How to Mix One Step Paint and Create Your Own Custom Colors

Hi all…

I have a very informative blog post for you this week on how to mix One Step paint to create your own custom colors, but first…

Next week I’m traveling to Austin, Texas again to teach Amy Howard at Home paint classes with my beautiful and talented friend, Mari Johnson of Back Home Living.

Iphone download 220

I met Mari during our Amy Howard retailer training in Memphis last year and it was one of those instantaneous, can’t stop talking and laughing heart connections.  Then I figured out that she has design talent oozing out of her pores and experienced first-hand what a gracious, kind and giving person she is.  So I kind of stumbled all over myself back in the fall when she offered to fly me to Austin if I would launch the paint workshops for her store.

Her invitation was probably a guise to drink margaritas together, but whatev, we painted too.  And the women I met?  You Austin ladies are so loving and welcoming, it felt like home.

This time, we’re taking a trip to Round Top while I’m there.  (I can just cross that off my bucket list, thank you very much, Mari!)  Hopefully I’ll remember to take lots of pictures while I’m there to share with you guys.


Now onto the tutorial.

Last week I sent out an email to my subscribers asking them to share with me their sticking points when it comes to refinishing furniture and I got some great feedback.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond!  All of your ideas are helping me develop my online classes and video tutorials.

I have a client who has been asking me about mixing paint colors for awhile, so I finally decided to sit down and explain how easy it is to come up with your own custom colors.  Here we go!

You will need:

  • wax paper or other non-porous surface
  • artists brush
  • paint
  • color wheel such as this one: Creative Color Wheel

Think back to elementary school when you first discovered that red, yellow and blue were primary colors (they were the God of colors…they existed in the beginning and without them no color was made that was made).

Remember swirling red and yellow together and creating orange for the first time? 

I so do. 

Out of those primary colors you learned you could create orange, purple and green.  Now if you look at a color wheel, you will see that the primary (red, yellow and blue) and secondary (green, orange and purple) colors are all spaced out and opposite each other. This is important, because further mixing of opposite colors will just make muddy browns. Instead you want to pick two or three colors that fall next to each other on the wheel.

Let’s say you wanted to create a coral color. Playing around with orange, red and yellow will give you that color.

So let’s try it.  Grab your small artists brush and use the wax paper or other non-porous surface (don’t use a paper plate) to mix.  I might try 2 parts orange, 1 part red and 1 part yellow.  (A “part” is whatever blob ends up on the tip of my brush.)

This coral color was created by mixing equal parts Charm School (red), Massey Hill (orange) and Table for One (bright pink). All colors that sit snugly next to each other on the color wheel.


What about an airy vintage green? This color was created with equal parts Tick Tock (blue/green) and Palm Beach (bright yellow).

vintage green

Let’s do one more. This one is American Dream (cobalt blue) and Get in Gear (bright green) and the result is a color just shy of navy.


What about white and black? Think of adding white and black as adding or subtracting light to your color. White will strip away the intensity (think of adding light so that it gets washed out) and black can create a very muddy tone (think of black as adding darkness so that the color diminishes). Only add white or black once you are happy with the hue you’ve created from mixing your colors next to each other on the color wheel.

And that’s it folks! Get yourself a color wheel and have fun mixing colors!

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  1. We are so excited to have you join us again! Your classes are amazing!!!!

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