Touch up paint for Preamplifier ?

Does anybody have a suggestion for a paint color (and source) that comes close to the color of the stock metal that almost every black Amplifier and Preamplifier case is made out of in the 1908s-today ?

I’m looking at creating a custom stainless steel "open cover" for my tube preamp that will provide more ventilation and would like to paint it in a color that would closely match the rest of the OEM case.

Unfortunately, I can’t really make the open cover out of the stock metal used in most preamp/amp cases so it is going to have to be painted to match.

I’m hoping that some company makes a paint that would be used to cosmetically touch up preamp/amps that have been scratched or damaged.... but so far I’ve struck out in finding something like that.

It happens to be a BAT preamp, but the same metal used in the BAT preamp case appears to be very similar to metal used Mcintosh, Denon, Marantz, Yahama, and almost every other brand.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated !


If you really want a cool solution other than painting it BBQ flat black, have a look at  Cerakote. Comes in hundreds or colours and is mainly used for firearms and rock solid. You can apply it yourself or send it off to a recognised agent. Not expensive and looks fantastic.

Thanks !   

Yeah, I really wanted to avoid just a stock black for bbqs and that kind of stuff .... I looked at a few already and they just don't come close to the stock aluminum case color.

I'll definitely check out Cerakote !   Any suggestion which color I should try ?

Satin or semigloss spray paint. Spray in small container and let it set up to get thick then use a very small brush to touch up.

Take the existing cover to any paint store and they can computer match the color.

Tonality near a limit, ie, pure red, blue, or green, or CMYK.

Anything that is close to the limit of being a pure tone, or, conversely... whitish with a hair of the given pure tone.

Those are the hardest for any paint matching/measuring system to match up to.

You are dealing with not a black but a close analog. Which means it might not come out as perfect as you want or expect it to.


Insert Long story about bit depth and fineness at limits (either end, it depends), semiconductor sensitivities, software/hardware design by people who don’t understand the sciences/physics involved, and the extreme sensitivity in the human eye when comparing two things that are next to each other.


Take the existing cover to any paint store and they can computer match the color.

Or open the paint chip book there.

@stillsurfin  & @teo_audio 

You are dealing with not a black but a close analog. Which means it might not come out as perfect as you want or expect it to.

This is true. Because of the textured finish, there is a problem with it being matched perfectly. AAMOF, the texture, if there is a texture may not even allow the computer to even match the color. In that case, IF you can find an old timer who has worked in a paint store for a long period of time, he can probably match the textured look better than the computer. However, those skills have all but vanished because we now rely on the computer and have done so for the last 20 or so years. Then there are few paint stores even in business due to the big box stores. And I have yet to encounter anyone in any of the box sores that have the skill of color matching on their own.

I actually recently searched around because I had some silver trim pieces that I wanted to paint black. The solution was on an Emotiva forum and it is pretty easy to do.

The paint can be gotten from Home Depot. I first used the Rust-Oleum "Self Etching Primer" spray. It is a gray/green type of color and it’s a primer only. Do a couple of light coats.

Once the primer is dry (maybe a day later), you have a couple different options:

- Rust-Oleum Automotive Enamel in "GLOSS" black. Also spray can from Home Depot. It is a glossy shiny type of finish. This ended up being too shiny and didn’t match the flat black of my current amps.  But it definitely looked great and the shine really stood out.

- Rust-Oleum MATTE Finish "Custom Shop" spray in Matte Black color. This matched the standard flat black of my amps pretty darn good.

If you want a unique black color, my only recommendation would be to use spray for any paint. Using paint that you have to brush on always results is a horrible bumpy yucky finish. Using spray paint is really the only way to get a uniform smooth coat/finish. There is a huge amount of spray paint colors/finishes available from auto paint companies. I would just recommend doing an "etching primer" coat first.

Thanks guys !

I think I'm going to try the Rust-Oleum products (Self etching primer & custom shop matte black) suggestion on a couple of test pieces.

It looks like the easiest process and definitely worth a try before getting into something more complex.

Thanks again for all the suggestions !!!


This is what the self-etching primer looks like:

Here is the matte black:

When you spray, do quick light coats.  You can even do 3-4 coats.  Wait 5-10 minutes before each coat to allow for initial drying.  If you spray too heavy of a coat, it will bubble and pit and you will not have a smooth finish.

If you have to paint top and bottom sides of a piece, wait 24 hours before turning and doing your multiple-coats on the bottom side.