How to Mix Paints to Achieve a Color

If you need a specific color of paint for a project, rather than purchasing a new can of paint, you can mix similar types of paint together to achieve the color you need. You can stretch paints this way and save money. You should always mix similar types of paint: oil paint with other oil paints, latex paint with other latex paints and acrylic paint with other acrylic paints. Also keep in mind that the color you mix may not match exactly, but you may be able to mimic the color you need.

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Step 1

Select a color on the color chart that you want to achieve.

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Step 2

Select a base paint color similar to the color you want to achieve. If you do not have the color you need, start with white paint.

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Step 3

Lighten a paint color by mixing in white paint. Pour the white into the existing paint, stirring it constantly with a paint stick until you achieve the level of lightness that you need. It may take quite a bit of white paint to lighten your paint.

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Step 4

Darken paint by adding some gray or black paint to it. Black should be used when trying to darken a deeper color, and gray for lighter colors. Stir the paints together with the paint stick until you get the desired tone.

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Step 5

Intensify a paint color by adding more of the base color. If you are trying to liven up a tan paint, try adding more orange or yellow to it. To brighten a pale blue, add more blue.

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Step 6

Decrease the intensity or tone down a paint color by adding its opposite color to it. This would be a color on the color wheel that sits directly across from it.

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Step 7

Alter the hue of a color by adding warm or cool tones. Yellow added to green will create a warm hue; blue added to green will create a cool hue.