Tutorial 11: Applying Color to Interiors

Hey guys welcome back to another exciting tutorial here in Photoshop, my name is Brian Lee today I’ll be talking about a topic that I get a lot of questions on “color”. In this tutorial I’ll be going over my main technique of changing and applying colors. A lot of time you're going to be faced with a client giving you images of the rooms that you’re obviously going to want to create to decor for. You also want to show your clients that you are customizing that room for them so you want to work with what’s already there. Maybe they have red trim or purple trim or some kind of crazy trim that you want to change in your style board. It's best to at-least, show them that you tried. This example we will be starting with this beige tinted trim but what if we wanted to turn that into red or brown, today I want to show you guys my favorite way of changing colors and a room. So today we will be using The Living Room Design Kit just to show this example. However, you can use this technique for any Photoshop element.

Getting Started

So here we have the kit group. I’m going to open that up, go to walls, going to the left wall layer, double-click on our left wall layer. Inside the left wall layer, we have our windows group, trim group, wall shadows, wall group. For this example, I’m just gonna be changing the color of the windows and trim. So to start, I'll open up the trim molding group. keep in mind some of this naming, may be changing depending on which version of the Living Room Design Kit you have, for people in the future, this may be looking little different. All right, so we have a trim bottom and top trims and I’ll now select the layers I want to change the color of. Before doing that I want to turn off my guides so ill hit CMND H.

Making the Selection

Now, I’m going to command, left click, on the “trim top” layer and that’s gonna make the selection for that layer. Then I’ll hit command, shift, left click on the trim bottom. I’ll do the same for the windows, but first I’ll turn the light layer off, then, on the window “frame” Layer I’ll hit command, shift, left click again, to add to my selection and then we’re going to the other window. Command shift click not eh window frame. So now I have all of my room trim selected. I’ll just close down the groups to simplify it a bit. I’ll make a new layer, then go ahead and change the color too, I don’t know, maybe a brownish or wooden kind of texture right. so now I’ll go to the paint bucket tool, notice I have all my trim and frames selected. I have all that selected. And now, I'll just click inside of the selection to change all my trim to the color that I wanted.

Using the Color Blending Mode

However, the problem is that you can no longer see the tone that is under the color layer, ill just rename the color layer to “color”. So you can see that there is actual detail underneath that color when its turned off but now when its turned on. To fix that, what I want to do, is make sure I have my color layer selected and go to the blending modes drop-down menu. Go to the color blending mode. Now, do you see how that updated everything to be a color brown? One of the issues you may notice is that the color we started with is different. Maybe I wanted it to be the exact color, the exact tone, so you can see it’s very light colored currently,

Changing the Tone

In order to change the tone of the color, we actually have to change the tone of the layers underneath the color layer. Notice that I have the selection of all the trim and frames still selected. To change the tone of the of the framing just go to the adjustment layers and choose “curves” and then just bring down the tone of these frames and trim. You can see that the color stays but the actual tone underneath, is changing. It’s a pretty cool and powerful color technique for realistic coloring and dialing in the color and tone to another color you are trying to match. That’s basically what I do which is why this is my favorite method of coloring. So given the, I’m using the Design Board Kit in this example, to finish off, all I need to do now is hit command, “S” and ctrl TAB to switch the Photoshop Document. You can see that we have updated our wooden trim on the left side of the master composition.


So it’s really as simple as that guys, that’s how easy it is to change the color of pretty much anything.  So I hope you learned a lot in this tutorial especially about color and please let me know if you have any questions at all. If so just leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you. So once again, thanks for joining me and will see you the next lesson.