Paint techniques for a gradual color change

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Gradient paint is when two or more colours of paint in similar shades are blended together seamlessly, giving the appearance that one colour fades into another. Whether you're painting gradient colours on the walls of your home, on canvas or on craft projects, the process is similar. Choose colours that are harmonious, meaning within three spaces of each other on the colour wheel. Gradient techniques on colours that are not harmonious turn muddy in appearance.


Paint a stripe of paint in the light colour. Leave a gap and paint a stripe of the darker shade of the same colour. Use a clean and dry paint brush to blend the two colours together. Paint in circular motions, pulling a bit of both colours into the blank space in the middle. Smooth out the circular paint lines by dry brushing over the wet paint with a light stroke.


Create gradient colour tones on large surfaces like a wall using paint glaze. Mix each colour tone with paint glaze. Paint each colour onto the wall so it meets the next colour tone. Use a clean, small paint roller and roll over the point where the colours meet. Work in short, vertical strokes until the colours are blended. Step back and check your work often. If one colour is too dominant, add a small dab of the other to create the perfect gradient of the two shades.

Paint Thinner

Paint thinner allows you to blend three or more colours with little effort. Paint the three colours in stripes with no blank space in between. Dip a paint brush in paint thinner and blot it nearly dry. Paint the wall with large, vertical stripes, thinning and blending the three colours together. Note this gradient technique leaves thin stripes of paint colours shooting through each other while blending them together.


Water is among the most common ways to create a gradient paint appearance. Fill a spray mist bottle with water. Paint the surface with the paint colours. Leave no space in between the paint colours. Mist each location where the paint tones meet with water and paint horizontally with a clean bristle brush.

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