Replace object colors in 3 simple ways

Want an object in your image to stand out or pop? Here's how you can easily replace the color of objects in an image

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You can easily replace the color of an object or play with contrast colors in Photoshop. 

Apply the Hue/Saturation adjustment to your selected objects to achieve mind-blowing results with amazing flexibility and precision. Use the Replace Color dialog if you want your options grouped together. And don't forget to try the Color Replacement tool for quick results with replacing colors.

Move the slider to your left to view what can be achieved by using the Hue/Saturation adjustment. In this image, we have changed the color of two roses from gorgeous magenta to breathtaking crimson red. 

Before replacing color in an image
After replacing color in an image

Apply a Hue/Saturation adjustment to selected objects

Applying the Hue/Saturation adjustments often work out to be the best approach to replacing color in objects. Because masks and adjustment layers are non-destructive, you can adjust the results whenever you want.

  1. Select your preferred object. Use the Quick Selection tool () to get good results. To learn more about additional techniques, see Select a color range and Select and Mask.

  2. In the Adjustments panel, select the Hue/Saturation icon. Your selection will become a mask on the adjustment layer.

  3. In the Properties panel, move the Hue and Saturation sliders to replace the object’s color. If the original color tints the new color, check the Colorize box and readjust settings. (See Adjust hue and saturation.)

    Note: Keep the Lightness slider at 0 to maintain contrast. To maintain both contrast and saturation, select the Hue blending mode for the adjustment layer.

If necessary, enlarge or reduce the affected area by painting on the mask with white or black. (See Edit a layer mask.) For more information, see Adjustments panel overview.

Use the Replace Color dialog

The Replace Color dialog combines tools for selecting a color range with Hue, Saturation, and Lightness sliders for replacing that color. You can also choose the replacement color in the Color Picker.

This dialog lacks the Colorize option from the Hue/Saturation adjustment, which may be needed for a complete color change. You may also find the adjustment layer technique easier for changing specific objects. However, the Replace Color dialog is good for global color changes, especially out-of-gamut colors for printing.

  1. Navigate to Image > Adjustments > Replace Color.

    Select Replace Color in Photoshop
    Select Replace Color in Photoshop

    Replace Color dialog box in Photoshop
    Replace Color dialog box in Photoshop

  2. In the Replace Color dialog that opens, select a preview option — 

    • Selection: This option displays the mask in the preview box. Areas marked as black are masked, and areas marked as white are unmasked. Partially masked areas (areas covered with a semitransparent mask) appear as varying levels of gray according to their opacity.
    • Image: This option displays the image in the preview box. This option is recommended when working with a magnified image or limited screen space.
  3. To select the colors that you want to replace, use the Eyedropper tool () to select an area in the image or in the preview box to select the areas exposed by the mask.

    If you're selecting similar, contiguous colors in the image, check the Localized Color Clusters box to build a more accurate mask.

  4. To further refine the selection, do any of the following:

    • Shift-click or use the Add To Sample Eyedropper tool () to add areas.

    • Alt-click (Windows), Option-click (macOS), or use the Subtract From Sample Eyedropper tool () to remove areas.

    • Select the Selection Color swatch to open the Color Picker. Use the Color Picker to target the color you want replaced. As you select a color in the Color Picker, the mask in the preview box is updated.

  5. Drag the Fuzziness slider or enter a Fuzziness value to control the degree to which related colors are included in the selection.

  6. Specify a replacement color by doing either of the following:

    • Drag the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness sliders (or enter values in the text boxes).
    • Double-click the Result swatch and use the Color Picker to select the replacement color.

    You cannot replace pure gray, black, or white with a color. However, you can change the Lightness setting. (The Hue and Saturation settings are relative to existing color, so they have no effect).

Select OK to apply changes to your image. Also, you can use the Save option to store these settings and use them later with other images of your choice.

Use the Color Replacement tool

You can use the Color Replacement tool to replace a targeted color with a different option. Although this tool is suitable to achieve quick edits, it may not give the desired results when working with black or dark colors. If you don’t get good results after experimenting with tool options, see Adjust hue and saturation.

The Color Replacement tool doesn’t work in Bitmap, Indexed, or Multichannel color mode.

  1. Select the Color Replacement tool (). (If the tool isn’t visible, access it by holding down the Brush tool.)

  2. In the options bar in the workspace, choose a brush tip and set the other options. Generally, you should keep the blending mode set to Color.

    For the Sampling option, choose one of the following:

    • Continuous: Samples colors continuously as you drag.
    • Once: Replaces the targeted color only in areas containing the color that you first select.
    • Background Swatch: Replaces only areas containing the current background color.

    From the Limits menu, select one of the following:

    • Discontiguous: Replaces the sampled color wherever it occurs under the pointer.
    • Contiguous: Replaces colors that are contiguous with the color immediately under the pointer.
    • Find Edges: Replaces connected areas containing the sampled color while better preserving the sharpness of shape edges.

    For Tolerance, choose a low percentage to replace colors very similar to the pixel you select, or raise the percentage to replace a broader range of colors. If the range of replaced colors is too small, increase the Tolerance setting in the options bar.

    To produce a smooth edge in the corrected areas, select Anti-alias.

  3. Choose a foreground color to replace the unwanted color. (See Choose colors in the toolbox.)
  4. Select the color you want to replace in the image.

  5. Drag in the image to replace the targeted color.

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