The brush tool was working normally when it suddenly switched colour to a lighter colour even though the colour that i selected is still the correct one. It also paints the wrong colour when i use a different colour (still lighter) or on a different layer. When I open another file it works fine.

The brush blending mode and layer mode is normal. Opacity and flow is 100% and layer opacity and fill is both 100%. How do I fix it such that it paints the correct colour?

This is the colours before the brush changed:

The colour at the bottom is selected as the same colour as the colour on the right, but it appears as a lighter colour. it is on the same layer as the lighter colour:

I (kind of) worked around the problem by saving it as a jpeg file and continuing with it on a new Photoshop file.

  • 1
    Could you send us the screenshot of your layers? Do you have adjustment layers, or "Sample" set on "Current layer"? May 22, 2018 at 8:36
  • 1
    Have you checked to see which colour profile you're using, and what your monitor and printer profiles are set to? These will affect what you see on your screen.
    – Paul
    May 22, 2018 at 8:39
  • 2
    I can see that you have a levels adjustment layer, which is changing the colour of the painted layer.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 22, 2018 at 9:17
  • @BillyKerr I think you spotted the problem! Could you make your comment an answer?
    – curious
    May 22, 2018 at 11:20
  • @Emilie thanks, but I think Cai's answer has it covered already.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 22, 2018 at 13:00

5 Answers 5


You have a levels adjustment layer which is lightening the color you're sampling. When you sample that color (i.e. with the Eyedropper), you're sampling the adjusted output, not the original un-adjusted color you painted with. So painting the adjusted color on a layer below the adjustment layer is applying the adjustment to it again...

You can either disable the Adjustment layer when you sample the color, or you can change the Eyedropper tool to ignore adjustments (either by selecting "Current Layer" or "Current & Below" and making sure you're on the correct layer, or by selecting one of the "no Adjustments" options):

Another workaround for this is to have a layer above any adjustment layers that holds a sample of the colors you're working with... You can then paint with the correct colors by sampling only from that layer, and change your adjustment layers as you wish without having to worry about resampling the colors you're painting with.


With the Brush Tool active, look at the top of the screen, at the Control Bar.

Painting tools also have Blending Modes.

enter image description here

Ensure the Blending Mode for the Brush itself is set to Normal as well.

This is different than the Layer's Blending Mode.

Beyond this, I'm afraid it's impossible for anyone to directly assist you. It would merely be a guessing game.

  • the brush mode is set to normal
    – nxxx
    May 22, 2018 at 9:00
  • @nxxx Sorry but I don't think this can be solved. People could spend days guessing at possible causes. It's some setting in your file.
    – Scott
    May 22, 2018 at 9:03

The blending mode and layer mode is normal. Opacity and flow is 100%. How do I fix it such that it paints the correct colour?

It's missing the layer Fill and layer Opacity, it is 100%?

Also check the Brush Panel, Wet Edges make lighter colors, must be unchecked.

enter image description here

If the layers are inside a folder, check the Folder opacity.

  • wet edges is unchecked, fill and layer opacity is 100%
    – nxxx
    May 22, 2018 at 8:59
  • @nxxx Face Folder opacity?
    – user120647
    May 22, 2018 at 9:03
  • 1
    @nxxx Also there is a Levels layer over on top, this affects every layer
    – user120647
    May 22, 2018 at 9:05

I had this problem as well, but I found a solution that might help you too. What you should do, is go to the "Edit" bar at the top of the screen. Click on it and go down to "Fade Brush Tool". Selecting it will take you to a tab that has a brush opacity slider. Changing the slider will darken or lighten your brush strokes.

enter image description here

enter image description here

I hope this helps.


I think you have to change the flow(right next to opacity icon). Bring it somewhere around 80%. It is seen 11% as default.

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