How to Color an Image in Microsoft Paint

By Editorial Team

Updated July 21, 2017

Microsoft Paint has color enhancement capabilities that even novice computer users can master. As a standard Windows program, chances are you already have it installed on your computer. Whether you want to brighten up a photo or colorize your own creation, you can color an image in Microsoft Paint.

Open the MS Paint program by clicking "Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint." Draw your picture with the menu tools or import the image that you intend to change. To import, click "File," then "Open." Select the image from your files.

Select the tool that you want to use for coloring. The "Pencil" will create thin lines, and the "Paintbrush" will paint thick ones. Use either one to color the picture by hand. For a custom color, click "Colors > Edit Colors > Define Custom Colors" and choose your shade.

Use "Airbrush" to colorize with a spotty, spray paint effect. Click on the paint can to select the tool.

Detail your picture by choosing the small magnifying glass. Next, click on the area of the picture that you want to see in detail. This will magnify the area. You can even color in pixel by pixel with the "Pencil" tool. When finished, choose the "Magnify" tool once more and click on the picture. It will return to normal size.


Fill large, single color areas using the "Fill with Color" tool. Click the pouring paint can to activate. Click in one area of your picture, and it will fill all same colored pixels in the vicinity with the new color. This option doesn't work well with photographs.

If you make a mistake, choose Edit, then Undo at the top of the page. Most of the time it will erase your last action. Save frequently when you like your work just in case you make a mistake that you can't correct later.


Do not change images that you didn't create-especially images bearing a © copyright symbol. Changing a copyrighted image without the owner's consent is punishable by law.