puzzle piece

Click to solve our online jigsaw puzzles!

puzzle piece

How Do I Tone Down Orange Paint if What I Bought Is Too Bright?

Tone down a bright orange color before you paint.
Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Things You'll Need:

  • Paint brushes
  • Plastic bowls
  • Black paint
  • Blue paint
  • Paint stick
  • 5-gallon bucket


Pour some orange paint into a another container just in case you darken the paint too much. You can add it back in to lighten up.

You decide on a vibrant, bold paint color for a room in your home. It looks perfect on the paint sample at the store and when the salesman shows you the paint before he seals it up, you enthusiastically say that yes, that is exactly what you want. Then, when you get home and start to paint that room, you instantly begin to wonder what in the world you were thinking. Bright orange? Don't fret. You can tone down and darken that orange paint, so you can enjoy your room with its new paint color rather than have regrets.

Pour about a 1/2 cup of the orange paint into two plastic bowls. Have a tube or quart-size can of black paint and blue paint on hand. In general, you can darken paint with either black or the color's complementary color. Blue is the complement of orange on the color wheel.

Add 1 tbsp. of black paint to one orange bowl of paint to make it darker. Mix well with a small paint brush. Add 1 tbsp. of blue to the other orange bowl of paint and mix well with another paint brush.

Decide if you prefer the way the orange is darkening with the blue or with the black. Black will darken the shade of the orange. Blue, though, will darken it without changing the quality and value of the orange.

Continue to darken with either the orange and blue paint or the orange and black paint. Add more blue/black or orange to the plate until you have a sample of the color orange you prefer. Keep track of the amount of paint you are adding.

Mix in the blue or black into the large can of orange paint you have, using the same ratio as in your sample. Vigorously mix with a paint stick as you go along. If you have more than one can of orange paint, pour the cans in to a 5-gallon bucket and add the blue/black in there since it will be near impossible to create more than one can of the same exact color.

Our Passtimes