The color matching ability of the porcelain-fused-to-metal restorations is controlled by a number of factors. One of these includes the surface characteristics of the underlying substrate. This study investigated the effect of surface roughness and conditioners on hue, value and chroma of the ceramic veneers. Two different metal substrates, a precious alloy and base metal alloy, were included in the study. Color characteristics were evaluated using a tristimulus color measuring device, a reflectance spectrophotometer as well as visual comparison tests. Slight color variations were noted with each method of evaluation. These variations, however, were considered to be clinically insignificant. © 1987 Munksgaard International Publishers Ltd.