what color to paint?
Getting ready to paint 65 nova SS . Is there a website with different manufacturers colors?(Chevy ,Dodge) Thanks, Jumm
Why not just go to an auto paint store and look at their books for old colors and new.
Or go to ebay thousands of cars and colors. Like one email the owner, I'm sure he will send you the code.
Barry, don't mean to disagree with you, I wrote this a long time ago so nothing personal. :)
"Basic of Basics" Color choice
By Brian Martin
Color choice is so much more than simply picking a color because you ‘like” it. Not every color “works” on every car. Some will argue “to each his own” or “It’s your car, paint it what ever you want”. This is true, but you are painting it to look better, right? Why just get color on it for the sake of getting color on it. Why paint your favorite color on it when your favorite color is not going to make the car look it’s best?
We have all heard that black will show waves or poor body work. White on the other hand hides them. This is just the start of color choice. We can agree that even though you may love black cars, painting a wavy old beast a cut and buffed black would be wrong. It goes beyond “taste”, it is just plain wrong, if your desire is a nice looking car.
There are a few different issues when talking about color choice.
IF you have a budget for you paint you best check on the cost before you commit to a color. In one brand of basecoat a price can go from approximately $185.00 to $420.00 a gallon. Any color with a lot of red or pearl is going to be more expensive for instance. These are not custom colors, just regular old colors off new cars. Whether you plan on BC/CC (base coat/ clear coat) or SS (single stage, where no clear is applied over it) will effect cost. Pick a color and go to your paint store to see all costs, color, clear, hardeners, reducers, any sealers you may want, etc. You don’t want to be surprised when the car is sitting there ready for paint.
Yeah, I know, you’ll never sell it. Well, I have to tell you, you most likely will someday. There are lots of cars painted pastel pick from the 1980’s that are darn near un-sellable today. I know of one, a friend of mine passed away unexpectedly and his wife almost had to give away his ’34 Ford. It would have probably gotten up to $10,000 more if it wasn’t a out dated trendy color from the 80’s. Really watch those trendy colors, they can kill you.
Does the color “work” on this particular body style:
Not all cars look good in all colors. Again, I am not talking “taste” here, I mean some colors just DON’T “work” on every car. There is a 4dr ’59 Cad in my area that is painted a fire engine red, I am sorry, it doesn’t work. In fact, it looks like hell. Is that just my opinion, well yes and no. It is also the publics opinion in large too. GM spends a LOT of time and money on marketing and research to come up with the colors it offers. That red would not be a color offered on that car for good reason. This is a very gray area (if you will pardon the pun), it does come down to “opinion”. But it is like speaking your mind about politics, sure you have the right, but you better “know the room”. Or you will suffer the consequences. The resale of the Cad is in the tank. The likelihood of a crowd gathering around it at a show is in the tank. He too the chance when he opened the can. Because of this rule it is not likely you will ever see a white Lamborghini Countach or a candy apple red Rolls Royce.
What do you want the color to do:
This is where we return to the black show waves stuff. Sure black shows waves, but did you know it hides body lines? That’s right, it “softens” body lines. If you have a car with features you want to hide, black is the color. This is one of the reasons it is known for being “mysterious”. It hides a lot, leaving it up to the imagination. It also makes the car look smaller. I am not kidding, park a black ’68 Camaro next to a white one and you darn near have to take a measuring tape out to prove they are the same car.
On something like a ’27 Ford model T the doors lay on top of the cowl and quarters. It kinda looks like a tire patch on the side of the car. In black they “melt” in and don’t pop out as much.
White is just the opposite, it may hide waves in flat panels, but it shows off body lines. This includes how STRAIGHT the lines are. Panel fit is very critical with white. The gaps look like black pin stripes, if they are not perfect it will look like wavy inconsistent width stripes.
We all know what black and white do, any other color just falls in the middle. It is a sliding scale, the darker the color the more it’s effects are like black and the lighter the color the more it’s effects are like white, simple.
Tip 1. There are thousands and thousands of colors out there. To pick one from that huge pallet would be very hard. This is what I feel is the best way to start the color search, find a car the color you want and get the color code off it. It is that simple, the new car deal lots are full of cars in every color imaginable, find the color and there you will find the exact code of that color.
Tip 2. When you go to get your paint at the paint store ask if there are any “alternates” or “Variants” of the color you have chosen. These “alternates” can be VERY, VERY different from the “standard” color. The car you may have seen was one of these “alternate” colors. These alternate colors are different “batches” if you will.
Tip 3. DO NOT PICK THE COLOR OUT OF A CHIP BOOK! These chips are usually not even paint, they are ink. They are a “close” representation of the color, they are NOT the color. (for instance the alternates will not even be represented in the chip books) .
Tip 4. I highly recommend you buy a pint of the color you have chosen, take it home and spray it out. Use an old fender or something and really get a good feeling for the color before you layout your hard earned dough for a gallon or two. This is not only to see if the color is right, but to see if it covers well, and just how easy it will be to paint. The difference between colors and brands can be night and day in how user friendly they are. If you find that the color is nice but it takes 6 coats to cover, you may want to change the color choice or change the brand of paint. Some “value lines” can be very transparent, so you save no money because you may have to put on twice as much. A high pearl or metallic color may “model” easily, that may be a reason to scrap the color or brand.
Tip 5. After you have your color picked for goodness sakes don’t be a cheapie when buying your paint. Figure out how much you’ll need for the whole job. We are talking every thing you plan on painting, outside, inside, dash, jambs, trunk, everything. When you have an idea how much, add at the very least 20% more. If one gallon is enough, buy another quart. Buy all the paint you will need before you start painting anything. Get a few extra gallon cans and use them to intermix ALL the paint. You then have all the paint you need, no mismatched parts, no running out, you are set to go. If you have a that quart left over when you are done, so what? Running out of paint is NOT pretty, it is a disaster in many cases. Now, why intermix? This is a VERY painful lesson you don’t want to learn the hard way. This is it in a nutshell, if you were to go to the paint store and have three gallons of the same formula mixed you would end up with three different colors! I will bet you a dollar, here is why. Some toners are very strong, just a drip will change the color. A couple of different people could mix them, some people mix better than others. There are other variables such as one toner used gets emptied and the next toner used has more solvent in it because it is new and has less strength. Now, these colors may not be “that” different. If you were to paint three different cars with those gallons you may not even see it. But if you were to paint your hood, fenders, and quarters with the three different gallons you sure would! I repeat, this is a VERY painful lesson you don’t want to have to learn the hard way, BUY ALL YOUR PAINT UP FRONT.
Tip 7. If you follow tip #6 you can skip this one. It is something that comes up once and a while. When you have chosen BC/CC, SS, Lacquer, enamel, what ever, paint the WHOLE car the same. Don’t paint the jambs SS and the outside BC/CC or something like that. Yes, it “can” work, but seldom does. The formula for the SS and BC of the same color is NOT (usually) the same. The SS paint is not just the BC that you don’t put clear over. For that matter just clearing a color will change it.
I could bore you with example after example of how I learned this information. Follow these simple tips and you will have fun doing your car, instead of experiencing the pain on your own. These are lessons that are very painful, believe me.
Let me also say that I love color. It has been a big part of my life for over 25 years. I can appreciate just about any color as long as it is done nice. That does not mean that any color belongs on any car. It also doesn’t mean that because I would like a car a particular color that I would paint it that color. It has to “work” or it was a waste of time and money. There are many cars that you have seen grace the front cover of a magazine that would be a big ZERO if it were painted another color. And likewise there are many cars that just don’t get the attention they deserve because they were painted the “wrong” color.
This may be the only car you ever restore, or at the very least one of only a few. The time you take to pick the color is time very well spent, that I guarantee you.
Well if it were me
I don't know if I'd paint my car based on popular opinion or resale value. I know when I buy a car( meaning something I plan on restoring) color is the last thing I take into consideration if at all. I pick my colors by looking at other cars. Just go to a car show or look up some on the internet. Bottom line is it will be your car for at least the next few years and I doubt you'll be happy with a color you picked solely on it's resellability or popularity. When I bought my 01 mustang I looked up the colors on the internet and then went shopping for one at some local dealers. Several salesmen from different dealerships told me it didn't come in that color. I disagreed and they would each in turn confirm that I was correct. It was a new color for that year. When I finally agreed on a price from one of them. It was ordered and it was the first one in my area ordered in that color. When it arrived I got the call and went down to pick it up. The salesmen were gathered around it like they'd never seen a mustang before. A couple of months down the road, a saw the salesmen that I bought the car from when I went to get my oil changed. He mentioned that the dealership manager liked it so much that from that point on, he always ordered at least one mineral grey mustang gt on every truck. Bad for me, but my point is just because it's not the popular color doesn't mean you've made the wrong choice and
dispite what Martin may think
Just my thoughts and not much experience to go with it, but there you go,
Colors are very personal for sure!
When I'm restoring I always paint original color, building a street rod, like said some colors just don't get it on certain cars.
Heres a dilemma, I have never had before.
Tonight purchased a 69 SS from original owner that never has had any paint work and been parked in basement for 25 years.
got the car for for a great deal but it was special ordered
with brown/black inside. I'll park this thing in my basement for a while to decide how to paint. This may be the one time a color change is good for value but depends on buyer.
If changed, it will be black--fitting for a camaro.
To me ugly color or not the car was worth more to me because it was unpainted and I knew exactly what I was getting.
Geeez, I write a long article on color choice and how to MAKE THE CHOICE, and the ONE line where I interject my opinion get's the attention. :)
Of course it is a person choice, the thing is, some people don't see the ramifications or what a color CAN do to a car. It's just information to make an educated choice guys. :)
Take a look here:
I saw some interesting paint jobs on that site.
Everything you said is right!
Take the camaro, where do I go with this? To a true collector
factory lacquer low mileage car never touched it may be worth a mint to. To others a bright red or black or blue cherry paint job they may big even higher and even more bidders.
Color choice is very complicated decision like you and pencleneck have pointed out! Thats what makes this business fun!
Fire engine red is butt ugly on a Caddy
My post wasn't to disagree with you, just to illustrate that everybody has different tastes. The person he sells that car to might love the color or love the car so much that colors not a factor. I agree with everything else you posted. I don't know much about camaros, but I remember seeing some lima bean green ones from the factory around 67' or so, which I thought was an awful color. I'm just pointing out that factory or popular opinion shouldn't be paramount when considering colors.
I'm not disagreeing with your post, just offering a different opinion on the color factoring.
After the FACTS about what color "does" to a car as far as straight panels and panel fit that sort of thing, it is "only" opinion.
However, and this is a BIG however, there are ODDS you deal with. The ODDS are the there are less people who will like your beautifully built 64 Nova with a hot pink paint and purple and green neon flames. True, if YOU want it, it is your car. But if you WANT it to be "liked", if you want your car to be a good "special" and not a "bizzare" special, you won't paint it hot pink. Not at this point in time that is, ten or fifteen years ago for about a month and a half that would have been the hit of the show, but not now.
Those ODDS are what I am talking about when it comes to "taste". The ODDS are car painted like that will have fewer lookers, fewer awards, fewer buyers, peroid. THAT is not opinion, it is fact.
If that means nothing to you, by all means do it. If Big Daddy Roth would have cared what others thought we wouldn't have the art he created such as the Beatnik Bandit. :)
Barry, on that original Camaro, I just couldn't, I couldn't change that color! I couldn't even repaint it if it is in as good of shape as you say! Like I said in my article, I LOVE color, all colors. PERSONALLY, I like the less popular colors because, well, they are less popular.
I was working at a full on restoration shop doing early Ford V8s when I was a kid. We did a 36 Roadster in a gray color, I forget the name. But it litterally looked like gray primer with clear, a ZERO color. I couldn't believe the guy would want that color. Well, the first show it went to, I saw why and have had an appreciation for the "different" colors ever since. There were MANY dosens of similar cars all in a row, Washington blue! They were BORING. His stood out and REALLY got attention. These cars were all the same other than paint, not a hot rod event were you can have a different motor or top chop on your red car to make it stand out from the other red cars. :) No, they were all the same, exactly the same. That gray car really stood out and in a good way.
HOWEVER, the ODDS are if you put a for sale sign on it and a blue one the blue one would sell first, and for more money. That is STILL the FACT. I am not saying it is right, I am just saying it is the FACT.
I think we've lost the point of the post. Here's a few book listings I could find and one site that has the cowl codes listed with the colors on them.
Here's a book for sale:
And here's the cowl codes:
I hope this helps,
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Pencilneck314
[B]I think we've lost the point of the post.
Poor guy just wanted to know what color to use on a Nova and so far we have covered colors on a Flathead Ford, a 60's Mustang and a 60's Camaro.
If you can't convince them, confuse them!
It's called diversionary tactics...
You answer several other questions without actually answering the question asked in the hopes of disorienting your opponent. Naturally, you wouldn't want him finishing his project before you!
LOOK! A shiny object!
P.S. - The guy probably said, "Screw it" after the 5th or 6th post.
It is your car , paint it the color YOU like. Who cares if it works or not as long as you like it.
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