Matching Your Car’s Paint Color Exactly

by | Jan 5, 2021

There are thousands of shades of automotive paint on the market that you can choose from when buying a vehicle or custom detailing one that you already have.  But what about if your car needs a replacement part, like a new bumper after an accident, painted to match. Whether your paint is chipping or you need to repaint a panel of the vehicle, you can quickly and easily match your paint color to a bottle of touchup paint using the vehicle’s color code! 

The best way to match a car’s paint code is by tracking down the color code which is specified somewhere on your physical vehicle (see below). If you cannot locate the paint code you can opt to look up your vehicle’s paint code using the make, model, year and color on an online paint code finder. Finally, if you wish to seek professional advice on the matter, a reputable body shop will be able to tell you your car’s paint code as well as make the repair to your paint and remove any dents associated.

First, A Few Things To Know About Car Paint

  • Car paint is made of three ingredients they are: resin, pigment and solvent
  • Resin determines the durability of the paint
  • Solvent provides viscosity making the paint applicable 
  • Pigment is the color. Typically pigment comes in the form of a powder and includes both color and toner helping reach that perfect shade. 

Because these three components all impact the final dry paint job quality, you can’t just opt to match the pigment of your vehicle and be done with it. It is important to find the exact paint match using a reputable brand of automotive paint or by going to a professional to achieve the quality result I only assume you are looking for since you are taking the time to read this article.

What Is A Color Code?

A color code is just what it sounds, the code associated with the color of your vehicle. Color codes are there so that if the paint coat needs a touch up, you can quickly and easily match the exact color, resin and solvent of your vehicle to a bottle of replacement paint. Once you know the code of your vehicle it is cake to find a paint to match. You can find automotive paint matching your color code online or at an auto parts store, though they may need to order it to the store for you.

Where To Find Your Vehicle’s Color Code?

The paint code of your car is listed somewhere on your car, but where exactly the color code is located will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Possible places to find the paint code of ON your car will be:

  • With the VIN
  • Drivers side door jamb
  • Drivers side sun visor
  • Under the driver’s seat
  • Center console
  • Glove box
  • On the radiator
  • Trunk lid
  • Spare tire wheel well


You can also find the paint code of your car listed in the Owner’s Manual or your vehicle’s service history. 

What If I Can’t Find My Color Code? 

If you can’t find the exact color code on your vehicle you can also look it up using a tool like https://www.holtsauto.com/holts/paintmatchpro/ paint matcher. With this tool you enter the make, model and year of your vehicle and the machine will spit out an exact paint match for the car. 

You can also go to a body shop to have the paint matched and fixed on your car. Body shops specialize in dent removal and body panel damage. Part of these repairs is also typically repainting those parts. 

Where To Find Your Color Code By Car Make

  • Alpha Romeo: Under trunk lid
  • Audi: Under the trunk lid or in the wheel well
  • Bently: Driver side door hinge or jamb or under the hood
  • BMW: either of the front wheel wells
  • Chevy: varies from model to model
  • Ferrari: Under the trunk lid
  • Fiat: Driver side door jamb
  • Ford: Driver side door jamb
  • Hyundai: Driver side door jamb
  • Honda: Driver side door jamb
  • Jaguar: Driver side door jamb
  • Kia: Driver side door jamb
  • Mazda: Driver side door jamb
  • Mercedes Benz: Driver side door jamb
  • Saab: Driver side door jamb
  • Suzuki: Varies from model to model
  • Toyota: Driver side door jamb
  • Volkswagen: Trunk lid or spare well

Once You Have The Color Code

When you have determined the color code for your vehicle, take the code to an auto parts store. They may have the paint you need on hand or they may need to order it for you. You can also order the paint online using your color code and a simple Google search. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I find my paint code with my VIN number?

You can’t use the VIN to get the paint code itself however you can use the VIN to do a search on your car and find the paint code that way. However, it is probably easier to find the paint code on the car itself or by searching the make, model, year and color of your car to find the color code. 

What is the easiest car paint color to match?

White. If it is a pure white it is very simple to match the color. If the car is a creme or off white you’ll still need to get the color code of the vehicle. 

Want More Information On Matching Faded Paint? Check out this YouTube video 

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We hope this article has answered all of your questions regarding your vehicle’s color code, and that you feel more prepared to take control of the scent of your vehicle both now and in the future. Consider protecting your vehicle with an extended warranty plan from Protect My Car. In addition to warranties, Protect My Car also offers insurance and maintenance plans and can negotiate the best prices on repairs with mechanics.

Resources:

https://www.partcatalog.com/pages/how-to-find-car-color-code
https://auto.howstuffworks.com/under-the-hood/vehicle-maintenance/how-to-match-auto-paint.htm
https://www.automotivetouchup.com/touch-up-paint/
https://www.paintscratch.com/touch-up-paint-codes/paint-code.html
https://www.paintscratch.com/touch-up-paint-directions/paint-colors.html
https://www.quora.com/How-does-a-professional-body-shop-paint-shop-get-an-exact-color-match-on-car-paint-repair-when-the-original-paint-has-faded
https://www.autocolorlibrary.com/
https://www.autobody-review.com/blog/autobody-review-how-does-the-shop-match-my-paint-perfectly

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