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How to Custom Mix Your Own Paint Colors

Have you ever wanted to paint your living room and  you pick what you think is the perfect paint color? Then you get it on the wall and as it dries you realize it’s slightly too dark, too blue or something is off? Do you wish you could add just a little something to your paint and  you have  a certain picture of a color in your mind for your paint project and you just can’t seem to find it on the paint deck? You can custom mix the perfect paint for painting walls with just a few simple steps…. and I wanted to share with you how to custom mix your own paint colors!
Patine 1195 pink paint Benajmin moore

First be brave and be ready to experiment and be patient all at once! You can do your own custom mixes of paint colors with just a few simple steps. Mixing your own custom color allows you to not only pick you own hues, but personalize your space, and saves you from buying gallons of paint you hate.
Dark green paint mix your own paint colors a can of paint and brush

The best part is you are going to use sample cans of paint, no color theory knowledge needed!  The paint finishes you pick can effect the look of the paint by being more reflective and appearing even a little lighter or darker so use the sheen you want to end up with to mix your custom color and don’t mix sheens of paint. You can do this for both  interior paint and exterior paint to get the perfect custom color.


Custom color paint shades applies to a cabinet door
To mix a custom color, pick the main color of paint shade closest to the one you want to achieve. I use sample cans from the paint store. Also buy a can of black paint, a can of white paint. And then trust your gut. If you look at the color and you wish the color was just a tad more “green or yellow” buy those colors as well. You can also do this with artist paint, but it’s actually cheaper with paint samples in many cases.
Mixing paint colors with black paint

Begin mixing your custom paint color by adding about a 1/2 cup of the main base color into a small plastic cup.  Slowly add the color in small increments you would like to add. If you want it darker, a little black, lighter some white. Try to add it in measurable teaspoons at a time and keep track.


Use paint sticks to make this DIY gem and mineral chart
When you think you have the color you want,  you’ll want to paint it on a surface to dry and make sure. The trick to making your own custom blends  of paint colors is to paint the color on a primed piece of wood  (like a paint stir stick) and let it dry completely. The primed surface is really important. If you don’t and just paint it on raw wood, some of the pigment can be sucked into the wood and won’t render true on a color match, the primer helps the color sit on the surface where it should be.
Benjamin Moore Pink paint color

You might wonder… does paint dry darker or lighter? Paint typically dries darker on a surface which is why it’s important to always let your paint dry before judging the color.

Simply white paint

Once the custom paint color is dry

After mixing, label them clearly  in a baby food or small jar  with a lid while you are waiting for the paint to dry.
Mark it clearly on the surface so you remember which paint is which. There’s nothing like finally getting the right color and then realizing you don’t know which container it is.
Then happily take your dried, newly mixed painted paint stick to the paint store or home improvement store of choice and ask them to color match it. For a big project, have a new sample can mixed of the new color and take it home to see how it looks in your lighting at home to make sure it’s exactly how you want it before committing to a lot of paint!
You can custom mix your own paint colors

Once you know your custom mixed paint color  is THE color, make sure you have enough mixed in the same batch to ensure enough coverage and for touch ups later.

Paint in a muffin tin for easy painting
You can also use this technique with existing paint and cans in the “oops” section of the paint store. If you happen to have old paint hanging around that you want to reuse that’s still in good condition, consider mixing it into a new shade! This is where mixing it small, and keeping track of your proportions is important to mix it on a bigger scale so an entire gallon isn’t ruined. I’ve actually done that and learned the hard way!
Now have fun and go paint! If you liked this post, check out how we made over our guest bathroom with paint.

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  1. Wonderful idea. I have never tried to mix my own paint but I am doing my kitchen/living room in the spring and I am really indecisive about colors. I have a ton of windows so I need to look at the paint for a few days. Do you know which brands carry the samples?


  2. I came by this idea on my own last night and was wondering if I had made a horrible mistake but it worked amazingly =D I have a coffee table I found on the side of the road that I am turning into a car table for my son and all I had on hand was a can of beige touch up paint. So I grabbed my blue acrylic paint and mixed it with half of the touch up can, and it worked great! I had to use a good 80% of the bottle to get the colour I wanted, but I did it again with lime green and love it and it would only cost under ten dollars to buy all this stuff new!

  3. Does your statement about stolen content refer to reading it on Bloglovin?

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