Vandercook Restoration

Good morning!

I’m about to finally start restoring the SP-15 that was bought several months ago. This press is in need of a complete overhaul and lots of love. My question for the discussion board: does anyone know what color “grey” these were originally painted? I’d like to do my best to make it look original.


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The Vandercook catalogs called it “machine tool gray.” The original formula is not available. You could take a part, such as one of the bumper stops to a paint store to match. Some people have simply used Rustoleum smoke gray. For Vandercook specific questions visit:

Paul is correct. I have not found a specific color reference in the Vandercook files that could be related to a contemporary paint color or even manufacturer.

Thank you both for the responses. And I’m definitely certain that I’ll spend time on your site Paul.

Greg - I, too, have chosen “Smoke Gray” as the my basic gray for restoration work. I think that after WWII, there was a lot of war surplus “Battleship Gray” paint available at good prices and have always felt that it was the most common gray paint available - and used for a lot of machinery - throughout the 50’s.

Even if you had formula specs for the original factory color they would be useless now. Color systems change every few years. All you can do is take a part to a paint store and ask them to match it.