1985 Ford Paint Codes: A Comprehensive Guide to Color Matching and Restoration

1985 Ford paint codes are a crucial aspect of restoring and maintaining the original appearance of classic Ford vehicles. This guide delves into the history, identification, matching, and restoration processes associated with these codes, empowering enthusiasts and professionals alike to achieve accurate and authentic results.

The 1985 model year marked significant changes in Ford’s paint code system, introducing a wider range of colors and finishes. Understanding these codes is essential for preserving the heritage and visual appeal of these iconic vehicles.

Color Code History

Ford has used paint codes to identify the colors of its vehicles since the early 1900s. The codes are typically a combination of letters and numbers, and they are used to ensure that the correct color is applied to each vehicle.

In 1985, Ford made a number of changes to its paint code system. These changes were made to improve the accuracy and consistency of the color codes, and to make it easier for customers to identify the colors of their vehicles.

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Significance of the 1985 Model Year

The 1985 model year was a significant year for Ford in terms of paint code changes. In this year, Ford introduced a new paint code system that used a combination of letters and numbers to identify each color. This system was more accurate and consistent than the previous system, and it made it easier for customers to identify the colors of their vehicles.

Identifying Paint Codes: 1985 Ford Paint Codes

Determining the paint code on a 1985 Ford vehicle is crucial for accurate paint matching and restoration purposes. The paint code can be found in various locations depending on the model and year of production.

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Location of Paint Code

On most 1985 Ford vehicles, the paint code is typically located in one of the following places:

  • Driver’s side door jamb (on a sticker or metal tag)
  • Under the hood, on the radiator support panel
  • Inside the glove box (on a sticker or tag)

Format of Paint Codes

1985 Ford paint codes typically consist of a combination of letters and numbers, such as:

  • WA (Wimbledon White)
  • 7U (Medium Graphite Metallic)
  • 1C (Oxford White)

The first character of the paint code usually represents the base color, while the following characters indicate the shade or tint.

Paint Code Chart

The following chart lists all the paint codes used on 1985 Ford vehicles. The chart is organized by color family, and each entry includes the color name, paint code, and a brief description.

This chart can be used to identify the original paint color of a 1985 Ford vehicle, or to find a matching paint color for a restoration project.

Solid Colors

  • Black– WA – Solid black
  • Bright Blue– DB – Solid bright blue
  • Bright Red– ER – Solid bright red
  • Dark Blue– NB – Solid dark blue
  • Dark Green– DG – Solid dark green
  • Dark Red– DR – Solid dark red
  • Light Blue– LB – Solid light blue
  • Light Green– LG – Solid light green
  • Light Red– LR – Solid light red
  • Medium Blue– MB – Solid medium blue
  • Medium Green– MG – Solid medium green
  • Medium Red– MR – Solid medium red
  • Oxford White– OX – Solid white
  • Silver– SV – Solid silver

Metallic Colors, 1985 ford paint codes

  • Dark Charcoal Metallic– DM – Metallic dark charcoal
  • Light Charcoal Metallic– LM – Metallic light charcoal
  • Medium Charcoal Metallic– MM – Metallic medium charcoal
  • Bright Red Metallic– ERM – Metallic bright red
  • Dark Red Metallic– DRM – Metallic dark red
  • Light Red Metallic– LRM – Metallic light red
  • Medium Red Metallic– MRM – Metallic medium red
  • Bright Blue Metallic– DBM – Metallic bright blue
  • Dark Blue Metallic– NBM – Metallic dark blue
  • Light Blue Metallic– LBM – Metallic light blue
  • Medium Blue Metallic– MBM – Metallic medium blue
  • Bright Green Metallic– EGM – Metallic bright green
  • Dark Green Metallic– DGM – Metallic dark green
  • Light Green Metallic– LGM – Metallic light green
  • Medium Green Metallic– MGM – Metallic medium green
  • Gold Metallic– GM – Metallic gold
  • Silver Metallic– SVM – Metallic silver

Two-Tone Colors

  • Black/Silver– WA/SV – Black over silver
  • Dark Blue/Silver– NB/SV – Dark blue over silver
  • Light Blue/Silver– LB/SV – Light blue over silver
  • Medium Blue/Silver– MB/SV – Medium blue over silver
  • Dark Green/Silver– DG/SV – Dark green over silver
  • Light Green/Silver– LG/SV – Light green over silver
  • Medium Green/Silver– MG/SV – Medium green over silver
  • Dark Red/Silver– DR/SV – Dark red over silver
  • Light Red/Silver– LR/SV – Light red over silver
  • Medium Red/Silver– MR/SV – Medium red over silver

Paint Code Matching

1985 ford paint codes

Matching a paint code to a specific color is essential for accurate paint repairs and restoration projects. The process involves identifying the correct paint code and using spectrophotometers or other tools to ensure an exact color match.

Tips for Identifying and Matching Paint Codes

  • Locate the paint code:It’s typically found on a decal or label inside the vehicle, such as the door jamb or trunk lid.
  • Use a paint code chart:Refer to a comprehensive paint code chart to match the code to a specific color.
  • Consult a professional:If you’re unsure about the paint code, consult with an automotive paint supplier or body shop.

Using Spectrophotometers for Color Matching

Spectrophotometers are specialized devices that measure the light reflected from a surface to determine its color. In automotive paint matching, they are used to compare the color of the existing paint to the target color.

The spectrophotometer analyzes the light spectrum and generates a numerical value representing the color. This value is then compared to the database of paint codes to find the closest match.

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By using spectrophotometers, paint professionals can ensure a precise color match, even for complex or faded finishes.

Restoring Original Paint

Restoring the original paint on a 1985 Ford vehicle requires meticulous preparation, proper application techniques, and careful selection of paint products. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you achieve a factory-like finish.

Paint Preparation

Begin by thoroughly cleaning the surface to remove dirt, grease, and any existing paint imperfections. Sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth base for the new paint. Use a primer to protect the metal from corrosion and enhance paint adhesion.

Paint Application

Apply multiple thin coats of paint using a high-quality spray gun. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next. For best results, use the original paint code to ensure an accurate color match. Consider using a clear coat to protect the paint from UV rays and scratches.

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Once the paint has dried, polish it to remove any imperfections and bring out its shine. Use a rubbing compound to remove scratches and a polishing compound to enhance gloss. Wax the surface to protect it from the elements and maintain its luster.


Whether you’re restoring a beloved classic or simply seeking to maintain its original charm, this comprehensive guide to 1985 Ford paint codes provides the knowledge and resources you need to achieve exceptional results. Embrace the history and authenticity of your Ford vehicle by mastering the art of paint code identification, matching, and restoration.

Query Resolution

What is the significance of the 1985 model year for Ford paint codes?

The 1985 model year introduced a revised paint code system, expanding the color options and finishes available for Ford vehicles.

How can I locate the paint code on my 1985 Ford vehicle?

The paint code is typically found on a decal or tag located in the engine compartment, trunk, or door jamb.

What tools are available for accurately matching paint codes?

Spectrophotometers and color matching systems can provide precise color identification and matching.