How Do You Use a Color Wheel for Mixing Paint?

To mix colors on a color wheel, first inform yourself of the difference between color types such as primary, secondary and tertiary colors. It is also important to learn what tints and shades are before combining colors.

Primary colors are the base colors used to make any color in a color spectrum; they are red, yellow and blue. To create the three secondary colors, combine two primary colors onto a color wheel. Red and blue combined results in purple, while red and yellow results in orange, and blue and yellow produces green. The six tertiary colors are achieved by using one primary color and one secondary color. The tertiary colors are yellow-orange, orange-red, red-violet, violet-blue, blue-green or yellow-green.

Generally, when using a color wheel, primary colors are placed in a triangle where each color is equidistant from each other. Secondary or complementary colors are placed between the primary colors they are composed of. For example, since the combination of red and blue results in purple, purple is placed in between the red and blue colors on the wheel. Tertiary colors are placed in between the secondary and primary colors that they are composed of.

To create lighter variations of a color, add white paint to the color until you have reached the desired tint. To create darker color variations, add black paint incrementally until a desired shade is achieved.