Replace a Color

Easy way to replace one color with another and have lots of fun while doing it with.

Tutorial Comments

  1. ikir

    Awesome and simple 🙂

  2. Marco

    Very useful! Thanks

  3. Mark

    Is there an easier way to specify the target colour? sliders can be very imprecise

  4. Ausra

    @Mark, you can select colors with any of the selection tools.

  5. Stan Dubin

    Just purchased your product and now watching your tutorials. So far, so very good!

  6. Doug

    Love the wheel! Cool.

  7. nina

    omg! best thing ever! I’ve been trying to change the colors of my pictures ever since i got pixelmator 🙂

  8. Thomas Wilkinson

    Is there any way to specify the replacement colour? Not the colour that you are selecting to be replaced but the colour you would like that colour to be replaced with. I don’t find the colour wheel is easy enough to match to the colours that I want added in.

  9. Ausra


    You can try a different workflow. First, select an area using any of the selection tools, then use the Fill dialog to fill with a particular color.

  10. Vlaadimir


    I want to check out how my bike will look like if I paint fuel tank the same color as frame. So i need to replace color of tank (red) with color of the frame (goldish).

    Can’t get the desired color with the wheel of color replacement. With fill dialog I get tank painted with 1 solid color, with no semitones or shadows – result is like drawing a shape and filling it with one color.

    Is there any way to solve this issue? ( in PS you can change color and its tones, for ex change color of car from blue to red)


  11. Alfons

    I love this!

    Just bought Pixelmator based on hearsay about how nice and efficient its UI is supposed to be. No I find a new knack on functions (like this or dragging the paint bucket for tolerance).

    Thanks for this great and affordable image editor!

  12. Michelle

    How do you get to the effects browser?

  13. Ausra

    @Michelle, here is a quick video about the Effects Browser:

  14. Thomas

    Is there a way to choose exactly the replacement color? (other than with the wheel)

  15. Michael

    I have tried with two different images to replace black with another color and have not been successful. I am new to this kind of software. Any tips?

  16. jcdejong

    @Ausra I don’t get what you mean by that. As @Mark I think I want to accomplish the same thing.
    I want to replace #2384b9 with #FF9900, but can’t select a color even close to #ff9900 whit the slider…

  17. Ausra

    @jcdejong, you can replace solid colors using other tools, such as Fill or the Paint Bucket Tool. You can pick specific color in the Colors palette.

  18. bgreens

    @Ausra It appears that you have the most knowledge on the issues related to having more control for the destination color. As @Vladdimir points out, simply selecting a color and using fill just replaces a single color with a single color. The replace tool is useful for it selection of the main color as well as scattered tones and hues. The question then is whether there is a selection method that replicates the range of colors selected during the color replace functionality and then to fill/replace that range with a range around a single color. From everything I’ve seen this does not seem to be possible in Pixelmator.

    The odd thing is that it is not clear why the replace functionality is based on a color wheel and not just hexidecimal input.

  19. Ausra

    @bgreens, the Replace Color Tool is designed that way at this moment, however, the feedback is noted and we’ll see how we can improve it.

  20. Tommy

    The Pixelmator can do the same thinks so the Adobe Photoshop!!!

    It’s great!!!

  21. Mali Deshan Currington

    I noticed that the replace color tool does not work when the color you want to change “from” is black.

  22. Ausra

    @Mali, try adjusting the Saturation and Lightness sliders. It should work then.

  23. Dee

    I’m trying to replace white with black and can’t seem to get this to work – what am I doing wrong? In fact I can’t get any colour to replace – is it something to do with layers??

  24. Ausra

    @Dee, yes it might due to layers. Have you checked if the selected layer contains the image where you try replacing color?

  25. Torg

    I want to do about the reverse of this. I have a photograph and I want to have it on a background that matches the color of something in the photo.

    For example, let’s say there is a red hat. I want to have the picture with the red hat on a background that matches the red hat. I feel like the eye dropper tool might be needed. Suggestions?

  26. Cemlyn


    Love the software. Getting to grips with it. Hit a snag. On the Replace Colour I can’t get the colour I want. For example on most of my photos I can’t get a white for the replacement. I can select a colour, adjust how much is to be replaced and then turn the colour wheel but I cannot select the colour I want, in this example white. Am I missing something?

  27. Ausra

    @Cemlyn, try adjusting the Saturation and Lightness sliders for more colors.

  28. JD

    This feature is terrible. This is the one thing about Pixelmator that I hate. I have a very small line that is black that I need to be blue. There are a lot of black areas on the image. Layers don’t seem to work. Other paint programs have it down:

    1. Select color to replace with one click
    2. Select color you want it to be with another click
    3. Adjust how exact you want the color to be exchanged
    4. Paint over the top of the image… as you go, the color is replaced. If its not working, you can re-adjust how exact you want it.

    This has always worked much better. I have to use multiple paint programs because Pixelmator has to do it their own way.. and its a way I’ve never found a use for.

  29. Jez Fernandez

    I’ve been trying to replace colours with a specific colour, and this tutorial doesn’t show you the best way. Like many others, I’m a Mac/design novice and learning a lot of stuff as I go!

    I had an icon of some footsteps, which were in an orange-brown colour. I wanted to recolour these to the palette we use for Leadership & Management (a specific shade of green). I clicked on the Paint Bucket (Fill) tool and then used the normal colour selector, in which my shade of green is already stored. Having selected the green I wanted, I then chose the Colourize effects option. Hey presto, my footsteps changed to the right shade of green! This, I think, is the best tool to use if you want to colourise to a specific colour.

    I should add that my footsteps were on a white background, so I’m not sure if that helped make the process easier.

    Hope that helps.

  30. Caleb

    +1 for being able to replace with a specific color. That’s absolutely necessary in my workflow and I can’t use Pixelmator because of it…the fill bucket is not the same thing!

  31. Simon Gardener

    Count me in as another in the “Needs to substitute a specified colour” camp. Nice product – can’t use for this tool though. Looking forward to the next version with fingers crossed.

  32. Kayla

    So basic, yet so stunning! Love it, thanks for sharing!!

  33. Flemming

    I also add a vote for being able to specify the replacement color and only affect a small part of the image. I like the workflow that JD describes, that would also help me accomplish my task.

  34. Remco

    Again, no video here, but can be seen here:

  35. Don Morris

    I agree, the color wheel is nearly useless for replacing colors because there is no precision in selecting a color. It would be so convenient to select a base replacement color that would take on the intensity/saturation/lightness (I don’t know which) of the target color(s).

    And, no, the video on this page isn’t working.

  36. Leon

    Really useless if cannot replace with a color which can be drop selected.

  37. Gianfranco Cecconi

    The video does not work in either Safari or Chrome in MacOS Mavericks

  38. Arnold

    one problem i have, changing the colour you cannot choose a specific colour code. I need this so I can consistently use the same colour. Is there a way to do this?

  39. Russell

    I agree with the other comments, the ability to specify the replacement color exactly, rather than a wheel would be a superb improvement.

  40. BluesBrother

    A major shortcoming of this feature (IMO) is that it can’t be used to change the colors black (0,0,0) or white (255,255,255). There’s no error message if you attempt to do this; it just doesn’t do anything, leaving you to wonder why it isn’t working. As an example of where you might want to do this, suppose you want to change the “ink” color or a scanned black signature on a white background to some other color, such as blue.

  41. David Bombardier

    FIVE YEARS of people pleading here to be able to specify the destination color, and nothing from Pixelmator. Thanks for nothing. This is not professional grade software.

  42. Jennifer

    For some reason it won’t work for me. 🙁

  43. William

    Same here, the feature is unusable as long as we cannot pick a specific color… : (

  44. mau lopez

    Impressive and powerful. I’m just watching all the tutorial in order, and I am very impressed with the power and usability of Pixelmator, completely Mac style ! Love it !

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