How to mix house paint and acrylic art paint.

mix colors to create a tint, shade or tone
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Create beautiful tints, 

tones and shades with 

leftover paint!

 I like to mix my own paint for small painting techniques because it offers me variety and saves me money at the same time. Using of a tube of artist’s paint and left-over house paint, I can create several hues. 


NOTE: Latex house paint and artist’s acrylic paints discussed in this tutorial are water-based and can be mixed. Do not substitute oil based paints in any of these instructions.  

It is important to interview a color before you start painting your furniture. It is impractical and expensive to buy a quart of paint every time you want to make a decision. I encourage you to use what you have. Most of us have left over latex paint in a garage or basement. 

Create your own color

 Chances are that if you have a particular color of paint on your walls, you already like it. With that leftover paint, you can create a “new-to-you” color; a tint, a shade, or a tone. 

The wall color you have available will be your main ingredient. Choose one artist’s acrylic color you love (from your favorite craft store). 

Buy high quality color if you can.

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  1.  paint; white, black, and the color of your choice (this can be any combination of latex house paint and artist’s acrylic paints) if you don’t have left over house-paint, you can substitute with a tube of artist’s acrylic color 
  2. water in a spray bottle  
  3. mixing sticks and measuring cups 
  4. brushes rags  
  5. paper and pen to write notes regarding your paint formula 
  6. scrap wood or paper to test your mixture 





Now that we have the main ingredients, let’s have some fun. I start by adding my acrylic artist’s paint to a container and spray water to help the paint dissolve easier, and mix well. Then add your second color and keep mixing. You can repeat the process adding color until you have your desired hue. Make sure you keep notes of the colors and make a sample in a piece of paper to be able to match later if you need too.

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Let’s start by supposing that you have left-over, white house paint. If you mix your white paint with any artist’s acrylic color to make it lighter, you are creating a pastel or a tint of the same color.


Begin by adding grey to the color of your choice, or your left-over paint. Create grey by mixing your black and white paints. Adding grey paint to your left-over or colored house paint, creates a tone.

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Assume you have left-over colored paint. If you add black acrylic artist’s paint to left-over, colored house paint, you are creating a darker shade of that color.

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Enjoy some guilt free color testing – you are recycling old house paint or unused art supplies and giving it a chance to see the light of day! Practice makes perfect when it comes to mixing color, so practice with what you have on hand. You now have a custom color that can be color-matched if you have a large project to paint. 


This is one in a series of painting tutorials, I hope you enjoy them all! 

Wet paint distress technique 

Learn to faux finish wood furniture quick & easy!

Mix paint colors

Create a tint, tone or shade using left over house paint.

Mix your own colored glaze – COMING SOON!

Save money and create your own colored glaze for faux finishes.

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