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Where can I find paint color cards for cars?

I need to find a store that provides a paint sample card so that I can match my car’s paint to the proper shade. I have not seen automobile paint sample cards. Can anyone help? Thanks!

start with this web site…

You probably want to change your entire approach. Look on the door pillars of the frame of the car for a manufacturer’s placard. It will have things like the VIN # & proper tire inflation info on it. It will also have a “paint code” - that’s a specific identifier for the paint color of your car. Then just take the paint code to a local auto parts shop and you’re likely to find both small touch up bottles and sometimes full aerosol spray cans. You can also find these on the internet and order that way.

There is no such thing as automotive “color cards”…Automotive paint is identified by a paint code.

check out the web site in first reply…

You don’t say what year the vehicle in question is, but if older than four years and has not been parked in the shade or garage out of the sun and environmental fallout, the paint will be faded and impossible to match. (exactly,I mean)

I’m sorry. I did not make my message very clear. The car is a 1988 model that has been repainted prior to my owning the car. The color is GM 81, but the touch up paint I ordered online is a bit too light for the red of my car. I think the previous owner may have painted the car a shade darker red when he did the repaint. I was told to look for paint cards (samples) from an automotive store, place the red card next to my car surface, and select the paint color that matches. But I have never seen a paint card for a car — house paint yes, cars no. I will check out the website above to see if I can get information. Thanks for all the responses!

Stop by an auto body shop. They have color chips. There may be a color from another year which may be a closer match. The body shop person will offer to paint the car for you.
Some body shops have paint color reading machines. For a small fee, they may read your car’s paint for you.

Go to the yellow pages to find a shop who sells paint and autobody supplies to shops. I did this last Summer . . . the paint I was trying to match was faded somewhat . . . so the clerk looked at the inside of the trunk lid, then matched it with a color card he had, mixed it for me, with additives and proper mixing instructions (it was really easy) . . I bought a pint with additives for less than $30. I looked for months before that in chain stores for a spray can which I thought would match, never quite made the match. But the pint from the shop was dead-on perfect. Anybody want to buy six spray cans of almost the right color red? Go to the supplier. Rocketman

the paint will be faded and impossible to match

Exactly. Once a car is more than a few years old, the paint will have changed color, and no standard color (card, chip, or number) is going to be an exact match. I used to have a red Acura whose hood turned a shade that I can best describe as “salmon pink”. Any body shop is going to have to custom mix its paints to match new work to existing paint (unless you have them repaint the whole car). Even then, they may only come close, and have to “blend” by partly overpainting old parts. As for DIY work, standard spray cans (or touch-up bottles) will seldom even come close to the current color of your car.

Since you have a GM car look for the option code sticker. Depending on the model it could be in the glove box or in the trunk area, but not limited to those areas. On the bottom look for a number that starts with “u”. Thats the paint code. Keep in mind I am not sure how long GM has been using this system so I hope it is correct.

Yes, there are paint color chips for automotive paint but only body shops and paint suppliers keep them since the number is extensive. This is because there are several variations for each color. Example, yellow is not simply yellow, sometimes there is slightly to much green in it or maybe to much blue.

But no matter what you buy, it won’t match so don’t go to great lengths.

The way it is done is that auto paint supply stores will have books with the color chips in them but don’t normally have cards to hand out. You take the code to the supplier and they have a computer scanner that can take three samples of the paint actually on your car. The computer then adjusts the formula and the paint is mixed accordingly to give a perfect match. Its much more accurate than trying to eyeball the proper color from a color chip which may or may not be off a little.