Changing the Color of a Background in a Picture

By Kevin Lee

A new background color can change a picture's visual impact dramatically.
i Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If your background image is red and you'd rather see a blue one, swap those colors using a color-picker tool. Paint, the free image-editing program that comes with Windows, has a Pick Color tool that can identify your picture’s background color accurately. After it does, use a few additional tools to paint over the original background using a color that enhances your picture.

Step 1

Press "Windows," type "Paint" and click "Paint" to launch the Paint program. Press "Ctrl-O" and double-click the image file you'd like to update. Click "Home" and then click the "Pick Color" tool, which is shaped like an eyedropper.

Step 2

Click the image's background color and note that Paint changes the color of the "Color 1" square to match that color. That color becomes the one Paint uses when you use another tool to paint.

Step 3

Move to the Colors section and click the color you'd like to use to replace the existing background color. Paint changes the color of the "Color 1" square to match the color you choose.

Step 4

Click the "Fill with Color" tool shaped like a paint bucket. Click the image's background color and Paint replaces most of that color with the new color you selected. Paint will probably leave a little of the original color around the image's objects. For instance, if you replaced yellow with green, you may still see a yellow outline around people and objects in the image.

Step 5

Click "Brushes" and then click the "Brush" tool. Click "Size" to view several lines that have varying widths. Click one of the lines to select it. For instance, if you click the "3px" line, your brush strokes will be 3 pixels wide.

Step 6

Click any part of the original color that remains, hold down your left mouse button and drag the mouse to paint over that color using the new color. If you you need to work on a small area, such as between someone's fingers, click "View" and then click "Zoom In" to make that area larger so you can see individual pixels. You may need to select a smaller brush size when you paint in these types of detailed areas.

Step 7

Click "File," click "Save As" and type the name you'd like to call the new image in the "File Name" text box. Click "Save" to save it.