Painter and Decorator handy tools

08 January 2020

BY Paddy

Q: What are BS & RAL colour charts?

A: A fandeck featuring the RAL, BS381C and BS4800 Colours. Ideal for helping you or your customers choose a colour.

The British Standard BS 4800 specifies colours of paint for building and construction works. This is a key reference for specifying a particular paint colour to use in the refurbishment of buildings – especially at Local Authority level or for major works, such as office blocks, airports, schools and hospitals.

Q: What is the difference between BS colours and RAL colours?

A: BS colours = British Standard colours. Published in 1930 (the same year as HMG’s inception), BS381 was the BSI’s first colour standard. BS381 was not a co-ordinated range of colours at all but rather a collection of individually specified colours; used for camouflage, identification, signalling and coding systems; by the armed forces and other government departments, public bodies and industry and is still utilised across industry today. Various colours were added in response to the requirements of London Transport and the Ministry of Defence.

RAL is the abbreviation of ‘Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung’ and a colour matching system used in Europe. In 1927 the German RAL organization invented a collection of 40 colours. Previously manufacturers and customers had to exchange color samples to describe a tint, whereas from then on they would rely on numbers. With tints constantly added to the collection, the collection was revised in 1961. From then the colour system now consists of 213 colors, which is still in use to this day. In the 1960s the colours were given supplemental names to avoid confusion in case of transposed digits.

Q: Can HMG Paints colour match to any BS & RAL colours?

A: Yes! In our extensive colour archives contains BS & RAL colours. BUY NOW

Our BS and RAL colour selectors are also available to purchase on Amazon here


British Standard and RAL Fan Deck HMG Paints cut out

BS and RAL Fan Deck

HMG Paints



SALE Colour Tools Triple Pack

Colour Tools Triple Pack (10 in Stock)

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