Try This: Use Photoshop to Visualize Color Changes

How to paint brick and stone (click through for tutorial) This past week I was talking on Snapchat and Instagram about how I couldn’t decide what color to repaint this trim in our sunroom. Mandi started texting me photoshopped versions of the room, and I have to say, it was REALLY helpful!

I pride myself in having a “good imagination”. I am typically pretty good at visualizing how colors will look, but this takes it to a whole new level!

TrimIt’s just a quick recolor and you can’t truly see how the new color would affect the color temperature in the space, but it’s still SO helpful to get a visual example that’s pretty close to how it would look!

On looking at these, I immediately knew the green and yellow were out (although another sunnier shade of yellow could still work) and that I’d rather see black than dark gray here.

The coral pink color felt surprisingly right to me, even though I’m not sure I’m ready to pull that plug.

Anyway—even though I still haven’t committed, I feel SO much closer to making that decision and really feel like these renderings helped me dodge a bullet on a few options!

Kitchen jasperKitchen jasperKitchen jasperKitchen jasperNext, Mandi made me a few examples of colors I am considering for our appliances too. I’ll wait to share which one I loved most (don’t wanna ruin the big reveal!), but when I saw these examples, I immediately knew which color was right for our space.

Wow! I mean…this is a total game changer!

From now on each time I have a major paint color decision, I’m going to use Photoshop before I even buy paint samples! Especially those really important/expensive choices like exterior paint colors.

If you’re a Photoshop pro, you already know how to do this. If you’re curious about learning Photoshop, we have a super in depth e-Course where you can learn this and so much more. And, who knows, maybe if enough of you are interested, Mandi wouldn’t mind teaching you to do quick paint recoloring jobs in Photoshop here on the blog? (Leave us a comment if you’d like to see that tutorial!)

Alrighty, I just had to share these because they were so incredibly helpful to me! xx. Elsie

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photoshop: Mandi Johnson. 

  • Hello ladies! I purchased the photoshop for bloggers and thought this tutorial might be in there … I desperately need it to change wall color and cabinetry color using Benjamin Moore / Sherwin Williams paints for my clients! I can’t wait to take the course, but did I miss the tutorial on these color changes? Can you help direct me?
    Love your blog!!!

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Yes, the lesson is called: use layer masks to change hair color and background colors

  • love photo shop but let’s talk about that light fixture. love, love, love. where did you get it?

  • A tutorial would be amazing! Seeing the colors makes all the difference. I can’t wait to see what color you pick for the stove.

  • Are you ordering your range in a color or painting it? If you are ordering it, would you mind sharing what brand it is? I am in the market for a colored range as well but everything is coming in pretty over budget!

  • This is an insanely helpful idea. I’ve been wanting to update my kitchen colour scheme for an age and I will totally be using this technique to make the colour decision!

  • I think the trim is perfect the way it is or the pink is my next fave! I also like the first color of the stove (pale soft green)

  • Would love that tutorial. I have an inkling of how I would do it, but I always love seeing other people’s Photoshop techniques because I’m like wow, the thing that takes me ten minutes takes you 30 seconds!

  • I’m a very basic PSE user and would love a quick tutorial on using PS to help with color choices for my home. Thanks so much for your blog. I love it!

  • Oh man, that mint stove/oven. Am so in love. I really hope you go with that colour!

  • Of course we would like to watch a tutorial video!!You see ,we are planning to move our kitchen to a different place inside the house cause where it is now I have a huuuuge window with a view to the aegean sea(i am lucky to live in Naxos island,Greece)and I want the living room there so as to take advantage of the light and the view of course…As you can understand there are going to be many changes and this tutorial will be really really helpfull!!!! Please uploaded ASAP. :p

  • I have recoloured a picture of a cardigan with Photoshop, because I was unsure in what colour to knit the next. Would love to see the tutorial here, because there are always many ways to get the job done in PS ☺
    And for the doors: I would go with that sunnier yellow!

  • Wow, I had no idea you could do that! I’ts a fabulous tool with the potential to save making huge and costly mistakes. I’d love a tutorial. Is it possible to do this in photoshop elements as I don’t have the full version of photoshop?

  • I got that Dulux visualiser too but couldn’t manage to use it properly! It was really weird!

  • Having visual color options to compare is enormously helpful. I’d definitely love a PS tutorial. (Also: I’m catching up on my favorite blogs and can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed Elsie’s home before/planning posts. Our own un-fun renovations are finally behind us and it’s super cool to read these while we dream up our own room makeovers.)

  • Right? It could be great, but it could also be kind of “Saved By The Bell”….
    xx- Elsie

  • I am surprised how much I like the coral pink too! It looks antique french in a way. I think it’s because those moldings and doors are so amazing. You could even tone it down to a more muted pink (or even cream!) if you were worried about it being too loud or beachy next to the teal floor. But bright seems to be more your style 🙂

  • Yes to the tutorial pls! and Im betting you are going to go with that pastel green at the top for your kitchen??
    daisy j

  • Such a great tool, i oftern do this for times when im not 100% sure on a chioce.


  • Oh, wow, I hope you chose the turquoise oven! That’s the one for me.
    I’d also choose the gray/ black option for the sunroom, that’ll make everything else pop more.
    I think I could do this in photoshop, but I also believe there is an easier way tham mine.. I’d love a tutorial!

  • For the kitchen I think the yellow!!! Usually I’d pick my fav color which is the first jadeite color stove…. but I really think the yellow brightens it up and is the right fit:)

  • I’d love to see a tutorial on recoloring! I’m going through many stages of obsessing right now over some home choices.

    Also, keep the blue trim.

  • When I was figuring out what art to put in my bedroom I also used photoshop rendering and it helped SO much. It showed me what prints worked in the space as well as giving me an idea of how to hang them — this was especially helpful with the arrangement of pieces above my bed! Totally a game changer. No more extra holes or guessing games!

    PS: I just really adore your blog. There are so many that I’ve read over the years and have eventfully just lost interest in, but I always (always!) come back to ABM. It’s also helping me get closer to finally pulling the trigger on moving to Nashville!

  • I’d love a color change tutorial! I can do it, but it’s not quick (thus, I’m not doing it the best way). I have Photoshop Elements so I’d love a mention for that if it’s different from the regular version! Thanks!

  • The coral pink is so unexpected, but it’s out of this world amazing. But man, I totally feel your hesitation. It’s a bold move, but the turquoise floor was as well, and it’s SO magical. 🙂

  • I loved the green on your porch! It looked sophisticated, but the placement on the Windows made it fun!

  • I love this! so nifty! and I’d have to say my favorite oven color is either the mint or the dark teal. super cute!

  • This, yes! I’ll be painting my 1906 Victorian next summer and am really struggling with visualizing what colors to use on all the flouffy trim!

  • this is such a neat trick! Please please please please please show us in a tutorial!

  • I think your right about the turquoise trim being to much turquoise. I think that dark grey looks fantastic tho. Black would be so stark.

  • wow! that is such a great idea! i also really love the white and gold kitchen, very beautiful

  • Brilliant! I can definitely use this for our future town home projects, would be perfect for planning. Please please do the tutorial. Thanks ladies! If you get a chance, I know you all are very busy, please take a look at my recent post on my blog Girl Nesting? It’s my room design I just completed in our new home! Very exciting, I think you may like it. I would love to work with you all someday – ha, just casually dropping that hint 😉

    Jahaila @ Girl Nesting

  • This is such a good idea! Never thought of that! Can’t wait to see which colour you choose!

  • It is so helpful indeed! I also have used this for creating patterns on walls before I paint them just to see how it looks! 🙂 Super handy tip!


  • Yes, I’d love the tutorial!! I never can get my re-coloring jobs to look as good as bloggers’.

  • A tutorial like that would be so awesome! Can’t wait to see what colors you choose!

  • That is so much fun! I feel like I would get carried away… Like, let’s try 17 different shades of pink on this one little table type of carried away.

  • Tutorial please!!! I was thinking of doing this to decide how to reprint my kitchen cabinets, and they way I know how to do it is really time consuming.

  • I’m thinking of biting the bullet and getting photoshop this year so I will need all the tutorials i can get! The quick paint chip switcheroo would be awesome to know how to do!

  • What a fun idea! I love the Tiffany’s blue with the white brick! So beautiful!
    xo dré

  • A blog tutorial would be awesome! I tried doing this in Photoshop for my parents. They are seriously stuck on the exterior colors of their house. (For a year now, no decisions!) Anyway, I couldn’t figure out how to do it THIS well. Yes for blog tutorial! 🙂

  • UM YES. Please! I need to figure out what color to paint my house, and having this tutorial would totally help me out!

  • Nuuuu, I love the mint color!!!! Don’t change it. T_T

    Julie |

  • I love the current color of the paint trim. I love anything turquoise (or whatever color you want to call it). I thought for sure you’d choose the yellow oven!

  • This is probably the coolest thing ever! I need to do this before any redecorating now!


  • Wow! Great idea. I would also love to see the tutorial. I like the pink exterior and teal oven!

  • This is amazing!!! I can’t believe how much the look of space changes with the different colors; I am going to have to photograph my whole house now. 🙂

  • Ooh, I’d love to know! Especially because she kept the highlights and shadows in the colors somehow on those door pics! Have loved following along with your reno progress. 🙂 🙂

  • yes on the tutorial!
    the pink trim is awesome, but black would be great too! cant go wrong wth black and white.

  • Go with the coral! I had all the same feelings as you about the others..and the coral is so beautiful. DO IT. 😉

  • I once did this when my father wanted to have his Vespa repainted and we tried out which colour would fit best. But now that you’ve posted this I am thinking about using this technique on my new apartment. I am sure this will make things so much easier! Thank you for sharing!

  • I agree! I love it! I assumed that was the new colour when i first opened the article.

    I’d love a photoshop tutorial. I’ve been trying out the ‘Dulux Visualiser’ app on my phone (UK only?). You take photo of your room and it lets you paint the walls in every colour imaginable.

  • How helpful! I find myself having such a hard time visualizing what a color will look like in the grand scheme and I often get it wrong. But this is a great idea!

  • Hi Alex,
    Yes- it is a special kind of paint. I’ll explain it all in my upcoming DIY! :))
    xx- Elsie

  • That’s a great idea. I do have a question on the kitchen stove. How exactly do you paint that? Is there a special kind of paint? Or do you use some sort of stick on? Thanks!

  • Hey Bree,
    The mint in the sunroom IS paint. I am considering repainting it though, because my photos are turning out very blue AND now that the deep turquoise living room floor is in (the next room over) I worry it’s too much teal.
    But I haven’t decided for sure, so these photoshop rendering definitely help. 🙂
    xx- Elsie

  • Great! I’d love to see the tutorial…it’s really helpfull!

  • I actually haven’t ordered the paint yet, but I’m leaning in that direction. 🙂
    xx- Elsie

  • You’re going to love it! Sarah does an excellent job of teaching in that class!
    xx- Elsie

  • Oh, yes!! I would LOVE that kind of tutorial!! …Pretty please, with a cherry on top??? 😉

  • No way, I thought you had painted the turqoise and it was there to stay. I love it the most personally. But somehow, anything you transform turns to magic so I’m sure it’ll be beautiful.

  • A tutorial would be very very welcome, pretty please! Sometimes an image can make SUCH a difference in our planning. It helps us visualize things better!

  • I would love a tutorial too. I thought this was so cool on snapchat and can’t wait to know how to do it for my own space! Thanks!

  • I did the same thing here when I wanted to figure out colors and built-ins in our living room.
    It made it so much easier to decide. Love Photoshop!

  • YES PLEASE to the blog tutorial!!!
    (something tells me that you went with the first option for the oven, am I right?) 🙂

  • I like the color the trim is now! It looks so nice in the photo against the white.
    I also like the stainless steal stove/oven. Curious to see what you’ll decide. 🙂

  • I would love to see that tutorial! I actually just started the ABM photoshop class this morning and I am so excited to get into it!

    I can’t wait to see what color you choose for this room. I am loving getting to see your process.

  • I use photoshop for stuff like this all the time! Whether I’m painting something or dyeing my hair – it’s so helpful!

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