Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

July, 2004

Camouflage Paint Coatings - Pantone Colors

Q. I would like to know which Pantone colors refers to the green camouflage print used in the military?

A. Thank you for your e-mail. I'm not overly familiar with the Pantone color range but I have to believe that none of the colors match the military camouflage paints. Camouflage colors are not only formulated so that they blend visually with the environment, but special pigments are chosen so that when an object such as a military vehicle is viewed through infrared night scopes the color will also blend with the environment. This latter requirement is critical since reconnaissance aircraft should not be able to pick up troop movements. Normal colors that you will get on a Pantone color chart or any other commercial color charts might be able to match a camouflage color, visually but not when viewed in the infrared spectrum. Therefore, camouflage paints are available only through a handful of carefully approved paint vendors.

I don't know what prompted your question but if you require paint that needs to satisfy military specifications you will need to purchase them off a Qualified Products List (QPL) issued by the army.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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