• How to Recolor Parts of Images in Photoshop and PSE

    This week, we are continuing to demonstrate how Photoshop and Elements make it easy to recolor embellishments and template components. So far in the series, we've worked on recoloring the entire image. But there are times you'd like to recolor selected portions of the image. This is especially true when you are working with word art, brushes or journaling blocks. Your project may call for a multi-color approach.

    For example, when using Katie Pertiet's Ledger Journalers, you may want the lines one color, but the words in different colors.

    Here's one method for achieving this look:

    • In Photoshop or PSE, begin by opening an image you want to recolor. You can also open an image that contains the color you want to use for recoloring if you like.
    • Choose the new color by clicking the Foreground color chip at the bottom of the tools panel. This brings up the color picker. Drag and click the cursor on a new color or drag the cursor outside the color picker window to click on the digital image. Or you can type in the color value numbers if you know them. Click OK. The Foreground color will change to the color you have clicked.
    • In the Layers panel, click on the layer of the image you are recoloring. Click the "Lock Transparent Pixels" icon. This will cause the software to ignore the transparent portions of the image and recolor only the parts that are visible.
    • Next, get a Marquee Tool and drag out a selection around the portion of the image you are recoloring. This places a moving, dotted line around the section you are selecting (marching ants.)
    • Next, choose Edit > Fill from the Menu bar (PSE: Edit > Fill Layer.) Choose Contents: Foreground color, Mode: Normal, Opacity: 100% and click OK. (With the transparent pixels locked, the Preserve Transparency function will be greyed out by default.)
    • The selected section will be recolored, but the rest of the image remains the original color. Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to deselect the selected portion (remove the marching ants).
    • To change the color, just select a new Foreground color, make a selection and Fill the new selection with color.
    • Repeat the process to recolor the remaining parts of the image.


    This technique allows you to recolor brushes and stamps, overlays, word art and many other PNG images with one or more color. You'll be able to get the look you want with just a few clicks of the mouse.