I would like to work out how to mix paint using the RGB or HEX etc information. I have inherited a commercial paint tinting machine that uses liquid tints eg, yellow oxide-axx, fast violet-j, black-b. I can use my computer to get the basic information about a colour I'd like to recreate, but have no idea how to convert this information. As an example, I would like to make a 'yellow' paint. The information I have for it is R=253, G=255, B=112. I understand that the yellow colour I'm looking at on my computer screen, will look different on my cellfone screen and that there is also variants in the base white/clear I will use to add the tints to. Hopefully someone out there can help? Thanks Marieah

  • You would need to determine what color system your tinting machine uses and look up a formula book for it.
    – Dan D.
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 0:43
  • 4
    You'll have to calibrate your monitor, and probably order a Pantone reference book. Without detailed information about the inner workings of your paint machine, that's about all the info we can accurately provide. Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 6:53
  • RGB/Hex is light and additive color, paint is pigment/dye and subtractive color. Use Photoshop to find out the CMYK or six color process values. And then it can be a frustrating road from there. Pantone is one process by which subtractive color is matched. Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 3:00
  • For people looking to do this - send picture of your color to a professional printer then take that to lowes to get scanned :: lifestuff.org/convert-rgb-to-paint-color
    – Jacksonkr
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 20:56

3 Answers 3


I have to question this.....Why do you even want to mess around with this? There are a few really good reasons that show that this makes no sense.

1) When you go to buy paint at your supplier (hardware store, big box or paint store) there is generally little or no difference in price of the paint whether you buy the straight white in the can or have it colorized to your choice. You can even bring in a sample at most outlets these days and they will mix to match.

2) If you want to use your machine you have to pay separately for any tints / colorizers that you would use.

3) These machines can be a real mess if things leak or break.

4) I believe that these machines require regular maintenance that becomes even more important if there is not a minimal amount of usage of each colorizer dispenser.

Based upon these factors I would have to suggest that it makes no economic sense even start with this.


I agree with Michael's comments but perhaps you are considering a significant volume of paint tinting? Here are a few more comments:

  1. Color measurement with a cell phone app - I am not sure if you are doing this, but this is very inaccurate mainly because color measurement must be done with specific lighting conditions. Something like the Pantone Capsure device is much better than a cell phone app.
  2. Identification of commercial color names or codes - EasyRGB is a website that can use your RGB numbers to find the nearest commercial color matches from about 50 different color collections.
  3. Obtaining tinting formula to make paint color - Tinting formulas are provided to the paint retailer, not to the general public. If you really want to pursue this, you should discuss further with a paint retailer or a paint manufacturing company.

Maybe Merieah just wants to paint biggified computer generated pictures and emulsion's the cheapest option.

I did something similar and looked up the ral code for the rgb colours I had.

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