I would like to color something in photoshop, but I need very specific RGB values. Unfortunately, the values I enter are not the ones that are being painted.

For example, I enter the values 84 (red), 6 (green), 1 (blue). I use the paint bucket tool. I now use the eyedropper tool to check the color of what I have just painted. It is 85 (red), 7 (green), 1 (blue).

I've noticed that this problem occurs most often when I use even numbered values.

Is there a setting I am missing somewhere? I want the RGB values of what I've painted to be the same ones as the ones that I'm supposedly painting in.

Here's a quick example. Notice the RGB values on the right side of the pictures.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Hard to tell. Did the same thing on my side and works fine with the same color. Could be that version of photoshop. Mine is v13.0 (CS6) Try using MS Paint if it's just fill that you want
    – Miro
    Feb 7, 2015 at 16:47
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    Also try Edit > Assign Profile > Don't Color Manage
    – Miro
    Feb 7, 2015 at 16:50
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    Calibrate your monitor. Not color managing is a very poor choice.
    – Scott
    Feb 7, 2015 at 19:21
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    If you can not manage your colors the that exact shade looses meaning. Since numbers arent colors, only paired with a proper color profile do they mean anything. Each monitor, and output device puts a different color out for the numbers. So its not exact at all.
    – joojaa
    Feb 8, 2015 at 8:24
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    I can replicate this in CS5. It affects the paint bucket but not the pencil tool. "Don't Color Manage" makes no difference. I'm leaning towards bug in Photoshop.
    – mm201
    Mar 10, 2020 at 20:46

3 Answers 3


Use 16 bits/channel.

I have this problem too. It affects (0, 96, 156) but none of the other colours in my design. My hunch is that it's a bug in Photoshop, likely caused by some inappropriate rounding somewhere. The only workaround I've come up with is to temporarily increase the bit depth to 16, do all my paint bucketing, then reduce it back to 8. I hope this helps.

  • Playing with it some more, it seems the bug is triggered if I use the colour picker sidebar, but if I use the full dialog, it works fine. Weird.
    – mm201
    Mar 10, 2020 at 21:29
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    And I just found a reddit thread from 2015 explaining the bug in more detail: reddit.com/r/photoshop/comments/3rvg07/…
    – mm201
    Mar 10, 2020 at 21:35
  1. Check your color mode (cmyk, rgb)
  2. You might have a layer somewhere inside your file that changes the colors of whatever is underneath it, like hue saturation or levels or something like that. Here's how you check: On the layers window choose kind and then choose adjustment layer and you will be left only with adjustment layers, run them on and off until you find the one that's causing all the trouble:
    enter image description here

I am not sure, and it seems unlikely to me, but you might have your image set to black and white and so it might seem like you are painting the red color, but it is changed to a grey color due to that setting. You can change this setting in the Image menu.

If it is not set to Black and white, I'm still pretty sure it has something to do with transforming your color to black and white since that is the exact color you'd expect after the transformation

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