There are three main finishes used most frequently on memorials. There is the polished look that has a dark high gloss finish; the frosted look which has a light smooth finish, and the rock pitch look that has a rough chipped finish. The rock pitch finish is often used on the top, ends and almost always on the sides of the base.
· Polished – this familiar finish adds a mirror-like surface to stone. Most frequently it’s applied by automatic polishing equipment. A hand grinder might be used for small-scale projects.
· Frosted – This satin finish is smooth but not shiny. It is sandblasted with an abrasive. It is a common finish that leaves the area where it’s applied a medium color in contrast to the polished surface and is similar in appearance to a steeled finish.
· Steeled – This smooth finish is not shiny like a polished surface and has no distinctive patterns or levels. A steel wheel along with water and steel shot is used to grind the stone’s surface. It is comparable to a frosted surface but has been almost obsoleted by improvements in abrasives used to frost the stone.
· Axed - Fine lines that can’t easily be seen from a distance are a feature of this texture that is cut into stone with a 6-blade chisel.
· Stippled – Another gently rough, but subtle texture where regularly spaced raised areas or high points are evenly distributed on the stone. It is applied with a 9-point chisel and pneumatic hammer.
· Sunburst or starburst – Guidelines or rays are sandblasted into the stone, usually extending out from a feature to be accented. Then the sides of each ray starting from its top center are rock pitched with a chisel and hammer in any number of variations.
· Flamed or thermal – This somewhat rough texture that resembles a pockmarked surface is typically used on architectural products such as pavers and floor tiles but could be applied to memorial designs. A torch heats up the surface of the granite and causes the grains to flake off.