How to change the color of a white object using gimp? Unfortunately, most tutorials are not dealing with white objects but those methods have problems with colorizing white objects.

more specific: I want to change the color of a white toilet seat (compared to the white background, it looks light gray) to orange and keep all the "light elements" which make it look 3D.

edit: Added picture enter image description here

  • Are you able to adding the picture to your question? It might be easier to answer this question that way. Jan 3, 2017 at 13:25
  • I added the picture
    – alexandre
    Jan 3, 2017 at 13:42
  • We have a similar post for shirts: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/21420/…
    – Takkat
    Jan 3, 2017 at 14:19
  • @Takkat Thanks for pointing that out. Even I accepted another solution for now, it looks really interesting for another task, I was approaching really complicated in the past and could come up in the future again.
    – alexandre
    Jan 3, 2017 at 17:15

2 Answers 2


Simple technique, no cutout necessary:

  1. Add a layer, bucket fill with color (somewhat darker than what you are aiming for), set to "Color" mode
  2. Select the original layer, and use Levels, dragging middle handle to the right to darken the color.


  • Thank you so much. I already tried the way with a new layer and Color mode. The missing part was the Levels tool. Looks great.
    – alexandre
    Jan 3, 2017 at 17:12
  • I'm unable to perform these steps. Which layer is on top of which layer, and which layer should be in "color" mode? Update: Think I got it. The layer filled with a single layer is on top, with the layer mode set to "color".
    – Alexander
    Oct 23, 2017 at 16:58
  • Levels tool doc: docs.gimp.org/2.10/en/gimp-tool-levels.html
    – J3soon
    Jun 20, 2019 at 13:36
  • I don't see a "Color" layer mode in GIMP.
    – test
    Jun 10, 2020 at 18:22
  • This post was made in Gimp 2.8 times. In 2.10 you have HSL color and LCH color to do the same.
    – xenoid
    Jun 10, 2020 at 19:26

While it is difficult to answer exactly without seeing the image, you should still be able to change the object's color using standard techniques.

Before you try to change the color however, you need to separate the object that you are trying to change from the rest of the image. There are a few ways to do this, but the technique described Separating an Object From it's Background section of the GIMP user manual works well in most cases.

Once you have the area that you want to change it's color in a separate layer, you can just work with that layer, without affecting other white parts of the image.

That (separating the seat into its own layer) should be the cleanest way to change the color. Other ways of changing the color of a toilet seat are... not as clean.

Edit based on clarification to question:

Use Color Exchange

  1. On the Colors menu, hover over Map, and then click Color Exchange
  2. In the From Color section, do the following:
    1. Click the color box and change it to white (or middle click an area in the preview pane)
    2. Select Lock thresholds
    3. Increase the color thresholds until the preview changes color
  3. Change the To Color to whatever color you want.

You'll need to play around with the From Color and To Color as well as thresholds to get what you want. For example, when trying to change the white to red, using an off-white with a bit of red in the From Color will give you more defined results.

This will affect the entire layer, so I'd still recommend separating the layer from the rest of the object.

  • Thanks for your answer. I just added the picture. The problem is not to separate the seat from the rest of the picture. But when I use a Hue-Layer for example, it's not changing the color :-(
    – alexandre
    Jan 3, 2017 at 13:43
  • @alexandre Sorry about that. I've added some clarification. Let me know if that answers it for you. Jan 3, 2017 at 14:07
  • Thanks for editing your answer. Now I still see the problem, that I can just choose a color(range) which is completely replaced by my chosen red color. When I play with the thresholds, I can select too much to replace or too less. Is there the possibility to keep the transitions? like a "darker white" will be a darker red? I liked this tutorial: youtube.com/watch?v=cgZXKjAnU-0 but it's not working for my white
    – alexandre
    Jan 3, 2017 at 14:19
  • If you've already separated the object, then why would you modify its color directly instead of turning to more layers and appropriate layer modes? Jan 3, 2017 at 14:32

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