How to Mix Turquoise Paint Colors

Updated July 20, 2017

Turquoise is the delicate blue-green colour seen in its namesake gemstone, a deep desert sky or the crystal clear Caribbean seas. Artists often use this colour in naturalistic painting in various mediums, such as oil, acrylic or watercolour. Turquoise is also a popular colour for home decorating projects like furniture painting and wall stencilling. It is important to understand the principles of colour theory as illustrated by a colour wheel. The colour wheel is based on the three primary colours--yellow, red and blue--and three secondary colours--orange, green and purple. Secondary colours are mixtures combinations of primary colours.

Determine the type of colour needed for the job. If a bright, clear colour is needed, mix a hue -- pure colours with no black or white added. A tint is made with white to create a soft pastel colour. For a darker effect, add black to the hue. For further depth of colour, make a tone by adding both black and white.

First mix paint to make the turquoise hue. Use a small amount of each colour at first to determine the proportion of colour to obtain the desired hue. For turquoise, the rule of thumb is two parts blue to one part green. To determine the correct shade of turquoise, make a tint, a hue and a tone and test each on a surface similar to the one to be painted. Write down the proportions of paints used for each sample so that it can be recreated.

Once the final colour choice, prepare the amount of paint necessary to complete the project. Mix the paint thoroughly to avoid uneven streaks or blotches of colour. Apply the paint evenly and smoothly.

Clean up carefully. Clean your brushes with soap and lukewarm water in a utility sink if available. Grab the top of the bristles and gently rotate it to help work the paint out of bottom of the brush where it is attached to the handle, the ferrule. If oil paint is used, clean the brushes in paint thinner in a well ventilated space to remove the paint, then proceed with soap and water cleaning.


Painting is a creative activity. While there is a science to colour theory, once the basics are mastered, there is plenty of room for experimentation. Have fun with the samples and don't be afraid to try different combinations of colours.


Use oil based paints and paint thinners in a well ventilated space. Gloves should be worn when using paint thinner. Avoid breathing the fumes. Paint thinners are flammable. Read the warning labels on the containers. Be sure to clean up spills as soon as they occur before paint dries or cleaning solvents are absorbed in any surfaces.

Things You'll Need

  • A prepared paint surface
  • Paint palette or mixing container
  • Brushes
  • Palette knife
  • Paint thinner or water
  • Rags for clean up
  • Paint -- blue, green, black and white
  • Pencil and paper
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About the Author

Frieda Cramer studied creative writing at Shoreline College and is pursuing a degree at the University of Washington. She served as editor of "Sprindrift" and has been published in "Spindrift," "Poets West," "Las Cruces," and the "National Paralegal Reporter." Cramer is a past board member of Washington Lawyers for the Arts.