The paint colour code identifies the original paint color of the body. The code is found on the vehicle identification plate usually located under the bonnet. The same colour code was used on different Volvo models. For example the dark blue code 96 was used on the Volvo 120 and 140 Series. Of course both are exactly the same colour. Also note that particular colour codes may have more than one colour name for marketing purposes.
Some cars will have -1, -2 or -3 in the paint code, such as 100-1. The -1, -2, -3 refer to a different shade of the colour. -1 being a lighter shade and -3 being a darker shade.
Volvo originally used a 140° Enamel paint, mostly Glasurit or Herberts.
For the repair-market there was an 80° Enamel air-drying paint available.
Volvo's paint codes were changed from December 1988. Both solvent and water based paints are now used on cars. In order to easily identity extra digits have been introduced which indicate if the paint is solvent or water based or has another quality
Exmple: 850 has the paint code 189-21. The first three digits (189 in this case) is for Volvo's colour code 189 Polar White
The fourth digit stands for:
1 = BASF (Glasurit)
2 = Herberts (STANDOX)
3 = Beckers
4 = IDAC/Dupont
5 = Sikkens
6, 7, and 9 = not used
8 = IVI
The fifth digit stands for:
1 = solvent based
2 = water based Metallic/Pearl + Varnish
3 = water based Solid + Varnish
4 = solvent based Solid + Varnish
5 = solvent based Pearl shine + Varnish*
6 = water based Solid/Metallic/Pearl + 2 component Varnish
7 = water based Solid/Metallic/Pearl + powder Varnish
8, 9 = not used
*Because of the