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Can you colour match powder coating?

Colour matching your powder coating enables you to apply this effective technique to surfaces and parts while ensuring they match existing colour schemes.

Although there is not an official cross-referencing system for powder coating products and colour codes, there are ways of converting paints to different values that match available powder coatings.

How to Colour Match Powder Coating

There are several ways of colour matching powder coating:

  • Colour swatches – powder coating manufacturers can supply colour swatches of their product range, which you can use to match to your required colour
  • Online matching – there are various websites where you can enter the code of the paint you want to get a match for, such as e-paint
  • Powder coating suppliers – you can provide a sample direct to powder coating suppliers and they will provide a colour matching service.

What Colour Systems Do Powder Coatings Use?

Powder coatings in the UK use these colour systems:

  • RAL
  • BS 4800
  • BS 381C
  • NCS
  • Pantone

RAL Colours

RAL comes from Reichsausschuss fur Lieferbedingungen, originally a German colour chart created in 1927.

As a colour standard, RAL contains some 2000 shades. Within this, powder coatings commonly use RAL CLASSIC, which includes around 200 shades.

Each RAL CLASSIC shade has a four-digit numerical code, and these shades are organised into different groups, such as orange, red/pink, grey and brown.

British Standard Shades

These include the two sets BS 4800:1989 and BS 381C:1996.

These British Standard sets are commonly used in architecture, construction and building refurbishment.


This stands for Natural Colour System, which originated in Sweden’s Scandinavian Colour Institute. NCS colours have eight digit alpha-numerical codes which refer to their levels of darkness, saturation and hue.

Currently, NCS is the most commonly used colour notation system in Europe.


The Pantone colour system is mostly used in graphic design, printing, publishing, textiles and\plastics.

However, where architecture requires specific branding, such as corporate colours, Pantone may be necessary as a colour matching system for powder coating.

Matt, Semi-gloss or Gloss?

Another critical factor in colour matching powder coating is the level of gloss you require.

  • Matt is between 20% and 30% gloss
  • Semi-gloss is between 60% and 65%
  • Gloss is at least 80%, but can be as high as 85%.

This choice finish can affect the final look of your coated surface; therefore, you should specify it when colour-matching.

Choosing the Right Colour

Colours can behave in different ways once applied. For example, light colours will reflect light, while darker colours absorb it.

UV light can damage brighter colours more easily, leading to problems with colour retention if there is prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Consequently, along with specific colour matching for your project, it is worthwhile considering the end-use of the surface or item you will be powder coating.

For more information about colour matching for powder coating, please contact us.


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Can you colour match powder coating?

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