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Color Matching - 5 Tips for Getting the Best Match

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  • Color Matching - 5 Tips for Getting the Best Match

    We get a lot of questions from customers who are trying to find a good match for a specific color, such as a popular sports team's colors, automotive colors, and the like. Finding the closest possible existing match from Powder Buy the Pound's wide selection of colors can seem intimidating to some. Today I'll be giving you tips on how to narrow down your search to find the perfect color.

    1. Using Paint Codes and Images

    Unfortunately, a cross-reference of paint color codes and powder coating products does not exist yet. However, there are many websites that will let you convert paint color codes to different values, such as RGB values, HEX code values, and even RAL values. If you're computer savvy, try finding a photo of the color you're looking to match. Even better, try to find a photo of the color itself, instead of the color painted on an object in a photo (see example below).

    This can make determining the values of that color a lot easier. These don't exist for every color, but it's the first thing I look for when trying to help a customer find a match. Once you have a good photo of the color itself as shown above, you can use this site ( to grab the HEX color code.

    Then use a site like ( to convert that HEX code into a RAL or other color of your choosing. Sometimes there simply isn't a RAL match, but it will give you the closest one. Use your best judgement here.

    2. Consider All Factors

    Hopefully now you've found a match or at least a similar color to work with (if not, keep reading!). Please also consider the type of part you'll be coating, the condition it's in, whether or not you want a glossy or matte finish, and the type of powder that you've chosen. Some of our powders require reflective base coats such as chromes (unless they're being sprayed onto polished metals), and some require topcoats such as dormant colors. Make sure that your part and the powder are compatible.

    3. More on Photos

    If you aren't able to find a picture like the one shown in the first tip shown, then try to gather a couple of good shots of the color you're trying to match. If it's something you have in your possession, take a few photos in daylight if possible. You don't need a fancy camera to do this; you should get by just fine with a smartphone camera. You'd need at least one closeup shot and maybe a few other angles to make sure your bases are covered. Compare the photos to the part and make sure it's as accurate of a portrayal as possible. If it's a color you're trying to achieve that you've seen somewhere else, do some digging on Google Images and find a few photos fitting what was stated earlier. Then, take a look at our "Powders By Color" page ( and look for the closest color match. KEEP IN MIND: Computer monitors, smart phone screens, digital camera displays, etc. are all going to display images differently. The photo may look accurate on your phone after you took the picture, but if you emailed it to your friend, it could look completely different on his computer. This method of color-matching isn't always the most accurate, but if you're looking for something that is "close enough," it should work fine.

    4. Sample Panels

    If "close enough" isn't good enough for the part you're trying to match, there are still some more options. We try to stock nearly all of the colors we offer on our website ( in sample panels. They are metal rectangles about the size of a business card that have been powder coated. It is always a smart idea to get your hands on a few of the colors that you're interested in, so that you can see them in real life, in different lighting, and if there are textures or other unique properties in the powder, how it will look compared to your part. Some of the subtle differences between powders, or even the things that really make our powders shine, are impossible to convey on a computer screen. If there are panels that you're interested in taking a look at, you have a few options. Call our store to speak with someone that will make sure we have those panels in stock (615-776-7600), order the panels on our website (bearing in mind that there is a chance some will be on back order), or contact us through our website's chat function. We can send these at no charge to you, as long as it's no more than 5-7 panels that you need.

    5. Last Resort

    If all else fails and you are still unable to find a color that matches your part, you might consider getting a custom color made. Visit this page (, download the product specification sheet and fill it out. Along with this sheet, send in a piece or part that is painted/coated in the color that you are looking to match to the address listed on that page. We will send this sample off to our lab to be custom matched. Bear in mind that this can be a time-intensive process, so don't wait until the last minute, and set appropriate expectations with any customers you have waiting. This process is at no charge to you if you are not satisfied with the powder our lab creates for you. If you are satisfied with it, however, know that there is a 5 Lb minimum order quantity, starting at $32/lb. Also remember that if you need certification for the powder, make sure to request it on the form.

    I hope that these tips will help make it a little easier to find matches for use in powder coating. Powder coating provides the best durability and quality finish, making it an obvious choice over traditional paints.
    Please reach out to us here at Powder Buy the Pound if you need any additional assistance in finding a match. We are always here to help.

    Last edited by kelseylange; 11-30-2016, 11:10 AM.