CLEVELAND - Even though white has been a mainstay color in most of the industries served by prepainted metal, silver and other metallic colors are beginning to work their way into mainstream applications, according to the National Coil Coating Association (NCCA).

As consumers continue to look for inexpensive ways to make products appear more upscale and manufacturers vie for ways to differentiate their products, prepainted metal has come to the rescue.

Flip through any architectural magazine or look around as you stroll through the next city you are in, chances are the newest metal building facades will be silver, or bronze, or copper colored perhaps. So too with appliances, such as heaters in your house that used to be a shade of taupe or gray. And your washer and dryer were definitely white. But consumers want more color options and greater degree of flexibility when matching appliances to home décor.

"Metallic" appearance coatings, which often contain aluminum flakes or mica, impart a reflective property that to the naked eye has greater depth than the conventional smooth white finish. These flake pigments impart sparkle to the surface coating creating a totally new and different appearance to home appliances, metal roofing, pontoon boats, RVs and much more.

Aesthetics aside, there are practical benefits as well for the expanding use of "metallic" coatings on the prepainted stage. "Metallic" coatings can be applied to steel or aluminum very cost effectively. And they provide the same protection and product longevity as any other painted product.

No matter the application, the demands on prepainted metals are extremely rigorous. The finish must maintain its appearance for the life of the product by being able to resist color fade, corrosion, chemical attack, dirt retention, high temperatures, various extreme weather conditions, and daily wear and tear.

The newer prepainted "metallic" coatings not only are gaining in popularity over white, but also exhibit the qualities necessary for a long-lasting effect.