architectural finishes- what you need to know

Architectural Finishes and What You Need to Know

JULY 16, 2020| SpeedPro East Bay

When is the last time you stepped into the lobby of a building and it almost took your breath away? It’s probably been a while since COVID-19 has made its debut but pre-COVID you probably have. The fact that you can remember them means that they did something right. Whether it be the floor tiling, the wood paneling, or the marble counters, their high-quality products made a lasting impression.

They likely used architectural finishes that can be applied directly to structures including beams, ceilings, floors, and staircases. With there being so many options, getting the process started could be quite difficult. To help simplify this process, here is a guide including everything you’ll need to know when it comes to architectural finishes.


What exactly is an architectural finish? Essentially, it’s the exposed portion of a building that combines function and aesthetics. The architecture alone makes up the function so, in other words, a pillar supports a building while a window allows light in. The actual aesthetic is created by the finish which can be plaster or brick.

Architectural finishes take both of these ideas and mesh them together. They not only serve a function for businesses but they also allow for beautiful designs. A finish could be a way to enhance your company’s marketing. Or, it could be a practical way to reduce energy consumption by minimizing the amount of sunlight that may come through the window and heat the office.

Architectural finishes can be applied to almost any exposed surface whether indoors or outdoors including:

  • Brick
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Stone
  • Wood



As does everything, buildings will age. Rather than doing a full remodel and refurbishment, architectural finishes can act in its place. If there are any cosmetic blemishes, certain textures can go right on top of existing structures. This will help you in the long run and when it wears out, you can simply replace it.


Architectural finishes and films are most commonly used to increase privacy. Offices with glass walls offer a more sophisticated and spacious look but since glass is clear, it doesn’t offer much privacy. Employees can tend to feel like they’re being watched and thus be less productive. A great way to fix this problem is to use frosted textured films that can be either solid or geometric patterns to enhance privacy while also still looking elegant.


When it comes to architectural finishes, they’re almost part of the building itself so they don’t require any maintenance. As for any glass modifications such as etched films, these can be cleaned just the way you would clean standard windows with glass cleaner.


Architectural finishes as we mentioned can be breathtaking when done correctly. Impress your clients and visitors with a lobby that has unique finishes. Let your brand exude through your architectural finishes. If you are more sleek and modern, use materials that will enhance this like etched vinyl or bold wall murals. If you’re more relaxed then rustic wood paneling and earthy finishes will work great. If you want to really kick it up a notch, adding patterned walls in between rooms and offices will spice things up.


Brand consistency and visibility are going to be some of the most important components. Specialty films and colors can really help you to convey your brand. Whether it’s on your windows or walls you can create a finish that matches you. Are your logo colors black and blue? Maybe you can create colored panes that don’t require any glass staining. Instead, our translucent films can be printed and applied directly to the windows. An etched logo on your main door can also be a great entry piece or a larger than life wall mural in a common area.


Most companies could probably cut energy costs with better strategies to utilize natural light. Help your firm to minimize electricity, AC, and heating costs by properly enhancing the light direction. By adding frosted films to your windows, you have the ability to control the direction of the light. By allowing more natural light in, you can help to reduce the cost of heating. In the Summer months, there are tints and wall films that could help to keep the heat out.


  • Brick: If you’re looking for a more natural and earthy look, brick is a great way to achieve that. For a more modern look, white brick or stone is very popular. Or, for a more historic look, use pebble stone finishes.
  • Metal: Metal sheets can help to create a more industrial look in any interior. Whether it’s brushed metal or printed with your logo or other designs, it can be incorporated into your everyday architecture.
  • Wall Textures: Paint is the most commonly known option for color change on a wall but what if you want something a little bit more exciting? A wall mural can make for a gorgeous accent wall or for big and bold colors and graphics. We have smooth wall material options available as well as textured such as stucco, suede, and crushed suede to really enhance your interior.
  • Wood: Wood adds a rustic and warm feel and can come in a variety of different shades. From natural browns to modern whites, you can add wood finishes to floors, doors, walls, and counters. It can also be used on furniture likes tables and chairs to add a unique look.


Glass finishes include all different types of styles and they can be directly applied to glass. Rather than pay a fortune for special glass finishes, let SpeedPro East Bay install a specialty glass finish to your surface. Some of these films include:

  • Etched: To etch glass can be costly, however, with our etched glass material, it gives the illusion of etching. With this option can we etch any design, logo, or text into the film and apply it directly to the glass to give it the etched look.
  • Frosted: If you’re looking to achieve privacy, this is going to be the perfect most elegant way. This frosted look will help to achieve a flat matte appearance where you can only see the outline of shapes but not directly through.
  • General Glass Films: These can be a variety of things. Whether we’re using adhesive vinyl that is white, clear, or translucent, we can apply all of these options to glass. If you want to step it up a notch, we can also print on these films and then apply them to the glass for a fun look.
  • Mirrored Glass: This is another way to achieve privacy but it’s not as subtle. Mirrored glass films can be used as a one-way window or as a way to make the room look more open and spacious. This doesn’t have to just be limited to the interior either. Using it on the exterior can create a shiny facade.
  • Tinting: For protection against ultraviolet light rays, tinting can help with this and it is also very durable. Tinting isn’t limited to black, however. You can customize tinting in any color that matches your brand and even brighten up the building with it.

Glass finishes are an excellent way to achieve a sophisticated finish with a touch of privacy.


No matter the interior whether it’s an office, hotel, or restaurant, architectural finishes can really add the finishing touch. SpeedPro East Bay will work with you from concept to creation. If you’re struggling with how to improve your interior and don’t have the budget for a full remodel, consider architectural finishes to really spruce it up. Contact us today at 510.974.7369 or visit us here to request a consultation.

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SpeedPro East Bay

Studio Owner

Ed Owens