K.C. Body Shop Supply

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How to: Find the Right Paint Color for Your Vehicle

The first step to take when painting a vehicle is to figure out the car’s current color. Use the paint code to figure out precisely what shade of color must be used to achieve a perfect match to the existing finish.

Just knowing the color’s name isn’t enough. The color name used by a car maker may be Candy Apple Red, but the actual color may vary in shade, depending on the model and year of the car. Only the paint code will identify the exact shade.

So… how can you find the paint code on a car?

Some of the common places to look for the paint code are:

  • Inside the driver’s door jam. Look for the manufacturer’s sticker on the inside of the door, or on the strut tower that the door closes against. Two types of paint code will be shown – one is for the exterior paint, the other for the cabin or interior color.
  • Inside the glove box or trunk. General Motors stickers can be found inside the glove box or under the spare tire in the trunk.
  • The owner’s manual. Your book may identify where your paint code is located on your vehicle
  • The VIN number. The VIN number is a unique 17-digit serial number for your specific vehicle.  This number is typically located on the left side of the dashboard as viewed through the windshield. Once you know the VIN, you can call your dealer and ask them for the color code and the precise name of the color.

Locating the exact color code means having a great result on your next paint job.