Piper Paint Colors

Plane is a 1973 Piper PA-28-180 Challenger. Original Paint. I took a piece of the plane to get color matched as I will soon be replacing the small dorsal fin. The paint analyzer identified the color as Matterhorn White. I understand that is a popular color for GA aircraft. What I can't figure out is the parts manual does not list Matterhorn White as a color. In fact, the only white I see is Juneau White.

Can you identify paint by serial number? Is there a paint color code placard somewhere on the plane to identify the colors? I know Cessna planes have them but I've never seen one in the Piper.

Is Matterhorn White an alternative name that matches a Piper paint name?


  • You are going to argue with a modern paint analyzer about semantics? Im befuddled.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • Surprisingly, I was about to search the forums for the same question, whether the paint code was identifiable in a 1973 PA-28 235. Next question is where are you getting your paint?

  • National Coating and Supply did the analysis and can make it. I think lots of auto paint shops can do the same.

  • Who is arguing? I'm befuddled that it is not a Piper paint color. I'm thinking it's an industry standard and Piper elected to call it something else.

  • edited February 2023

    There are two conflicting elements here:

    • Original paint color
    • Current paint color (after half a century's worth of exposure)

    My vote is to go with what the analyzer determined the color currently is. Otherwise it might not pass the 10' test, or even the 30' test. Sure, white is white, but not really.

    FWIW, I tried to get a color code for my plane from a regional dealer, and was politely informed that the pallet does not exist for 'older' aircraft. Nor does ability to look-up via serial number. Was also reminded of the second bullet's effects and that the best path was to find out the current color, and go from there.

    Hope this helps.

  • I think I'd

    be most happy with the matched color. If you want names, for example, look on page 12 of this sales brochure for a 1970 Cherokee 6 C. Maybe someone has the brochure for your aircraft.

  • That's a great brochure. Thanks. I bet based on the age of the planes and your brochure, Mine is Juneau White / Mocha Tan / Denver Brown.

  • Here's another brochure I just found on 1974 Piper colors

  • Thanks Chris. I think you solved the mystery. Juneau White was the primary white for most planes. I think its fairly certain that Piper Juneau White is probably the same as Matterhorn White.

  • Warren Counry Ohio, airport ID I68 Blue Ash Aircraft has the paint. I bought a used radio from them and they had pallets of aircraft paint. They said they can make any Piper, Cessna, Mooney paint, any paint. All Piper so I have been told from the time they stopped painting everything yellow to today is Matterhorn White if it looks anything like white paint.


    They are very nice to work with.

    1973 Arrow II factory AC removed

    G5’S, G275, GNX375 Still can get lost.

  • I painted my rudder with matterhorn white and it looks fine with the original laquer white paint. Laquer paint is no longer used so just go with the matterhorn white in single stage acrylic. Much easier to spray vs. laquer.

    Dennis Gray A&P IA


  • Update...color matched my paint. Computer called it Matterhorn white. After getting the paint and painting a fairing, I'm not that happy with the match. The paint is off. The planes paint is brighter white.

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