65 Years of Excellence and Environmental Stewardship

As we commemorate the 65th anniversary of Master Finish Company, it’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate our rich heritage, our unwavering commitment to quality, and our deep-seated respect for the environment. Our journey, deeply interwoven with the fabric of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a narrative of innovation, craftsmanship, and community partnership.

A Legacy Rooted in Grand Rapids

Founded in 1959, Master Finish Company has stood as a beacon of progress and resilience in Grand Rapids, evolving alongside the city’s journey from industrial roots to a vibrant center of culture and sustainability. Our story is a testament to the spirit of innovation that defines both our company and our city. From witnessing historical moments, like John F. Kennedy’s campaign trail right in front of our facility, to participating in the city’s transformation, we’ve been proud contributors to Grand Rapids’ reputation as a hub of quality and craftsmanship.  

Our Commitment to Quality and the Environment

Stepping into our lobby, visitors are greeted by our core values—Teamwork, Honesty, Innovation, Service—etched not just on our walls but into the very essence of our operations. A closer look reveals Chrome, our corporate goldfish, thriving in water recycled from our plant, symbolizing our innovative and passionate commitment to environmental stewardship.

Master Finish’s History

As a third-generation family-owned business, Master Finish is built on the shoulders of our grandfather, John Mulder. The son of a Dutch immigrant, he spent his days baking pies in his fathers bakery – and his evenings working to launch his own company. From the basement of a small auto dealer, John meticulously deburred and finished door handles, window cranks and other metal auto parts. As his business grew, he added plating to his list of services, trading in his recipes of flour, sugar and yeast for metal anodes, plating chemicals and electrical current.

His son, Dale, our father, joined the business in 1977 at the age of 25. Dale earned an engineering degree and started his career with Wilson sporting goods as a quality manager. Dale enjoyed spending a lot of time in the woods hunting, fishing and hiking – any excuse to be outdoors. When he took us camping, our dad instilled in us this principle: Leave it better than you found it. That’s how Dale ran Master Finish – and that’s how we run the company today as its third-generation leadership team.

Innovation, Sustainability, and Community

Our journey is marked by a continuous pursuit of excellence, not just in the quality of our metal finishes but in our commitment to reducing our environmental footprint. We actively engage in reducing waste, investing in sustainable technologies, and exceeding legal requirements for environmental protection. Our efforts extend beyond our operations, as we collaborate with local businesses, support community initiatives, and contribute to Grand Rapids’ growth and prosperity through partnerships with the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce and the Family Business Alliance.

Looking Ahead with Optimism and Determination

Reflecting on the past 65 years, we are filled with pride and gratitude for the journey thus far and excited for the future. Our dedication to quality, innovation, and environmental stewardship remains unwavering as we continue to serve our community and industry.

Celebrating a Bright Future Together

Master Finish Company’s 65th anniversary is a celebration of our enduring legacy, our contribution to the vibrant tapestry of Grand Rapids, and our commitment to a sustainable future. We are proud to be a part of this incredible journey, and as we look forward, we remain dedicated to excellence, innovation, and the prosperity of our community. Here’s to continuing our legacy of excellence and partnership for many years to come.

An Interview with John Mulder, Master Finish

BY SCOTT FRANCIS Editor-In-Chief, Gardner Business Media John Mulder, president of Master Finish of Grand Rapids, Mich., discusses his company’s experience with trivalent chromium and offers advice for those thinking of transitioning their current hexavalent chromium...

Decoding Chrome Plating: A Guide to Decorative vs. Industrial Chrome Plating

Understanding the Basics of Decorative Chrome Plating Before we dive into the specifics, let’s grasp the fundamentals. Chrome plating is a process that involves electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal object. This not only enhances the appearance but also...

Understanding the Difference Between Electroless and Electrolytic Nickel Plating

When it comes to metal plating, nickel is one of the most commonly used materials due to its excellent corrosion resistance and versatile properties. However, there are different techniques for applying nickel plating, with two primary methods being electroless and...

Proven Process

Master Finish has been on a journey using EOS (Entrepreneur Operating System) to manage all the critical elements of our business.  We started on this Journey in 2016 and have found it instrumental to our success in so many ways.  It helps set a framework in...

Streamlining Success

How Master Finish Implemented Automation to Improve Production and Boost Customer Satisfaction As companies in the manufacturing industry face increasing challenges with production labor, it is becoming more critical to automate tedious tasks that are currently being...


Automation   Automation vs. Manual Processing for data and traceability. Machine data available from automated plating lines helps the team at Master Finish diagnose and correct plating issues on the fly to reduce scrap. The data on each motion in the plating...

Cyclemaster Remastered

Cyclemaster Remastered   Master Finish’s new plating line is now ready for business. Back before the pandemic swept the country and production plating demands were at an all time high Master Finish invested into a new state of the art automated rack plating line...

Hungry for More Innovation

Industry 4.0 makes manufacturers nimble during pandemic, hungry for more innovation BY JAYSON BUSSASunday, January 16, 2022 06:30pm John Mulder recently noticed that an inordinate amount of his staff’s time was being used to field calls from clients inquiring...

Master Finish Receives MacDermid Enthone DecoKlad License

This license makes the Michigan shop the first DecoKlad applicator in the Americas and the fourth to be certified globally in the program. Master Finish Co. has been awarded a license from MacDermid Enthone that makes it the first DecoKlad applicator in the Americas...

Welcome to the Team!

Please join us in welcoming Galvano to the Master Finish team. He plays an important role at Master Finish. He is our newest addition that demonstrates the quality of the plant wastewater Master Finish sends back to the city of Grand Rapids POTW. Galvano is named...