General => Douglas Motorcycles - General Discussion => Topic started by: Dads24 on 05 May 2010 at 10:29

Title: paint colors of tank
Post by: Dads24 on 05 May 2010 at 10:29
Are there standard colors for the silver and blue on the tank? Be interested to find out what looks good. Regards John
Title: Re: paint colors of tank
Post by: Dads24 on 02 Aug 2010 at 10:34
Found this in another forum by Chris.
 The colour blue used on petrol tanks was generally described as "Oxford Blue". This is a dark blue. Light Blue is Cambridge blue. For well over 30 years the LDMCC has defined the best match colours for the early machines as Rootes Oxford Blue (sometimes listed as Talbot Oxford Blue) for the petrol tank panels and lining and Vauxhall Sebring Silver Starmist for the tank background. Rootes cars such as Hillman, Humber, Talbot and Sunbeam etc. disappeared many years ago from our roads and although Vauxhall cars are still marketed in Europe under General Motors ownership neither of these colours are now available off the shelf as aerosol cans from outlets such as Halfords anymore. However, the colours can still be mixed by any good automotive paint supplier either in bulk or in aerosol cans. The two colours named above are listed in the swatch books and tables that suppliers have and for a long time I was able to quote a number reference but different paint manufacturers seem now to have their own references. Some later machines in the middle thirties such as the Endeavour and the Bantam did to the best of our knowledge have lighter blue livery but more of a mid blue rather than Cambridge blue.
Title: Re: paint colors of tank
Post by: eddie on 02 Aug 2010 at 11:17
Recently, I needed some blue for a Vintage Douglas tank. On enquiring at Autopaints, I was told that Rootes Oxford Blue can no longer be mixed as one of the pigments is no longer produced. I was offered British Standard Oxford Blue as a substitute - to the naked eye this is virtually identical - problems are only likely to occur if you are trying to match a previously painted part.

Title: Re: paint colors of tank
Post by: Chris on 22 Jan 2013 at 14:44
I and the LDMCC have been recommending two standard colours of blue and silver for the early Douglas machines for over 40 years and until recently both were still available to be mixed from good paint stockists although I was aware that certain types of paint material had become unpopular with those trying to protect the planet and formulations had changed. However, following Eddie's comment above I thought it was time for me to reexamine the position. I would add that I currently buy my paint from a company that I first dealt with in 1954 when as a coach works, the founder painted my first petrol tank for an Ariel 350. It gave up the coach works side of the business many years ago and became purely a specialist paint and related supplies stockist. 
The situation is now much more serious than I had expected with more and more restrictions in the formulation of paint such that not only certain pigments but also other constituents are no longer available. In spite of the fact that my supplier is now associated with four separate paint system suppliers they have confirmed that they are unable to formulate the colours that we used to get namely Rootes (or Talbot) Oxford Blue and Vauxhall Sebring Silver Starmist. I was fortunate in finding a half full litre can of Oxford Blue on my garage shelf and they were able to put some of this in aerosol cans for me so personally I am now OK for the foreseeable future as far as the Blue is concerned as one can will cover several petrol tanks for the panels and lining. However, I have no silver paint remaining. The manager was made fully aware of our need to come up with colour formulations that we can recommend to our members and Douglas owners worldwide that are easily available and as near as possible to the originals. Incidentally we compared my original Rootes Oxford Blue with British standard Oxford Blue and we both agreed that there was a considerable difference with the British Standard colour being appreciably lighter than the original. I left my part used tin with him and he has used this to carry out a survey of the market to find a matching blue that can be mixed and supplied in an aerosol. He believes he has been successful in this and has supplied me with a sample which he has identified as Fiat 455/B Blue Imperial. This has a “Lechler” Ref 220B and is a gloss finish cellulose. In respect of the Vauxhall Sebring Silver Starmist, he remembered this colour as one of two Vauxhall silvers this one having a very fine metallic content the other having a courser metallic content. He had disposed of most of their original colour swatches for old English car models that are now only a memory but found the swatch for the Vauxhall silver. However, unfortunately he has been unable to match this with a cellulose gloss. The match he has identified is Mercedes 735 Astral Silver (ICI Ref 9185B) and again has supplied me with a sample. This formulation is available in aerosol form as a base coat only meaning that it dries with a matt finish and requires to be finished with 2 pack clear lacquer to provide a gloss and petrol proof finish. (Essential in any case as nearly all paints now seem to be easily washed off with petrol). I will test the samples and compare the results with my previously painted petrol tanks and keep you all posted. I will also ascertain the availability of these colours from motor accessory stores off the shelf instead of having to be specially mixed. Chris. 
Title: Re: paint colors of tank
Post by: Resto-Rob on 23 Jan 2013 at 13:52
This is a great investigation you are working on Chris! I personally look forward to your findings as i too are looking for the right shade of blue to repaint my tank.
Best of luck!
Title: Re: paint colors of tank
Post by: Chris on 05 Feb 2013 at 14:47
Hi all
     The paint investigation continues. The blue sample proved to be a good match when compared with my original Rootes Oxford Blue and the recommended Fiat blue is still available as a gloss cellulose. I have checked with my local Halfords superstore (for overseas members Halfords is a major chain of car accessory and spares shops with a huge range of car paints) and it is not a colour that they stock so it will need to be mixed by a good paint stockist and for convenience loaded into aerosol cans. For a larger quantity of course it can be supplied by the litre as cellulose or as two pack. but a 400cl aerosol is normally sufficient for the panels and pin lining of several petrol tanks. For the  silver paint recommended above my immediate reaction was that it was too light in shade compared with petrol tanks I had previously painted. I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do next as I did not want to take a petrol tank off a machine to take to the paint stockist for comparison. However when having a bit of a tidy up in the workshop I found the last aerosol can of the original Vauxhall Sebring Silver Starmist I had purchased. A quick spray on a primered steel sheet in comparison with the Mercedes sample supplied showed quite clearly that The Mercedes Colour was indeed too light. I have returned to my paint stockist with the can and he is to spray a panel himself and then match it to a currently available fine silver metallic. Another point I have confirmed is that like the Mercedes Colour these fine metallic silvers are now only available as base coats and not as a gloss cellulose. I will report back when I get the results of the latest trial.  Chris.
Title: Re: paint colors of tank
Post by: Chris on 18 Feb 2013 at 10:56
Hi All
Latest update on the silver paint saga. As I mentioned above I supplied a sample can of the Vauxhall Sebring Silver Starmist to my paint supplier who sprayed a panel and has now matched an available paint and supplied me with a small sample. The match he has identified as Hyundai S7 Sleek Silver with an ICI reference of 4WJMB. I will report back when I have sprayed the sample and compared it with previously painted petrol tanks.  Chris.
Title: Re: paint colors of tank
Post by: Chris on 27 Feb 2013 at 11:50
Hi All
     Paint investigation completed. The latest sample of silver paint for the veteran and vintage petrol tanks has been sprayed and compared with original samples of The earlier recommended Vauxhall Sebring Silver Starmist and finished petrol tanks. I am happy that this is as good a match as we are likely to achieve with a standard current car paint colour. The final result and my ongoing recommendation for the two colours of Blue and silver are Fiat 455/B Bleu Imperial. This has a “Lechler” Ref 220B and Hyundai S7 Sleek Silver with an ICI reference of 4WJMB.The Blue is available as a gloss finish but as with most modern paints the silver is available as a base coat only. Neither of these is available from general motor accessory stores and  will need to be mixed by auto paint specialists where they can be supplied as aerosol cans or in bulk for gun spraying. They may be available as small spray cans from the franchised vehicle main agents/specialists. As previously recommended the final result after applcation of transfers will only be achieved after spraying with two pack clear lacquer ensuring that the health and safety warnings of this product are observed.
Title: Re: paint colors of tank
Post by: Daren W Australia on 28 Feb 2013 at 04:53
Hi Chris thanks for the research I will give the local paint guy near work and get him to make some spray bombs for me Regards Daren