Tag Archives: Magnesium

Bring your magnesium or zinc plaque to life with a little color

When your plaque calls for color, Pella Engraving offers several options to consider that fit a wide variety of projects. No matter your budget or desired aesthetic, our team can help you plan a colorful plaque that stands out from the crowd. 

But which color option is the best fit for your plaque? To help you decide, PEC has put together this quick guide to our color options for zinc and magnesium plaques.

Add color accents with paint

Hand-painted color is ideal for customers who envision a classic, traditional-looking plaque. Customers who go this route can choose from PEC’s lineup of standard colors, which varies depending on the color of the plaque material (i.e., silver, copper, or gold). Hundreds of PMS PANTONE® colors are also available at an additional charge for customers who like the look of a painted plaque but want a more specific color.

Hand-painted color is ideal for traditional-looking plaques.

Hand-painting keeps the full integrity of the plaque material intact. Once a color is chosen, the PEC team paints the recessed areas of the plaque with that color. More than one color can be used, though a raised area must separate each color.

Along with the recessed areas, Pella Engraving can further enhance the timeless look of the plaque by tipping the raised areas with color. Standard tipping colors, which include iridescent colors, are available. Gold, copper, and silver protective coatings for raised areas of the plaque are also an option.

Reproduce vibrant colors and images with UV flatbed printing

While adding color with paint may be ideal for traditional plaques, PEC’s UV flatbed color option is perfect for customers interested in a vibrant, contemporary plaque.

With UV flatbed printing, customers can add both color and detailed images to their plaques using Pella Engraving’s specialized printer. The UV printer is the fastest and most cost-effective plaque color option, with the added bonus of no extra charges for custom colors or limitations color choices. It is also an outstanding option for logos, photographs, government seals, and more because it can reproduce images with areas of multiple colors.

The secret is the UV printer itself, which prints directly on materials like a sheet of aluminum and uses specialized ultra-violet lights to instantly dry ink. These aluminum sheets can then be cut into almost any shape and adhered to a plaque backing.


Flatbed UV color printing is a good option for plaques with logos, photographs, and government seals.

Choosing the right option for incorporating color on your plaque can make it truly shine. To learn more about PEC’s plaque color options, visit the plaque personalization and UV flatbed printing pages on our website, or contact a member of our team today.

Rosettes give plaques a little extra class

Rosette_CornerScrews are one of the most common and practical ways to mount a plaque to a wall. While many people are content with the appearance of the screws once their plaques are mounted, some are looking for another option.

Etched rosettes are one possibility. These engraved floral shapes can disguise the screws while adding a vintage decorative flourish. A pleasing addition, particularly on minimalist plaques with not much other artwork or text, rosettes are also economical—Pella Engraving will etch rosettes around screw holes for no additional charge. The holes and screws themselves are only $5 more per plaque.

When a customer chooses to add rosettes to a plaque, Pella Engraving puts the rosettes on the artwork design that is submitted to the etching machine (see right). The rosettes are etched onto the plaque in the same way and at the same time as the other artwork and border, so they are the same height and match the appearance of the rest of the plaque.

Sample-Rosette-PlaqueRosettes are available on zinc, magnesium, and Metalphoto plaques. The size of the rosette is determined based on the size of the plaque.

Installation tip: Rosettes and holes for screws are the kind of detail the Pella Engraving takes pride in offering to our customers. On most plaques, Pella Engraving strongly recommends customers allow us to drill the holes for them. Because we drill the holes right after the plaque is etched, before any of the other finishing work is done, we avoid drilling through the primer, texture, clear coat, or paint. Customers who choose to drill their own holes risk chipping or flaking off the finish. In addition, drilling after the finish is applied opens the plaque up to moisture around the screw holes, which leads to increased wear around the holes and voids our three-year warranty.

New etchers installed by German manufacturer

It’s been worth the wait! Pella Engraving is excited to report that its new Stoma etchers are up and running. PEC was happy to welcome Reinhard Matzke, owner of Stoma, to Pella to oversee the installation of these two machines. Watch the video below to see them at work and learn more about Stoma from Reinhard himself.

The new etchers will upgrade PEC’s zinc and magnesium etching capabilities.

“A huge thank you to Reinhard and Bernd from Stoma,” said Owner Jeff Vroom. “We also want to thank all our contractors that made this possible: Lanser Plumbing, Gritters Electric, Cornie Vanden Broek Concrete, and Ed Sprague.”


Brent joins Owner Jeff Vroom to welcome the new etchers to American soil


One of PEC’s old etchers is hauled away



Commemorate the important things in life with a memorial plaque

A plaque attached to a heavy-duty stake

If you’re creating a memorial plaque destined for exterior display, Pella Engraving Company offers stake options to meet your presentation needs.

Life is full of people, places, and events that deserve to be remembered. One way to preserve those memories is with a long-lasting, personalized memorial plaque. With a memorial plaque, you can honor a company founder, commemorate a historical event, or pay tribute to a friend or family member.

Pella Engraving offers several types of memorial plaques—the right one for you will depend on your specifications. The type of material Pella Engraving will use for your plaque will depend on the environment in which it will be installed, whether you’ll want to include a picture or artwork, and the overall feel you want for the final product. Give us a call at 877-549-5447 and we’ll help you decide what material is right for you:

  • Magnesium – An economical option perfect for detailed artwork, but exclusively for indoor use.
  • Zinc – Great for detailed artwork and indoor or outdoor durability; an excellent lower-cost alternative to bronze.
  • Bronze – A classic option that conveys a sense of importance.
  • Brass – An elegant, lower-cost alternative to bronze. An image can be etched into the brass and then filled with color, or the plaque can be etched with a raised image then given an antique finish.
  • Metalphoto – A nice, less expensive material for a lasting plaque. Whether it is all text, or includes a photo, Metalphoto is for you. These plaques can be used indoors or outdoors and resist weathering, fading, and abrasion from UV rays, heat, salt spray, and cleaning products.
  • Copper – Offers a recognizable warm, ruddy color and classic feel; suitable for outdoor or indoor use.

PEC travels to Germany for new etchers

Pella Engraving is making a major investment in the future of the company by working with Stoma Manufacturing in Siegburg, Germany, to manufacture two new 200-liter etchers. These will replace PEC’s magnesium and zinc etching machines.

Currently, PEC is using etching machines that were designed and built in the 1960s. The machines have each been rebuilt in the past to upgrade parts that take the most wear.

Stoma has been manufacturing etchers for some time in Europe. They presently do not have any etchers in the United States, so Pella Engraving will be the first engraver in the country to have Stoma etchers.

PEC Owner Bruce Van Wyk and his wife Trudy traveled to Germany to meet with Reinhard Matzke, owner of Stoma, and his son Roman Matzke, technical manager. They also met Peter Blattman, the European representative for Magnesium Electron, PEC’s metal supplier.

“We were able to see up close and personal one of Stoma’s etchers working at an engraver in Bullay, Germany. Once I observed the Stoma etcher in production, I knew these were the etchers for us,” said Bruce. “The advancements that have been made on the machines are really geared towards ease of use for the operator, with automatic lid assist, simplification of head motion, and pulley systems. One of the biggest and most impressive improvements was the ventilation of the machines―there was virtually no odor from the etcher.”

This investment in new etchers ensures that Pella Engraving is using the latest technology to serve its customers. “This major investment demonstrates that we will be here to serve your plaque needs for many decades to come,” added Bruce. 

In the coming months PEC will be posting pictures of our etchers in the manufacturing process so you can see how the machines are progressing.


Products & Services

Plaques and Awards
Plaque Personalization Options
Plaque Display Stakes
Indoor and Outdoor Signs
ID and Serial Tags
Recognition and Donor Walls
Magnesium Dies
CNC Routing and Plasma Cutting
Sandcarved Awards
Laser Engraving and Laser Marking
UV Flatbed Printing