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rAL Colours

RAL is a European colour matching system which defines colours for paint, coatings and plastics. The RAL colour standard is administrated by the RAL Deutsches Institut für Gütesicherung und Kennzeichnung. ‘RAL‘ is the abbreviation of ‘Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung’. Founded in 1925 as an independent organisation for quality assurance, 1927 saw the beginning of colour standardisation with the first RAL colour chart.

The RAL colour system is used frequently by architects, construction companies, designers and manufacturers. Like the Pantone and BSE colour systems, it is a way of ensuring that you can order colours to accurately match, whether it be a paint coating, powder coating, or any other body that uses the RAL colour system in production.

Our RAL tinting machine can produce over 1800 RAL Classic and Design colours and we test and check every RAL paint colour against the RAL colour fan deck to make sure colours are accurate.


We use a RAL tinting machine that has been calibrated to our paint bases that we manufacture in our Glastonbury factory. This enables us to make all RAL Classic and RAL Design colours to order. The tinting machine also accurately (99.9% accuracy level) measures out colour so every pot we make is consistent with exactly the right amount of colorant in.

Popular RAL colours such as RAL Classic 7016 Anthracite Grey, have been added to our online shop so you can easily order in all pack sizes including a 150ml sample tin. Additional ‘Popular’ RAL Classic and Design colours are being added along with ‘Our Choice’ of extra colours beginning with blues and greens.

You can easily order any colour from within the RAL Classic or Design ranges by selecting the RAL Classic Wood Paint or RAL Design Wood Paint option in the shop and following the order instructions. Alternatively you can order any colour from the RAL Classic and RAL Design colour charts by calling or emailing us with your selected RAL number and colour name. The only thing we’d advise you to check when selecting is whether the colour is in a clear base as that will make the paint translucent. Being translucent isn’t necessarily a negative thing as Black comes in a translucent base but covers beautifully. However it may affect coverage rates as won’t produce the immediate cover that opaque paints do so if you’re in any doubt, speak to a Thorndown adviser.

Check our list in this Thorndown RAL colours made with clear base – transparent pdf link. Any colours not listed will be in an opaque base.

NCS, BS and Pantone C

In addition to the RAL colour system our tinting machine can also accurately create 2050 NCS colours and 434 British Standard BS318C BS4800 BS5252F and Pantone C colours, so there are thousands of colours available to you!

Please contact the factory on or 01458 258588 to place an order.