# Color code for PCB

Thread Starter

#### nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,660
Hi.

Almost all factorymade PCB's are green.

Does anyone know the colorcode?

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
21,840
I wasn't aware there was one. My board stock has a wide variety of colors.

Thread Starter

#### nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,660
Including mine, and I want to experiment with color, so in the end, they have the same color.

Thought I read somewhere that factory made boards are spray painted.

#### marshallf3

Joined Jul 26, 2010
2,358
Green is the color of most quality epoxy-glass FR4 boards due to the resin, if they're yellow they're plain phenolic stuff.

This of course has to do with the actual PCB substrate itself, they can soldermask, silkscreen or paint anything they want on top.

Thread Starter

#### nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,660
I got 3-4 different types of PCB, and the one I'm most satisfied with is nearly transparent, with a green-ish touch.

The rest i brown and boring.

Thought I would try to spray paint on a green layer.

#### jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,699
A lot of the color you see on factory PCB's is the conformal coating. That is, it's a sprayed on color. They are also usually at least double-sided.

John

Thread Starter

#### nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,660
Yes, but what is/where can I find the color code?

Of course I could bring a board to a paintshop and make they use their device to scan and get the code. But I'd rather get the code first.

#### marshallf3

Joined Jul 26, 2010
2,358
What? You're wanting to paint boards green?

#### kubeek

Joined Sep 20, 2005
5,587
Usually on the green board the inner matterial is yellowish fiberglass, and the green is the solder mask. Last time I looked on my PCB fabrication company´s website, they had 5 different board materials and 7 solder mask colors.

Thread Starter

#### nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,660
Yes, I want to try to paint the boards green.

Have I crossed the line to insanity?

#### jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,699
Absolutely not. PCB's are an art form. You will notice some manufacturers make a point about the color of their boards. John

#### kubeek

Joined Sep 20, 2005
5,587
Good example are computer motherboards, every brand uses its own color and I haven´t seen the plain green in a long time.

#### t06afre

Joined May 11, 2009
5,936
Have I crossed the line to insanity?
Well, yeah... Huh, do I have to answer that one
But to stay on topic. Protecting your PCB from oxidation is not a bad idea. But use a protective coating that can be soldered. If you go to ELFA (ELFA is the electronics pusher used by Jens and I) Check out item 80-802-29, 80-794-93, and 80-815-49. All this spays forms a transparent and flexible film.

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Thread Starter

#### nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,660
Well, yeah... Huh, do I have to answer that one
At least I'm still allowed to etch my boards at home...

Now we're talking. I thought of this type on the solder-side, and green-ish on the component side. I haven't converted to SMD yet, but it will come. Eventually.

#### t06afre

Joined May 11, 2009
5,936
At least I'm still allowed to etch my boards at home...

Now we're talking. I thought of this type on the solder-side, and green-ish on the component side. I haven't converted to SMD yet, but it will come. Eventually.
If you need to do rework on you board any standard paint, varnish, or lacquer. Will make such job very messy. But I have used the spray mentioned above with success. If you only create single layer cards. It should do to just cover the solder side.
And thanks for telling the forum about my problems at home. I gave you this information in PM. PM is a abbreviation for Personal Message. Consider your hands smacked

#### jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,699
If you need to do rework on you board any standard paint, varnish, or lacquer...
Paint (what is it chemically?), varnish, enamel (any type), and silicone will make it difficult. Anything opaque (e.g., paint with TiO2) will be difficult to solder through. Lacquer is a different story. The solder-through lacquer commonly used by hobbyists is an acrylic lacquer. Most transparent acrylic lacquers with dyes in them, not heavy pigments, should be quite similar, but may not be readily available in all countries. I have no experience with trying to solder through nitrocellulose lacquers or other lacquers. That said, given the choice, I solder first and coat second. I consider being able to solder through is only for repair.

John

#### thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,349
Not sure if this will help or not:

Testors 1601 Transparent Candy Emerald Green (3 oz Spray Can) - Matches a lot of boards when fixing traces.

pebeo vitrea 160 "Mint" 37 (needs Airbrush or small paintbrush, comes in bottle) This is a tad darker but still matches the Testors.

Darker green is:
pebeo vitrea 160 Tea Green 15

The vitrea paints WILL also act as a solder mask, so if you make a toner transfer for the pads only, then airbrush those on, let it dry for a day, then wash off the toner w/water (not using acetone/MEK/Laquer Thinner/etc), you will have shiny copper pads. It's a bit of a pain, and I've only done it once.

I also have the Vitrea pepper red 04 Which matches the sparkfun colored red boards.

Vitrea 160 Many Colors

Testors doesn't work very good as a solder mask, FYI.

On the bright side, your idea isn't so crazy that somebody hasn't already tried it and published the exact colors!

Thread Starter

#### nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,660
And thanks for telling the forum about my problems at home.
You're welcome.

I gave you this information in PM. PM is a abbreviation for Personal Message. Consider your hands smacked
Oh, thought it was Past Midday or Post Mortem. Need a list of all this abbreviations.

Next delivery from ELFA will include what you recommended. (This is the second time.)

Not sure if this will help or not:

Testors 1601 Transparent Candy Emerald Green (3 oz Spray Can) - Matches a lot of boards when fixing traces.

pebeo vitrea 160 "Mint" 37 (needs Airbrush or small paintbrush, comes in bottle) This is a tad darker but still matches the Testors.

Darker green is:
pebeo vitrea 160 Tea Green 15

The vitrea paints WILL also act as a solder mask, so if you make a toner transfer for the pads only, then airbrush those on, let it dry for a day, then wash off the toner w/water (not using acetone/MEK/Laquer Thinner/etc), you will have shiny copper pads. It's a bit of a pain, and I've only done it once.

I also have the Vitrea pepper red 04 Which matches the sparkfun colored red boards.

Vitrea 160 Many Colors

Testors doesn't work very good as a solder mask, FYI.

On the bright side, your idea isn't so crazy that somebody hasn't already tried it and published the exact colors!
Thanks this is very useful. Transparent Emerald Green it is.

#### thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,349
The other Vitrea 160 colors I mentioned are also transparent. Better results, but a bit more money and not as easy to apply unless you have an airbrush or HVLP gun handy.

The hard part is getting those colors OFF once they are cured. Real dental picks work good, but the "cheapy" 'electronic picks" that are shaped like dental picks for $5 tend to bend or dull and ruin the board before they scrape off the coating. Next trip to the dentist, ask him for a couple picks (maybe just one), they are around$20 each or something, I forget, but nice and sharp and un-bendable.