for a particular project or image (such as a logo) that are not listed in the Australian Standard colours you can choose from a list of PMS (Pantone) colours.  This list can be found at: You need to select the appropriate code for you project.  Phoenix staff will not be responsible for deciding on codes for customers.  

The most commonly used background colours from our standard range are shown below.

Phoenix Brown Code: XX

Holly Green Code: HG

Turquoise Code: TQ

Gunghalin Grey Code: GG

Dark Brown Code: DB

Ferguson Red Code: FR

Navy Blue Code: NB

Midnight Black Code: BM

Maroon Claret Code: MC

Dark Green Code: DG

Casino Blue Code: CB

Golden Yellow Code: GY


To provide you with a bit more help, the most commonly used background colours by Phoenix customers are also shown here, as cast.

Colour Swatch Plaque


Patinated Background Colour

This is when the background of your plaque or sign is treated with chemicals to achieve a patina which produces a more natural bronze appearance. Patina is defined as a film or encrustation caused by oxidisation of old bronze. In nature this occurs over a long period of time and can result in a variety of interesting colours (but usually green). With the use of a variety of chemicals and processes carried out in Phoenix’s factory, the outcome can be accelerated and controlled.

The process, called patination, can produce an interesting range of patinas which give a more natural appearance to the plaque than the painted background colours. They are often selected for historical or artistic work. The most commonly used patina is Brown. 

Brown Patina Code: PC




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