How to paint anything the color of the Golden Gate Bridge

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.

  • Todd Lappin PRO 9y

    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.
  • Paint Junkie 9y

    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).
  • Todd Lappin PRO 9y

    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.
  • Rory Hamilton PRO 9y

    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.
  • Paul Parkinson PRO 9y

    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!
  • Paul Parkinson PRO 9y

    Correction: It's Dulux which does it. You need to find a store which does it - so go to for more info...
  • Todd Lappin PRO 9y

    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%
  • Nessie 9y

    If you want to paint the web this color, CMYK 0,69,100,6 is RGB 240,74,0 or F04A00
  • tmundo99 9y

    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.
  • Richard 9y

    tmundo99, I think the bridge and the SW chip would be more similar if the surfaces were parallel so the light reflects the same.
  • Rory Hamilton PRO 9y

    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.
  • traveller_sam 9y

    @ NessieBoo,
    I get something else in Photoshop.

    CMYK 0,69,100,6 is
    RGB 194,94,52 or
  • silly old bear 9y

    Thanks for the tip! I need to find something that needs painting, now.
  • hmboo Electrician and Adventurer PRO 9y

    I remember the Bridge orangecoloured
  • optick 9y

    I admire your persistence and resourcefulness in getting this colour.
  • Dave 8y

    This image has been added to the Flickr Museum for making explore's top 25. Kudos!You can check it out here...
  • Saturn 18 8y

    very interesting! I made a comment of your bridge colour kitchen in my Blog (
  • Geoff Wagner 7y

    @ simon6115 Hahahaha!
  • soosan PRO 6y

    They list both the Pantone (173) and the CMYK breakdown.
  • Kirk Linn 3y

    "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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