RAL color system: The international definition of colors

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 20, 2022
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ral colors

The RAL color scheme is a color system used in Europe that defines colors of, among other things, paint, varnish and coating types by means of a coding system.

ral colors

Ral colors are divided into 3 Ral types:

RAL Classic 4 digits c.n.m. color name
RAL Design 7 digits nameless
RAL Digital (RGB, CMYK, Hexadecimal,  HLC, Lab)

The (210) RAL Classic colors are the most common when it comes to consumer use.
The Ral Design is used for own design. This code is defined by one of the 26 ral tones, a saturation percentage and an intensity percentage. Consisting of three hue digits, two saturation digits and two intensity digits (7 digits total).
Ral Digital is for digital use and uses different mixing ratios for screen display, etc.

ral colors

Ral colors are paint colors with their own code and the most well-known are RAL 9001 and RAL 9010. These are famously used with, for example, whitening the ceiling (latex) and painting in and around the house. The 9 classic RAL shades: 40 Yellow and beige shades, 14 Orange shades, 34 Red shades, 12 Violet shades, 25 Blue shades, 38 Green shades, 38 Gray shades, 20 Brown shades and 14 White and black shades.

RAL Color Range

To get an overview of the different RAL colors, there are so-called color charts.
A RAL color chart can be found in the hardware store or purchased online. In this color range you can choose from all RAL Classic colors (F9).

Use of RAL

The RAL color scheme is mainly used by paint manufacturers and many paint brands are therefore supplied via this color coding system. Leading paint manufacturers such as Sigma and Sikkens supply the majority of their products via the RAL scheme. Despite the established RAL system, there are also paint manufacturers that use their own color coding. It is therefore important to pay attention to this when you want to order paint, coating or varnish and want to be sure that you get the same color.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.