How to Tint Latex Paint at Home 


Last updated: September 12, 2023

Learn How to Tint Latex Paint at Home in This Comprehensive Painters’ Guide!

How to tint latex paint at home.

How many times have you gone to the paint store to buy paint, but they didn’t have the exact color you wanted? Maybe they had the same color but in a different shade.

Well, did you know you can still buy a different shade of paint and tint it to achieve your desired color?

Tinting is a simple process you can do at home to make your latex paint have a lighter color.

In this blog post, we explore how to tint latex paint at home and the steps you can follow to achieve your desired custom color.

How Can I Tint Latex Paint at Home? 

You can tint latex paint at home by mixing your base paint of choice with colorant, a pigment, white latex paint, or another lighter-colored latex paint. Gradually add the tinting material in small portions into the base paint while stirring thoroughly to achieve your desired hue.

What Can I Add to Tint Latex Paint? 

Wondering what to add to your latex paint to make it lighter? Here are some of the most effective materials you can use to tint latex paint and give it a lighter appearance:

1. Coloring Pigment 

Coloring pigment comes in either powdered form or liquid form as pre-made concentrates. 

They come in a wide range of colors that can be mixed with latex paint to achieve the desired color alteration. 

When mixing the two, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions properly to achieve the right pigment-to-paint ratio. 

2. Colorant 

Some paint manufacturers mix up different paint additives to form colorants, which are packaged in liquid or cream form. 

These colorants can help you tint you latex paint at home. 

By adding them in small quantities, you can tint your latex paint to achieve varying hues with precise consistency and accuracy.

3. A lighter-shade paint 

Another effective way to tint dark latex paint is by adding lighter latex paint to it.

By mixing with a lighter-shade paint, you can create pastel hues or achieve minor color variations while maintaining the sheen and quality of your original paint. 

4. White paint 

Adding white paint is certainly the best and cheapest way to tint latex paint. 

Depending on the shade of your original paint, add small quantities of white paint gradually wile stirring until you get your hue of choice.

This method can help you achieve brighter shades while maintain the smoothness of your original paint. 

How to Tint Latex Paint at Home 

Are you ready to start tinting your latex paint at home? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to go about it to get the exact color you need.

What you’ll need (Tools and materials):

  • Latex paint.
  • Tinting colorants (grey)
  • White paint.
  • Paint stirring stick.
  • Measuring cup.
  • Paint tray.
  • Paintbrush/roller.
  • Gloves


Step 1: Prepare your workspace 

Before you start tinting, you need to prepare your workspace.

Your workspace should be a well-ventilated area and with good airflow to avoid suffocation from paint fumes.

Also, lay down old newspapers or tack cloths on the ground to protect the work area from any paint spillages.

Step 2: Measure the colorant 

Using the measuring cup, measure a small amount of the grey colorant enough to tint the base paint. 

Follow the manufacturer instructions on the recommended mix ratio and confirm the color against your color wheel. 

Step 3: Add a white paint tint

To achieve a much lighter shade, add a small amount of white color paint to the darker shade gradually while stirring. 

This will also help to balance the colorant and paint, making it easier to achieve the desired hue. 

Step 4: Add colorant 

Add the measured colorant gradually to the base latex paint while stirring vigorously using the stirring stick.

Continue stirring until you achieve a uniform consistency and the desired color.

Step 5: Apply base paint on the surface 

To ensure consistency of the background, apply a coat of the base color on the surface you’ll be painting. Give it enough time to dry completely.

This will ensure your entire surface has a consistent color at the end of the painting job.

Step 6: Paint with tinted latex paint 

After applying the base color and letting the paint dry, its now time to apply your tinted latex paint.

Using the paintbrush or roller, apply thin layers of the tinted paint evenly on your surface and let each coat dry completely before applying successive coats

Step 7: Store the remaining paint properly 

In case some of the tinted paint remains after painting, you should keep it properly for your next project.

Seal the paint container tightly and label it appropriately. 

Store the sealed extra paint in a cool, dry place away from extreme weather conditions like rain and direct sunlight.

How to tint latex paint at home

Other Methods of Tinting Latex Paint 

Maybe you cant access any of the materials mentioned above or your just need more alternatives. 

Here are some more reasonable ways you can use to make your latex paint lighter:

  • Using Rit dye: Mix Rit dye with a small amount of water and stir to achieve a consistent paste. 

Add the paste in small portions to your latex paint while stirring thoroughly until you achieve the desired hue. 

Note that the resultant color is not durable and will fade off over time 

  • Natural ingredients: Natural ingredients like turmeric can also act as pigments to tint paint. 

However, the resultant color may not be the exact hue compared to those produced by commercial pigments. 

Can you tint latex paint with acrylic paint?

Yes, you can use acrylic paint to tint latex paint by following these simple steps. 

  • Squeeze a small amount of acrylic paint from the tube into a cup.
  • Add a small amount of water to the acrylic paint to make it more liquid and softer.
  • Gradually add the acrylic paste to your latex paint in a container while stirring thoroughly until you get the right paint color

Acrylic paint also helps to adjust the consistency and texture of your latex paint, giving your paint jobs a smoother finish.

Can you tint latex paint with oil paint? 

No, tinting latex paint with oil paint is not recommended. Latex is a water-based paint, while oil paint is made of petroleum-based resins and polymers. The two cannot mix properly. 

Therefore, tinting latex paint with oil paint will produce a paint with an undesirably inconsistent texture and color.

If you happen to tint your latex paint with oil-based paint, you’ll notice that the painted area takes longer time than usual to dry up properly. 

The paint will also start flaking or peeling off the surface over time 

Can I tint paint using food coloring? 

Yes, you can tint paint using food coloring. 

Since food coloring mixes well with water, it will mix well with latex paint, which is also water-based.

However, food color is technically not made for paints. The resultant paint may, therefore, not function as well as latex paint tinted using the other methods.

It’s also not a long-term solution since the resultant color will fade over time when exposed to harsh environmental conditions like direct sunlight.

Additionally, you may not achieve the right consistency when tinting latex paint using food color.

Pro Tips for Tinting Latex Paint 

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned paint enthusiast, tinting paint a home to achieve the exact color you need can be a challenge.

Here are some pro tips recommended by experts to help you tint your paint successfully with less hassle: 

1. Start with small portions 

When tinting paint, it’s advisable to first tint a small portion of your dark paint. This will help you determine if you’ll get the desired color through the process. 

Once you achieve the desired color, you can go ahead and add the colorant to the remaining paint. 

2. Mix thoroughly 

Mixing paint with a tint element requires thorough mixing and stirring. This is the only way you can achieve a uniform and consistent result.

When the mixing is not done properly, the paint might have lumps or non-uniform consistency, which may look messy on your surfaces.

3. Apply home tinting for small projects 

Finally, note that home tinting is only efficient for small projects. 

However, when the project is large, it’s more efficient to get the paint tinted at the store or buy an already tinted paint.

This is because with home tinting, you’re likely to get paints with slight hue variations as compared to commercial tinted paints.

FAQs – How to Tint Latex Paint

Can I tint my own paint at home? 

Yes! It’s absolutely possible and easy to tint your own paint at home. All you need is either a colorant, a pigment, a white paint, or a lighter version of your base paint. Mix them in the recommended ration while stirrign thoroghly to achieve your desired hue.

Can you use Rit dye to tint latex paint? 

Yes, you can use Rit dye to tint paint. Make a paste of the dye by adding a small amount of water and mixing. Gradually add the paste to your latex paint as you stir thoroughly until you achieve your hue of desire. However, this tint color will not be long-lasting, and will fade with time.

Can I change the color of my latex paint? 

Yes, it’s possible to change the color of your latex paint. You can make it lighter through tinting or give it a darker color through shading. The process is easy and can be done at home if you can find the exact color you need at the paint store.

What color do you add to the paint to create a tint? 

Creating a tint involves lightening a dark-colored paint. You can therefore, create a tint by adding a grey colorant or a white color paint to your original paint. Additionally, you can add a lighter shade of the same paint color to make the darker shade lighter. 

What can I use to change the color of my paint? 

You can use pigments to change the color of your paint. Pigments come as either dry powder or as an already mixed paste. For the dry pigment, add a small amount of water to it to form a paste, then add the paste gradually to your paint until you achieve your desired color. 

Summary – tint latex paint

Getting some paint colors from the paint store can be impossible. However, now you know that you can tint paint at home to achieve the desired hue for your surfaces.

Apart from the common memthods of using pigments, colorants, white paint, or a lighter-shade latex paint, you can also use food coloring or Rit dye to make your paint lighter. 

With the right tinting procedure and the manufacturer’s recommended mixing ratios, you can easily achieve you desired paint color with less hassle.

I hope this guide will help you get the colors you love but cant access from the store for your next painting job! Let’s know what you think in the comments section.

Leave a Comment