Copper Alternatives

Hi all,

I have a client that is very keen on using copper for store installations. Its a beautiful, but expensive aesthetic. However, they also want to implement copper into exterior applications. Because copper will not hold up to weathering, we’re exploring alternatives.

Does anyone have any recommendations to produce a copper aesthetic that won’t deteriorate in the weather? Any quality paint brands? Powder coats? Electroplating aluminum? Laminates or other coatings?

Matthews Paint has a copper paint that we’re going to mess around with and probably spray some aluminum samples.

I should correct myself. When I refer to deterioration - I only mean that the common green discoloration is undesirable. This is an oxidation and not truely deterioration.

What sort of environment will the install need to endure year-round? (i.e. within 1km of ocean, snow climates etc.)

You could colour-match copper and anodize the aluminium with it for a more economical option. Or continue using copper and clear powder coat it to protect the surface, although this will leave a very slightly textured finish.

Both will be far more durable than standard spray paint.

If its on a roof and powdercoated, you may not be able to tell too much that their is an added texture. We have a very large in-house powder coating line where I work and the finish texture options you can get are really varied, so you may find something that will suite you well.

Aluminum can be beautifully anodized to look like copper, is very durable especially a 5xxx type aluminum and weather resistant.

and bronze? is quite similar to copper in exterior but once in a while you should polish with a special protector cream, and i think is more expensive or not ?

Hi John-

Here’s a project we did that’s exterior and the material was supposed to be copper. We ended up doing a brushed finish on aluminum and doing a tinted clearcoat using Matthews Paint.

If you need any specific details, please don’t hesitate to ask!