I recently bought an icon set of all black icons (http://glyphicons.com/). These icon's look really sharp, however I am interested in changing the color of some of them so something other than black (shade of green, red, etc).

I am kind of novice with image editing (I use Paint.NET - I can do some things, am familar with basic concepts like layers, clone stamps, etc).

I have a color replacer plugin for Paint.NET that I can use to change black to my new desired color - but the icons lose their "sharpness" because of the lighter grays that exist around the main dark black portions of the icon.

Is this an easy thing to do? Or am I just being lazy - do I need to just change every color, even the lighter shades, to my color - shade by shade?

Here is an example of one of the icons I want to turn to a different color:
enter image description here

Also - I am willing to use GIMP or some other free editor to accomplish this. I like Paint.NET, but am not married to it.

  • Gray to Alpha is the best plugin for Paint.NET to remove white or black pixels, rendering everything else as a transparent % of the opposite color. In other words, perfectly eliminates white/black backgrounds, but only if the image is grayscale. Yours are. Then add color with a plugin like my Channel Ops (hue/saturation shift won't work with pure grayscale), then shift hue/saturation as required.
    – kettlecrab
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 9:04

3 Answers 3


If you were using Photoshop (or GIMP I guess, but I have no experience) then you could just use the original black icon as an alpha (transparency) mask for a colour fill.

  • 2
    alternate: colorize the image using a color filled layer, and change that layer's blend mode.
    – horatio
    Commented Feb 10, 2012 at 18:40

In the image below, I've used the magic wand to select the pixels in the mobile phone icon, I then apply a Photoshop style. There are numerous other ways of achieving what you want that include adding a mask as mentioned above, or creating a new layer with this outline selected and filling with a new color.

Try to find the equivalent actions in GIMP if you can't get your hands on Photoshop.

Photoshop color change using magic wand or selecting the image


You can do it easily with imagemagick. It's fast and it's 100% free. You can also do it to unlimited number of icons in batch scripts.

convert glyphicons-halflings.png -alpha extract -background blue -alpha shape blue-glyphicons-halflings.png


It worked for me perfectly. Better than all other answers in this question.

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