Page created by T May 8th 2010:
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Paint Codes and Formulae:
Cant find the right paint formula?
Its pretty simple just grab a bunch of swatches and find the colour you want. Forget paint codes and formulas as the modern tinters in any brand are that far off the mark its a waste of time. Having owned and operated a paint'n panel shop for decades we stopped using codes around ten years ago as it just wasn't accurate enough. I have all the formulas back to FX and still own my Dulux bible. We cross matched many tinters and played with them for ages until we just had to give in to the fact the strength and conversion ratio of the tinters was never going to be spotty dog. So we ditched all that to the back of the cupboard and just used a swatch profile system ( Glasurit and PPG Deltron). Then we had 100% success with matching to samples provided. Anyone that claims they can make the exact formulae is either lying or a complete genius - mostly the former... The variations from the factory were pretty different most of the time too as even the old acrylics tinters were not always uniform. There are literally thousands of swatches to choose from so chances are the colour you seek will not be hard to find after a bit of searching. The human eye is capable of detecting over 11 million different shades - we are the only species on this planet that can do that! For example I was seeking a particular shade of Terracotta for my FC Holden. We made the colour using the original Dulux formula and cross matched tinters. It was miles off. We used many different brands of paint formula and we were still miles off. So using the Glasurit swatch system ( which only has numbers of shades not actual shade names) we found it inside 20 minutes as there was a largish number of variations to choose from. Now initially we only had a picture in my distant memory to go by - no sample! When the car was finished we eventually found an original Terracotta car to compare with and it was an incredibly close match. Yes I was lucky yet the human ability to recognise colour shades would have played a part. We repeated this whole process since for other folk and so far we have had 100% happy results. Yes learning to recognise colours is a skill - yet once shown many people have the ability to do this- except for the colour blind. Once you know the primary colours of red , blue and green and can tell the difference between black and white - you are on the right track. To adjust colours you need to know the strength of tinters used in the original formula. Remember red cancels out green and vice versa. Blue and yellow make green, Red and blue make brown etc etc. By using the colour profile swatch system the colour you seek can be narrowed down to very very close straight away. Dont start with something that needs a lot of adjusting as its just not necessary and bloody hard to duplicate later! Stick with standard shades from the profile system. If adjustments are deemed necessary - write these adjustments down and add them to the label on the tin for future reference. Avoid using the paint later if all thats left is the dregs in the bottom of the can as unmixed and heavier tints will drastically alter the paint colour! Boxing paint will help avoid this. To box paint you must repeatedly tip the contents from one can to another scraping out the bottom each time. This is far more reliable than just using a mixing bank or paint stirring machine we found as some heavier tints can just cavitate and not mix so well. Hope this steers you in the right direction.
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