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How do I find the exact color of my car paint?

Finding the exact color code of your car’s paint can be important for a variety of reasons. Maybe you want to touch up some paint chips or scratches, repaint the entire car, or simply want to know the exact color name or code for your records. Whatever the reason, finding this information is usually pretty straightforward with the right approach.

Check Your Car’s Documentation

The easiest way to find the exact color name and code of your car’s paint is to check the documentation that came with it when it was new. This includes:

  • The owner’s manual – There may be a section that lists the exterior paint color by name and code.
  • The window sticker / Monroney label – This will be stickered to the side window when the vehicle is brand new from the factory. It lists all the car’s specs and options, including the paint color name and code.
  • The manufacturer’s build sheet – This sheet displays the car’s entire build configuration as it left the factory. The paint color will be shown here.

For older cars, you may no longer have this paperwork. But if you bought your car fairly recently, especially brand new, check your glove box, sun visor, or any folders that contain your car’s manuals and documents. The color info should be there.

Check a Color Chart

If you don’t have your car’s original paperwork, another way to identify its paint color is with a color chart that contains manufacturer paint codes. Here are some options:

  • Paint code locations – Check places like inside the driver’s door jamb or under the hood for a color ID sticker. This code can then be matched to a chart.
  • Dealer color charts – Dealerships often have printed charts that include paint color codes for makes/models they sell.
  • Online color charts – Websites like let you select your car’s make, model, and year, then show a chart of color codes for you to browse through.

When looking through these charts, the exact color name and code for your car should jump out at you. You’ll recognize it immediately if your paint is original.

Use a Paint Color App

Mobile apps that identify paint colors are another handy way to quickly figure out your exact car color. Popular options include:

  • PaintChips – Allows you to upload a photo of your car or its paint code sticker. It analyzes the image and shows paint codes from various brands that match.
  • ColorSnap Visualizer – Scans and matches colors to brand name paints including Sherwin-Williams. It also has a huge database of color codes.
  • Color ID by Home Depot – Works similarly by matching your car’s photo to paint brands carried at Home Depot.

These apps use visual recognition technology to provide paint codes and names. While the scans may not be 100% exact, they should get you very close if you don’t have the car’s paperwork.

Bring a Sample to the Paint Store

For the most precise results, bring a physical piece of your car’s paint into a auto paint store. They can accurately scan the sample and match it to the exact manufacturer color code.

To get a paint sample from your car:

  1. Wash and dry a section of original, unaffected paint.
  2. Use a craft knife to carefully slice away a 1-inch square chip.
  3. Try to get all the way through the clearcoat into the color layer without damaging the body.
  4. Place the chip in a plastic bag or envelope to bring into the store.

At the auto paint store, ask them to scan the sample and look up the color code. This will give you an exact match. Many stores will even provide a printout showing your car’s color specifics.

Find the Code on the Vehicle

In some cases, the paint code may be stamped or stickered directly onto the vehicle itself. Check these locations:

  • Door jambs
  • Inside the trunk lid
  • Glove box
  • Under the hood

You’re looking for either a small sticker labeled something like “Color Code” or “Paint Code”, or a stamped series of numbers and letters. This factory code can then be matched to a name.

Call the Dealership

Lastly, if you are still having trouble determining the exact color of your car’s original paint, call the dealership that sold the vehicle. Provide them with your VIN number, which they can use to look up the factory paint code in their databases or documents. Dealerships have access to color records for the makes and models they sell.

While they may not readily have an actual name or sample to provide you, they should at least be able to give you the precise paint code which you can then research further or match to a chart yourself.


Finding your exact car paint color is possible through various methods. Your best bet is to check any documentation you have from when the vehicle was new. For older cars, touch up paint apps, color samples, stamped codes, and dealership assistance can all help track down the right color code and name.

With the precise paint information, you can then order perfectly color-matched paint products to keep your car looking its best. Whether you’re fixing paint chips, re-spraying a panel or adding racing stripes, make sure you take the time to find the exact OEM color so everything matches just right.

Method How it Works
Car Documentation Check owner’s manual, window sticker, build sheet for paint name/code
Color Charts Match your color to printed/online color code charts
Paint Apps Scan your paint and apps identify potential color matches
Paint Sample Auto paint store scans physical sample of your paint
Stamped Code Look for paint code stamped on car body
Call Dealership Provide VIN so dealership can lookup factory paint code

Accurately identifying your vehicle’s OEM factory paint color and code allows you to order perfectly color-matched paint products, touch up chips and scratches, re-paint panels, and more. Follow these tips to find the exact color specifications for your car’s paint.

Start by checking any documentation you have from when the car was new – this includes the owner’s manual, window sticker, or manufacturer’s build sheet. For older cars without paperwork, try an online or printed color chart and match your color code to it.

There are also handy paint color apps you can use to scan a photo of your car and get color match suggestions. Or, take a physical paint sample into an auto paint store and have them analyze it to look up the precise color and code.

You may get lucky and find a color code sticker or stamped number on the vehicle body. And finally, call the dealership with your VIN and ask them to provide the factory paint code from their databases.

With the exact color name and code in hand, you can then order perfectly matched touch up paint, primers, body panels, or supplies for a whole repaint. Finding your OEM car paint info allows you to keep your vehicle looking its best.

Whether fixing chips and scratches or repainting the entire car, follow these tips to identify the precise factory color. Check your car’s paperwork, online/printed color charts, touch up paint apps, auto paint stores, stamped codes on the body, and the dealership’s databases.

With the exact name and code, you can get perfectly color-matched paint products. Finding your car’s original OEM paint info is key to proper repairs, touch ups, and refinishing.

Don’t just guess at your color – look it up accurately. Use your vehicle documentation, color charts, paint apps, physical samples, stamped codes, and dealership records. Identifying the precise factory paint used on your car allows for flawless color-matching.

When touching up paint chips and scratches, respraying body panels, or doing a whole new paint job, you need the exact color. Don’t just eyeball it – look up your car’s specs using one of these methods to get the right factory color code:

  • Paperwork from when the car was new
  • Online or printed color code charts
  • Paint matching apps
  • Physical paint samples analyzed at the store
  • Stamped paint code on the vehicle body
  • Contacting the dealership with your VIN

Identifying the precise OEM paint used on your car ensures you’ll get a perfect color match for any paint repairs or refinishing. Do it right – look up your exact color name and code before ordering paint products.