How to make purple paint... and other colours you can mix yourself

Making your own paint at home will bring an extra splash of colour to your and your kids' lives right now, whether you're decorating or painting pictures

How to make purple paint at home
(Image credit: Unsplash)

Did you know that 'how to make purple paint' (and other colours) has been trending on Google for the past couple of weeks? Not as random as you'd think: time spent at home means kids' art and adult DIY projects have just got real. Luckily, we've got the low down on how to mix paint to get your perfect colour.

So, whether you're looking to refresh your woodwork with a warm brown, relax your bedroom with a subtle mauve or jazz up your bathroom with a teal feature wall, we know exactly how to achieve each colour. You will need white, black, red, yellow and blue paints to get just about any shade you like.

More paint-related know-how on our hub page. And find all our DIY projects in one place, too.

How to make purple paint

Purple is the colour of luxury, nobility, power and energy so we're kind of loving the idea of using a tonne of it during isolation to give ourselves that royal boost we need right now!

How to make purple paint

(Image credit: Conor Quinn)

1. Mix together equal parts red and blue. 

2. Add more blue and some white to make a lilac. 

How to make brown paint

Learning how to make brown is important because there are so many different variations of it and it's a mixture of all three primary colours.

How to make brown paint

(Image credit: Conor Quinn)

1. Mix blue, yellow and red with a paint brush.

2. Sample this colour on a piece of paper. 

3. If it's too red, add more blue and yellow. If it's too blue, add more yellow and red. If it's too yellow, add more red and blue. The key is to experiment with neutralising your brown to get the colour you want. 

4. Add black or white to tone down the brightness of the colour and make it darker or lighter. 

How to make pink paint

Pink is just one of those colours that pops and you hardly have to use any of your primary colours to achieve it. A drop of red in a pool of white will still give you a candy floss pink.

How to make pink paint

(Image credit: Conor Quinn )

How to make a bubblegum pink paint:

1. Mix four parts white with one part red. 

2. Add more red to get a deeper colour. Add more white to make it lighter. 

How to make a salmon pink paint:

1. Mix three parts white with one part red.

2. Add one part yellow and mix. 

3. Add a little white to tone it down to more of a cooked salmon.

How to make fuchsia pink paint:

1. Mix together three parts red with one part white

2. Add a drop of blue 

How to make orange paint 

Orange is the colour of sunshine and all things summery. While we're stuck indoors, adding a splash of orange and yellow to your paintings, art projects and even interiors can be a way to brighten up your day. The secret ingredient to warm orange paints is sticking to combinations of red and yellow. 

How to make orange paint

(Image credit: Conor Quinn)

1. Mix equal parts red and yellow. 

2. Add more red for a bolder orange. 

How to make green paint

Green is the colour of nature and health. When your kids are painting landscapes, green paint will often be the basis of their palette. For turquoise oceans just add more blue, for fields of green, think more parts yellow. 

How to make green paint

(Image credit: Conor Quinn)

1. Mix together equal parts yellow and blue. 

2. Add more blue for turquoise and more yellow for a chartreuse. 

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Niamh is a freelance journalist and the Head of Content at Raft Furniture. She is obsessed with all things interior design, with a particular focus on sustainability and city-dweller style. The wooden floorboards and built-in bookcase in Niamh’s rented North London home occupy her daydreams between writing, and after work, she has a knack for finding cheap plane tickets.