Matching paint color

I’m trying to match the color of my 50 years plus car. I went to a paint shop had the special camera
take some photos and it took 4 tries to get the paint somewhat close. It seems very difficult to match the color. Has anyone been able to get their paint color mixture to match? My car does not have a paint code, seems like a rare color for a year or two. Is it impossible to get a perfect match?


Original paint? Do you know what Jagur called the color? It’s possible someone knows the modern formulation to match that color. One potential problem with matching 50 year old paint is the possibility of the original paint having faded due to 50 years of exposure to sunlight.

Hi John
I think the paint color is called Sand

Assuming the paint is original
Assuming it was painted a factory color (Jaguar would apply any custom color the buyer wanted and/or paint it factory color from a previous year)
the fact that your Jaguar is a 1967

Golden Sand was used in 1965 to 1968

“Sand” was used in 63 and 64
“Green Sand” was in 73 and 74

All this info was derived from
XKE Data - Catalog - Colors - Jaguar E-Type (XKE) information, articles, photos and register

Car is 1968 If you scroll down XKE Data you will see a 63 64 Sand color that looks like my color.

It’s not just the paint itself. It is also spray pressure, gun settings, distance, skill, etc,etc,.

Getting a metallic to match is art and science.

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The key is going to be the skill and willingness of your paint shop to work to match the paint, and whether their paint system has the tints to do the job. Even the color scanners aren’t perfect.

I’ve been working on getting a match for a Lotus Elise Bordeaux Pearl Red for a while. This is a recent color compared to the E-type. But when I recently (5 years ago) bought a pint of paint of the same brand and line used by Lotus when they painted the car originally (DuPont Chromabase) it didn’t match, not even close. A pint I bought 15+ years ago did.

This is not to be discouraging, but to caution to be realistic - some paint shops can’t match the old paints anymore because the current paint lines don’t have the toners to do so. They may have to do it the way custom painters do - mix to match the paint by eye with their experience of paint tone interactions.

If the shop is willing to do it, then you will need to just keep shooting sample cards and bringing them back to see what adjustments need to be made. But be glad that shop is willing to do it - most can’t or won’t.

Unless you have a modern car or a very common paint shade, it’s often not as simple as ordering the matching paint code from a book. I suspect it’s not easy to find a paint supply shop that can do that, since most of the paint shops for restorations of old cars mix their own paint.

Would any of the better Jag restoration shops sell a matching mix?


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I agree with Dave’s comments. Complicating the issue is that the original paints were enamels and the modern paints are urethane based. And the appearance will change quite a bit just due to the lighting. Direct sun, shade, indoor.

I also agree with Dave luckily I have a paint shop that is working with me to get the closest match,
we already made up 5 cans and 2 more to come.
Thanks for the replies

The human eye can detect over 10 million colour variations. My experience has been that the best you can hope for is a very close, but not perfect, colour match. It’s less of an issue when an entire panel is being repainted, like a fender or a door, rather than blending in a spot repair. As @mminnich says above, even with leftover paint from an earlier respray you can expect very slight variation in shade depending on the conditions under which the paint is applied. There’s also mixing. Auto paints aren’t solutions but emulsions. A can of auto paint contains toners, bases and particles of different specific gravities that tend to separate and settle out. It is even possible to end up with a very slight shade variation from where the paint job was started on the car body to where it ends, especially with metallics.

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I took the gas cap to the paint shop and left it there overnight. They were able to match the carmen red perfectly. At least to my eyes.
Good luck.


Not sure if you know this but there was a somewhat rare color for 1967/68 models that looks close to what you are showing - a solid color (no metallic) and it’s called Honey Beige. Here’s a pic:

I don’t know the paint code so color match is the way to go. Good luck with this. :sunglasses:

Correct. In 5 years they will likely see the new painted area is a different color as the newer paint faded differently than the 50 year old paint did over that 5 year period.

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Look at the paint in direct sunlight , the primer Color will also change the top coat shade
You can compare the paint in a can to the Color your trying to match , then add tint as required
Yellow is often painted over a white primer,base
A blended line of a foot or so will be much harder to see compared to a solid straight line

It’s possible to be the color that or Sand

OK, you should be able to tell the differences as Sand (Golden Sand) is an opalescent/metallic paint. Looks like it’s another rare Honey Beige.

Sand and Golden Sand two different colors. Look at car 29th down is is listed as Sand.

Yes, I see that and it’s shown as a 1963, 1964 color. Has your car been resprayed and is it a metallic paint?

Not resprayed not metallic. Is it possible orig owner had it painted with 63 64 color? I’ve had it
since 1978 and it was in storage for 4 years prior to my ownership.

Have a look here on the E type forum…colour on actual cars…note there was a Beige and a Valentines Beige…do you have a Heritage Certificate…it will tell you the details of your car from the factory inc colour…Steve The 'E' Type Forum - Login