How to Use Color Replacement Tool in Photoshop 2023

The problem with the photos we capture or get from clients for editing is that they are mostly not-so-perfect. And one of the many reasons why editing is required is to fix the subject color or just replace it. But why?

That is because sometimes the original color just does not pop accurately in the raw images. Or maybe the subject and the background are syncing well. Maybe, you just want to show various colors of the same item.

Whatever the reason is, Adobe Photoshop has the right tool to solve these problems, and that is the Photoshop Color Replacement Tool. And being a versatile editing software, Photoshop offers various tools that can help you replace the color in multiple ways.

So in this article, you will learn how to replace a color in Photoshop using various tools and methods.

Best Ways To Replace Color In Photoshop

If you plan to use the Photoshop Color Replacement Tool, that is totally okay. But sometimes, knowing how to do that with other tools and settings also helps. In this way, you can do the same thing in various methods and then finally follow a method that works best for a given situation. you can read Best Clipping Path Service

That is why, here, I have discussed multiple ways to change the color of a subject or an object. So feel free to read the next parts to learn how to change color in Photoshop in different ways. The methods you will learn to replace color are-

  1. Using The Photoshop Color Replacement Tool
  2. Using The Photoshop Replace Color Option
  3. Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment Settings

Method 1: Using The Photoshop Color Replacement Tool

When replacing the color of something in an image, obviously, the first tool you go for is the Color Replacement Tool. It is the easiest and most efficient way to paint over any surface and give it a whole new color. 

So here is a step-by-step guide on how you can replace the color in a photo using the tool.

Step 1: Open The Image 

First thing first! Start by launching the Photoshop application first by clicking the Ps icon on your device. Once the Photoshop application launches, go to File from the top menu bar and select Open from the drop-down menu to go to the storage option.

Once there, select your image and click OK. Then the photo will be uploaded to Photoshop, and you will get other tools and options around it to make changes.

Step 2: Duplicate The Background Layer

Photoshop offers a non-destructive way to edit images. It means you can edit and make changes to a photo without affecting the original version. If you don’t like the final result or change your mind about the alteration later, you can just remove the changes and get the original photo.

And the only way to do that is to create a Duplicate Layer of the original image or of every edited layer.
To do that, go to the menu bar and select the Layer panel. It will open the drop-down menu, and you can select the Duplicate Layer from there. You can rename the layer with something that will help you detect it easily later. you can read Best Background Removal Services

Step 3: Select The Color Replacement Tool

With the Duplicate Layer selected, go to the left side Toolbar and select the Color Replacement Tool. It looks like a brush, making it mix up with other tools easily. And if you can’t find it directly on the Toolbar, try selecting the Brush Tool. Sometimes, you can find the tool in this option. But what if the tool does not show there either? read more paint bucket tools.

This is an unlikely situation, but if it happens, you can fix that too. Just go to the Edit Toolbar setting, and you can easily spot the Color Replacement Tool from its drop-down menu.

Once you have selected the tool, the cursor will change into a circle with a + sign in the middle. And you will see a new menu bar under the menu panels with some additional settings. You can change the tool size, hardness, tolerance, etc., from there.

Step 4: Select Color

After you select the tool, go to the Foreground/Background option on the Toolbar. There, select Foreground, and you will get a dialog box that says Color Picker (Foreground Color).

From there, you can choose any color you want to replace the old one with and click OK. If you don’t see the color you want to choose on the color palette, just move the scrollbar next to it up or down to change the palette color. you can read Best Color Correction Service

Step 5: Apply The New Color

Now, click and drag the cursor over the surface that you want to change the color of. Make sure to keep the + sign in the middle of the original color to gain more color replacement accuracy.

It is okay not to get things right at first if you are a beginner. You can Undo the errors by pressing CTRL+Z (COMMAND+Z on MAC) and painting again. You can also erase the mistakes using the Eraser from the Toolbar.

After everything is done and you are happy with the result, save the image in your required format. read Change Background Color In Photoshop

Method 2: Using The Photoshop Replace Color Option

As you can guess from the name, the Replace Color tool is yet another tool that helps you replace a single color with more ease. Unlike the Color Replacement Tool, this tool does not require any brushing or painting technique to replace the old color with another. 

Let’s see how you can use the Photoshop Replace Color Tool.

Step 1: Upload The Image On Photoshop

In case you skipped the first method, let’s see how you will complete this step.

You may already have the Photoshop application installed on your device. If you have, double-click on the Ps icon to launch it. Give it a moment to load and set up before proceeding to choose the photo that you want to work on.

Go to the top menu bar and click the File panel, and it will open a drop-down menu. On top of that drop-down menu, you will find the option Open. Click it, and it will take you to your device storage. read Adobe Photoshop Amazing Neural filters

Browse to find the photo if necessary and once you find it, select it and click OK

Step 2: Duplicate The Background Layer

When you edit an image using various tools and modify it, you make changes to its original layer. But that is too risky if you want to make changes later for any reason. So Photoshop works as your savior here! You can read Adobe Lightroom vs Photoshop Express

Photoshop offers a non-destructive way to edit images with its Duplicate Layer tool. To do that, select the Layer panel from the top menu bar and then select Duplicate Layer. It will create a duplicate image of the original photo. 

When you work with a duplicate layer, the original image layer remains intact. That means the modification will happen on the other layer, and you can come back to these layers later if you want to remove any change or adjust it.

Step 3: Choose Photoshop Replace Color Option

With your newly created Duplicate Layer selected, go to the menu bar and click on the Image panel. From the drop-down menu, select Adjustments, and it will open another extended drop-down menu.

Go around the bottom of the drop-down menu, and you will spot the Replace Color option. Click it, and it will show you a dialog box.

Step 4: Select The Color That Needs Replacing

Has the dialog box named Replace Color popped up? If it has, this is where you will make adjustments for your photo subject’s current color.

On the top left side of the box, you will see the eyedropper icons. Select the eyedropper icon to select the color of your subject by clicking on it. You can read Convert A Photo to Line Art Drawing.

Now the problem with selecting some subjects’ colors is that there might be multiple gradients, making it confusing and challenging to decide which one to choose. Because this option to replace color allows you to choose only one color.

So if that is your case, I suggest selecting the closest to the original color so that the tool can detect it easily. Once it does, you can use the eyedropper icon with the + sign to lighten or darken the selected color.

Make sure the box next to Localized Color Clusters is marked, and the box next to Color will show you the color Photoshop has selected from around your selected area. The Fuzziness option specifies the range of accuracy of the selected color. read blur the background in photoshop

Step 5: Select The New Color To Replace With

Now that you have selected your subject’s color, Photoshop has become aware of it. So now it’s time to select the color you want to replace it with. 

At the lower half of the dialog box, you will find some options like Hue, Saturation, Lightness, etc. Drag the Hue slider left or right to get your new color. The selected color will show in the Result box on the right. Then again, select the eyedropper with the + icon and click the areas on the image where you want to apply the new color.

You can use the other options, Saturation and Lightness, to brighten or darken the newly selected area, as shown on the subject. If you are happy with the new color, click OK. The old color will be replaced with the new one. read more on How to get the Best Clipping Path Company?

Step 6: Make Adjustment With Masking (If Necessary)

It is not unusual to get color on areas you don’t intend to have them on. In that case, you have to fix it by applying the Layer Mask tool, and now the Duplicate Layer option will come in handy.

Go back to the Duplicate Layer and apply masking from the Layer panel on the right. You can also do it from the Layer panel on the menu bar. Select it and then select Layer Mask. Then select Reveal All from the extended drop-down menu.

This option will apply a mask on the entire image. Select the black brush from the Toolbar and apply it to the areas from where you want to remove the unnecessary color. If you end up removing more than you intended, you can fix it by using the white brush. you can read Best Photoshop Masking Services

If you are happy with the outcome, save the image in your preferred format.

Method 3: Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment Settings

The previous method has taught you how you can replace color with Photoshop Replace Color option’s Hue and other adjustments settings. But this one is a little different than that. Instead of using any particular color replacement tool, you can adjust the Photoshop Hue/Saturation setting to replace your subject’s color. Read more Swap Faces in Photoshop.

Here is the step-by-step guide to doing that.

Step 1: Open The Image

As usual, the first step begins with launching the Photoshop application and uploading your photo on Photoshop. I’m sure by now you know the process by heart. But let’s go through it again.

After launching the Photoshop application, go to the top menu bar and click on the File panel. And then, select Open from the drop-down menu. You can also use the shortcut command CTRL+O (COMMAND+O on MAC) to open the option. Read More Remove Background In Photoshop
Then after selecting the image from your device storage, click OK to upload the image on the Photoshop window.

Step 2: Add A Hue/Saturation Layer

Next, you need to open the Hue/Saturation setting from the window’s Adjustment panel. If you cannot find the setting on the Adjustment panel, you can choose the alternative process to open the setting.

Select the Layer panel, and when the drop-down menu opens, select New Adjustment Layer. It will open another extended drop-down menu. Then select Hue/Saturation from the drop-down menu. Read More Best Real Estate Photo Retouching Service Providers

Once you do that, you will notice the following changes and additions.

  • A new layer with a white mask will appear above the original layer.
  • Next to the new layer, you will see the Adjustment panel’s icon.
  • You will also get a new panel that says Properties, where you will find the Hue/Saturation settings.

Step 3: Select The New Color

On the Properties panel, you will find a hand icon and should select it. It will immediately open the eyedropper icon at the bottom of the panel. You will also find 3 sliders that say Hue, Saturation, and Lightness.

Once you choose your new color, you will notice that the color sliders at the bottom of the panel show a gray area with tabs on both sides. This shows the range of your newly selected color.
If you want to increase or decrease the color range, you can just click and drag the tabs. You can also do that by choosing different colors using the eyedropper + tool.

Step 4: Change To The New Color

Now it’s time to put the 3 sliders in use. Move the Hue slider left or right to get your new color. You can move the Saturation slider to increase or decrease the saturation level. And the Lightness slider to lighten or darken the color.

Don’t worry too much when you notice that the color of your subject in the image is also changing. You can adjust it later.

Step 5: Apply Layer Mask To Remove Fix Some Areas

When you are still on your current layer, apply the Layer mask tool to mask the entire image. Then select the black brush tool and use it to paint over the areas where you don’t want the color. And if you end up more than you intend to, switch to the white brush and paint the areas where you want to restore the color.

And if it looks like you missed something or need to make more adjustments, just go back to the Hue/Saturation layer to do that. You can make any number of changes without affecting the original layer. And then save the image. You can read Best Jewelry Photo Retouching Service

Photoshop Color Replacement Tool Tips

Knowing how to replace a color in Photoshop gives you plenty of advantages to experiment with various colors and get a different visual. But remember that the subject you work on can often be surrounded by things that are reflective. The subject itself might be reflective. You can read How to Use Background Eraser Tool in Photoshop

So you must watch out for these simplest details. And if there is anything that reflects the subject, you must change the color of the subject there as well.

For example, if you are editing a bag placed on a reflective surface, you must change the subject’s color reflecting on the surface.

Challenges Of Using The Photoshop Color Replacement Tool

Using editing tools is not always smooth unless you are highly skilled. While using all kinds of tools comes with different challenges, the Photoshop color replacement tool comes with the following.

Brightness Inaccuracy

When you are using the Photoshop color replacement tool to replace color, it alters other parts and elements of the image as well. Most of the time, you will find the original light of the image has altered. The image appears either brighter or less bright than before. That is why it requires you to adjust the brightness again. you can read Best Photo Editing Software

Masking Error

Color replacement happens using and adjusting different tools, as you have learned above. And it is necessary to do masking to remove the color from unnecessary areas and ensure the replaced color looks accurate and natural. And if you are new, masking can be a big challenge for you because the slightest inaccuracy can make the edited image look bad.

Not Getting The Right Color

Most professional photo editors can change or replace color flexibly using the Hue/Saturation option. Unless you know how changing the settings affects the color, it is best to avoid using this option because you might end up getting the wrong color shade.

Final Verdict

Whether you want to do personal editing or for e-commerce products or other purposes, knowing how to replace colors with Photoshop Color Replacement Tool is incredibly helpful. And if you know that, you can easily get used to working with Photoshop Replace Color option and Hue/Saturation tools.

But make sure to keep your eyes on the subject’s surroundings so that you won’t get the replaced color on unnecessary areas. However, even if that happens, you can still fix it with the Layer Mask tool.

Leave a Comment