Slides are an essential part of all drawers. From cabinets and chests of drawers to workbenches and toolboxes, they are runners that allow drawers to open and close. When you pull open a drawer, it will glide along a pair of slides. Pushing the drawer closed will force it to glide along this same pair of slides but in reverse.
If you’re going to buy drawer slides, you should choose the right finish. Drawer slides are typically made of a metal or alloy. Rather than featuring a bare, exposed surface, though, they feature a protective finish. Below are some of the most popular types of finishes for drawer slides.
Blue Zinc Plated
Blue zinc plated is a popular finish for drawer slides. Many steel drawer slides feature a blue zinc plated finish. Zinc plated finishes live up to their namesake by consisting of a layer of zinc. Zinc is applied over the surface of drawer slides, thus protecting the underlying steel from corrosion and contaminants. Blue zinc plated is simply a type of zinc plated finish that’s characterized by a blue color.
Yellow Zinc Plated
In addition to blue zinc plated, drawer slides are available in yellow zinc plated. It’s essentially the same as blue zinc plated but with a yellow color. Yellow zinc plated finishes consist of a layer of zinc that’s applied over the surface of drawer slides. Rather than featuring a blue color, however, it features a yellow color.
Electrolytic Coating Black
You can’t go wrong with electrolytic coating black. Drawer slides with an electrolytic coating black finish feature a black color. What is an electrolytic coating exactly? An electrolytic coating is a type of finish that’s created with electricity and an electrolyte solution. Drawer slides are submerged in an electrolyte solution, and an electrical current is then applied to this solution. This process will deposit a layer of protective material onto the surface of the drawer slides.
There are also electroless coatings. Electroless coatings and electrolytic coatings both involve the use of an electrolyte solution. With that said, electrolytic coatings use electricity. Electroless coatings only use an electrolyte solution.
Drawer slides typically feature a finish to protect against corrosion and contaminants. Some of them have a blue zinc plated finish, whereas others have a yellow zinc plated finish. Alternatively, drawer slides may feature an electrolytic coating black finish. They are all popular types of finishes that can prolong the lifespan of the drawer slides with which they are used.