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London Transport Paint Shades for buses
1950s to 1970s

Until around 2000, it was still possible to buy original London Transport paint shades, mixed to order, from PPG Industries Speedcoat paint outlets. Unfortunately, these days the only way to obtain paint in the correct colours is to have the colours matched by a professional paint mixer. (Electronic scanning is offered these days, but I have not found it to be accurate enough).

When the case came up he was asked what he had to say, and he made the following statement:

Listed below are colours I have had matched successfully at Avenue Coatings at Pyle, near Heathrow. Delivery is, I believe, free for local destinations but they will deliver further distances for a fee. Be sure to specify the type of paint required - gloss coach paint for brushing etc (enquire for other paint types). They can also provide suitable colours of undercoat, and pink Zinc Phospahe primer suitable for brushing.

The full range of bus colours listed by PPG is given, although some I will never be obtaining matches for - either because I have no need or because I have plentiful supplies. The PPG code is for reference only, it no longer serves any purpose.

Some LT shades did vary over the years, especially the red, apparently, as LT kept samples but ordered from new suppliers using the most recently supplied.

It should also be noted that some colours will weather, particularly with outside storage. Red tends to darken over the first few weeks and then stabilise. Green seems to slowly darken over many years. Indian Red (which is a reddish brown) seems to change colour towards brown over time.

Paint shades showsn as "suggested" are not my suggestions and have not been verified.S

LT plan ref Name Use Old PPG code Avenue Coatings code See notes
2, 4, 27, 29, 45, 53 Mail Red
(or Bus Red)
Central Area buses

(or Masons 0205 W0398)

RAL3001 3
3, 52 Chiswick Cream Cream band FLT3692    
5, 6, 7, 12, 17, 48, 57, 65 Black Wings etc     3
8, 62 Indian Red Wheels FLT3445    
9 1946 Brown RT/RF walls etc FLT3688    
10, 20 Dark Floor Brown (or Dark Chocolate Brown) RT/RF floor trim etc FLT3444    
13, 15 Broken White RT early ceilings      
14, 16 Russet Yellow Cream trim fittings      
18 Dark Green RT interior trim?      
19 Desta White ?      
21 Matt Black Used ticket bin      
22 White        
23, 24, 26, 59, 60, 61 Lincoln Green Coiuntry Bus/Green Line exterior FLT3464
(or Masons W0398?R)
AC1647 "J Hinson Green"  
25 Grey ?      
28 Cream (line) ?      
30, 31 Ivory (or Interior Ivory) RT ceilings FLT3462 (suggested 20YY5432)  
32, 35, 36, 37 RF Middle Green ?      
33, 34 RF Dark Green ?      
38, 39 RF Pale Cream RF Ceilings Not listed (suggested 1020Y)  
40, 41 Olive Green RF Green Line interior FLT3915 (suggested 8020 G50Y)  
42, 47 RF Putty Cream ?      
43, 49, 50 Pale Lincoln Green ?      
46, 54 Aluminium Chassis ?      
51 Red ?      
54, 55, 56 RF Middle Green ?      
58 Dark Green ?      
63, 66 BEA Grey BEA exterior      
64 BEA White BEA exterior      
67 1961 Pale Green Green Line green band, modernised RF FLT5323    
70 ? Inside blind boxes      
- LTE Dark Chinese Green RM grey interior FLT3653    
- LTE Light Mist grey Grey band FLT3507    
- LTE Magnolia ? FLT3917    
- LTE Porcelain Green ? FLT4771    
- LTE Sung Yellow RM ceilings FLT3994    
- London Country Green LCBS FLT6037    
- London Country Grey Grey band? FLT6038    
- NBC Green LCBS FLT3217    
- Leathercloth Green Green leathercloth -   1
- Leathercloth Brown Brown leathercloth - AC03360 1
- Russett Yellow Cream leathercloth - (suggested 1333Y20R) 1
- Acton Grey ? FLT5725   4
- Bitter Chocolate ? FLT3424   4, 5
- Blue-Grey ? FLT3916   4
- Brass Yellow ? FLT3914   4
- Metrobus Light Stone M interior FLT4783    
- Mistletoe ? FLT4531   4
- Portland Stone ? FLT3506   4
- Ticket Machine Blue ? FLT5147   4
- Ascot Grey ? FLT5305   4
- Blue Grey ? FLT5631   4


  1. Leathercloth paint shades do not seem to have been specified by London Transport, and may have been obtained in "off the shelf" shades. They were obtained in eggshell finish. I use gloss of matt and coat in a 50% mix of gloss and satin varnish for consistent results
  2. Avenue Coatings found perfect match to RAL signal red. Interestingly, NOT Post Office Red!!
  3. Code 7 is chassis paint, 12, 20 & 48 are matt finish
  4. Probably an Underground shade rather than bus
  5. Sometimes Dark Floor Brown referred to under this name but this is a different shade


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