How to Make Brown From a Gray Paint

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Things You'll Need

  • Palette

  • Gray paint

  • Yellow ochre paint

  • Thalo green paint

  • Burnt umber paint

  • Palette knife

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


Step 1

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

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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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