How to paint anything the color of the Golden Gate Bridge

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    Want to paint your home the same color as the Golden Gate Bridge?

    I did, so I made a few calls, including one to the purchasing manager of the Golden Gate Bridge itself. Here's what I learned:

    The official paint is called "Golden Gate Bridge International Orange" (of course), and it's manufactured by Sherwin Williams. Who knew? But there's a catch. It's a custom mix, and only sold in very large (ie: commercial) quantities. Need 500 gallons? You're in luck. Want less? Don't panic.

    After visiting a Sherwin-Williams dealer in San Francisco, I was told that the consumer color called "Fireweed" (color code SW 6328) is a color equivalent to the paint used on the bridge.

    I was skeptical. Fireweed looked waaaay too dark when I saw it on a paint sample, so I drove out to the bridge to see for myself. Turns out, it's true: If you allow for a little natural fading on the bridge railing shown here, Fireweed (the bottom sample shown above) is indeed the same color as the bridge.

    I love the way it works in my house. Just like the bridge itself, it adapts well to changing light, and it harmonizes nicely with the green of the back yard that's visible through our kitchen windows. (Alternate view here.) So don't let the shade of the little paint chip scare you off; in the real world, spread across a real surface, the color of the Golden Gate Bridge also looks great elsewhere.

    striatic, hale_popoki, ryanbytes, and 37 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. Telstar Logistics 108 months ago | reply

      Fair 'nuff, but that's what they named it during the 1930s. In bright sun, of course, it really does look orange.

      Still not satisfied? Remember that it's called international orange, so you can file a complaint with the League of Nations.

    2. Paint Junkie 108 months ago | reply

      The Sherwin Williams formula for International Orange (SW4082) is one part Safety Red (SW4081) with one part Safety Orange (SW4083). The smallest quantity that it comes in is two gallons (because you just mix one gallon of each of those packaged safety colors). It can, however, be custom matched in smaller quantities to get the exact color (as long as your local SW employees aren't lazy).

    3. Telstar Logistics 108 months ago | reply

      The nice lady at the bridge told me that the Sherwin Williams code for the official bridge paint, "Golden Gate Bridge International Orange," is B-66EJ1000 or B-640216206.

    4. roryhamilton 108 months ago | reply

      I feel the need to paint something the colour of the Golden Gate Bridge. But in the UK we have different colour names, any chance of someone working out the Pantone colour reference of "Fireweed". Thanks.

    5. Paul Parkinson LRPS (parkylondon) 108 months ago | reply

      For UK readers wanting to do this - or indeed any other type of coloUr matching you can go into B&Q and they can do it for you. They scan the sample and the paint mixes before your eyes! w00t!

    6. Paul Parkinson LRPS (parkylondon) 108 months ago | reply

      Correction: It's Dulux which does it. You need to find a store which does it - so go to for more info...

    7. Telstar Logistics 108 months ago | reply

      What?! When Sherwin Williams says "cover the earth," that doesn't include the UK?!

      Rory, I think I found what you're looking for. This link from one of the bridge's operating divisions explains how to mix the color using either PMS (Pantone Mixing System) or CMYK:

      Many people ask how to obtain International Orange Paint --your paint store can mix it with the following information: The PMS code is 173 or the CMYK colors are: C= Cyan: 0%, M =Magenta:69%, Y =Yellow:100%, K = Black:6%

    8. NessieBoo 108 months ago | reply

      If you want to paint the web this color, CMYK 0,69,100,6 is RGB 240,74,0 or F04A00

    9. tmundo99 108 months ago | reply

      Is it me, or does the SW color chip featured in the above picture not match the bridge railing next to it? The SW chip seems brighter to me.

    10. Blind Dog 108 months ago | reply

      tmundo99, I think the bridge and the SW chip would be more similar if the surfaces were parallel so the light reflects the same.

    11. roryhamilton 108 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the CMYK, I can now get a Pantone swatch (from a printed swatch book) and match it to a Dulux etc. colour. great.

    12. traveller_sam 105 months ago | reply

      @ NessieBoo,
      I get something else in Photoshop.

      CMYK 0,69,100,6 is
      RGB 194,94,52 or

    13. silly old bear 105 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the tip! I need to find something that needs painting, now.

    14. hmboo Electrician and Adventurer 105 months ago | reply

      I remember the Bridge orangecoloured

    15. optick 102 months ago | reply

      I admire your persistence and resourcefulness in getting this colour.

    16. SerialCoder 92 months ago | reply

      This image has been added to the Flickr Museum for making explore's top 25. Kudos!You can check it out here...

    17. Saturn 18 92 months ago | reply

      very interesting! I made a comment of your bridge colour kitchen in my Blog (

    18. geoffwagner 86 months ago | reply

      @ simon6115 Hahahaha!

    19. soosan 65 months ago | reply

      They list both the Pantone (173) and the CMYK breakdown.

    20. kirkboi 37 months ago | reply

      "International" orange comes from the the international expo used to highlight the new bridges. As for the orange part it's not red if you see the paint in liquid form you notice it's brighter going on.

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