How to Mix Tan Paint

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Things You'll Need

  • Paintbrushes

  • White paint

  • Brown paint

  • Black paint

  • Red paint

  • Yellow paint

  • Mixing dish

  • Clean water

Tan is a difficult shade to achieve, particularly when trying to match flesh tones

Tan is a useful shade of paint to have, particularly if you're trying to match those always elusive flesh tones. Although you can find premixed tan paint in art supply stores, it's better to mix your own to get the exact shade of tan needed for a painting project. Tan can be mixed from white, brown, yellow and red, all in various amounts depending on the shade of tan you're aiming to create.


Step 1

Place a large amount of white paint onto your mixing dish. When mixing colors, it's important to start with the lightest shade available and go darker. You can go dark to light, but it takes significantly more white to lighten a shade than it does dark paint to darken one.

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Step 2

Wash the white paint off your paintbrush, or grab a new one, and add a small amount of brown to the white. Mix it in thoroughly, and compare it to the shade of tan you're aiming for.

Step 3

Add a touch of red paint for a darker, more earthy tone, or a touch of yellow for a paler shade. Wash your paintbrush off in between colors, and mix thoroughly every time.

Step 4

Add more white if the color is become too dark, or more brown for a darker shade. Continue adding in red and yellow paint in increments as you approach the correct shade of tan.


Step 5

Add a small amount of black to really darken the shade of tan, but use it sparingly.

Step 6

Thoroughly mix the paint once you've achieved the correct shade of tan. Apply the tan paint.


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