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What paint colors mixed together make khaki?

Updated April 17, 2017

"Dictionary.com" defines khaki as a "dull yellowish-brown." Often a vague term used to describe various light shades of an earth-toned olive to yellowish-brown, khakis are most often associated with the colour of some military uniforms.

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Complementary colours

The basic color of brown is easily made by mixing complementary colors that are opposite from each other on the color wheel. After a shade of brown is made, add in some white to lighten the shade to a more khaki tone.

Orange and blue

The complementary colors orange and blue make the best brown for a khaki colour. Use more orange and slowly add in the blue. Adding more blue darkens the brown. Mix white in the brown to make khaki.

Green and red

The complementary colours red and green make a darker brown, which can be mixed in with a lot of white to severely lighten the colour.

Yellow and purple

The complementary colors yellow and purple make a muddier brown. A large amount of white must be added to change the colour to a light tan.


A small amount of yellow and/or green can be added to a light tan color to create various tones of khaki. A pre-mixed brown paint, such as a raw umber or ochre, can be mixed with white for a quicker khaki mixture.

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About the Author

Leonor Crossley

Leonor Crossley has been a graphic designer and writer since 1995, with entertainment and other articles written for "Max Magazine" in Jacksonville, NC, and various websites. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, cum laude, from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.

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