How to Make Brown From a Gray Paint

Creating brown paint is a simple process. Usually it entails mixing red, yellow and a touch of blue. You can also make brown by mixing gray with a primary color and two secondary colors from the color wheel. When these three colors mix, you get a darker brown that's handy in painting areas that are shadowed or in less light than the rest of the painting.

Gray, yellow ochre, thalo green and burnt umber paint can be mixed to create brown paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Palette

  • Gray paint

  • Yellow ochre paint

  • Thalo green paint

  • Burnt umber paint

  • Palette knife

Step 1

Squirt one pea-sized amount of yellow ochre, thalo green and burnt umber paint onto your palette.

Step 2

Mix the colors together with your palette knife.

Step 3

Add a half pea-sized amount of gray to the mixture.

Step 4

Mix the gray into the paint with your palette knife.


Use less gray to lighten the brown. Use more gray to darken the brown.


If you are using oil-based paints always ventilate your work area.

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