Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to use Photoshop to play with wall color

Need a paint preview prior to taping and edging and rolling?  I can piddle around on Photoshop for hours changing up colors and accessories.  Don't know how?  I can help.  You can click on any of the tutorial photos for a larger screen shot.
Open your room photo in Photoshop.  I want to select that back wall behind the new storage bench.  Go to the left hand vertical tool bar and click the select tool (it looks like a magic wand).  Above the magic wand in the top horizontal tool bar, make sure you are on the "plus" tool.  You can still select if it is on the "negative" tool, but it seems to select more of the right area when I start with the positive.  Move your magic wand to the area you would like to select (for this photo, just the chocolate colored back wall).
 If your magic wand goes crazy and selects area you don't want to include, click the negative select tool and click those areas until they are no longer highlighted.  You may need to toggle back and forth between (+) and (-) to add select areas and deselect areas.
Once you have your intended area selected, go over to the left side vertical tool bar and click on the paint brush.  Then scroll down further to where you see 2 offset boxes.  Click the top box to open the color picker.  Select a color and click OK.
If your paint brush size is 5, it will take a very long time to paint that wall.  In the upper left corner of the top horizontal tool box, there is a brush size drop down box.  Chose a big number and then move your paint brush to the selected area.  Click to add color- your brush will stay within the lines.
We're finished painting the turquoise wall, but it is still selected with moving dotted lines around the boundaries.  To "deselect", go to the select tab at the top of the screen and scroll down to "Deselect".  The moving boundaries should disappear.
 For this wall, I want to see what it would look like to build a photo ledge.  Step 1:  Left vertical tool bar select that rectangle shape.  Step 2:  select your desired shelf color.  Step 3:  click where you'd like to start the shelf (i.e. I started just left to the left hand corner of the wall.  If you start flush with the wall, your shelf will not have depth.  I extended the shelf to the right with the mouse button still held down and then dragged the shelf down enough to give it thickness) and drag your mouse to your desired end point.  Release mouse button.  Hover near your shelf until you see a curved line with arrows on either end.  This will rotate your shelf.  You want to rotate or "tilt" the right hand corner up just enough to stay within perspective of the room.  Step 4:  click the black arrow at the top of the left hand vertical tool bar to apply your changes to the shelf.  If you don't do this step, you'll be stuck because Photoshop won't let you move on until you apply or don't apply.
If your photo angle is straight on, your shelf perspective won't matter, but for the angle photoed, this is what your shelf will look like if you don't tilt it into perspective.  It doesn't have to be exact perspective, just eyeball it.  Top half of the photo tilts up from left to right.   Bottom half of the photo (let's say you're adding a desk) tilts down from left to right.
Alright, we've added a shelf, now I want to paint a second color above the shelf.  You can go back to your magic wand to select the turquoise section, or your can go to the top Select tab and scroll down to "color range".
Using the dropper, select the area of the photo with the color you would like to select.  I clicked in the middle of the turquoise area.   Color range selects all of the color that same shade.
WIth my turquoise wall selected again, I am going to chose the brush tool and select lime green.
Move your paint brush over the area and paint the wall above the shelf.  Well done.
Not vibing with the bright colors?  Go back to the Select tab, scroll down to color range and select the turquoise again.  Chose the paint brush and a new color and repaint.
 You can also Photoshop a stencil to make sure it's the look you'd like to achieve.
I've been contemplating the allover birch stencil from CuttingEdgeStencils for a while now.  I'm not sure if I'm sold on the repetitive pattern, but I still like the birch look...especially against the chocolate brown background.
Now how do I get Photoshop to do the actual painting and clean up?


  1. I never thought to use photoshop to try different wall colors. Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. So smart. I never thought to do that. I love the birch stencil on the chocolate wall BTW.



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