If you need a particular paint, but don’t have it, you simply make one. The same applies to tan acrylic paint. Tan is one of the lively colors in acrylic painting. I will explain to you how to make tan acrylic paint. Therefore, if you need tan paint color for your project, you are at the right place.

You can obtain tan colors by mixing yellow, blue, red, and white colors. You will learn more about how to mix these colors to obtain your desired paint color.

How to Make Tan Color with Paint

How Does Tan Color Look Like

Tan is a pale tone of light brown. You can also describe it as a greenish orange. “Tan” was coined from “tannum” which is an oak bark you can use in leather tanning. The name came from an ancient German word for tannin or oak trees that produce the acidic chemical compound used in tanning.

Like several other brown family members, tan gives the feeling of earthy stability and for many individuals, the color evokes warmth and security. Tan is a shade that is generally viewed as neutral. It is viewed as neutral because of its paleness. Additionally, it compliments almost any color on the color wheel.

Are Tan and Beige the Same Color

When two colors look similar, it might make you wonder if those two colors are the same. Tan and beige look similar but they are different. Tan has a yellow undertone which you will notice on the paint color or surface, while beige’s paint color or surface has a dominant orange.

Constituents of Tan Acrylic Paint

The ingredients in the table below are necessary constituents for making tan paint.

Yellow paint
Blue paint
Red paint
White acrylic paint
A knife
A palette
A cloth piece
A paintbrush
Clear paper

Colors that go Well with Tan

Tan is a flexible color you can use in any room/house which creates a warm and serene impression. It is often described as a neutral tone in design and art; thus, making it easy to pair with any other color to make a beautiful color scheme.

When you pair tan with the right colors, it makes it look better. Pairing tan with white gives you a classy look. You obtain a sophisticated look when you pair tan with black and yellows.

Pairing tan with pink gives a feminine look. Tan with dark brown gives a peaceful environment. Tan with bright/bold blue gives a perfect look, while tan with soft blue provides a soothing environment. Tan is a neutral color, thus it’s easy to pair it with other colors.

Mixing Tan Acrylic Paint

Tan paint; a color combination is used to make items like hair, ground, skin tones, chocolates, trees, etc. It’s easy to mix tan colors. There are different ways to make tan paint, but I will explain the easiest. This is because most of the ingredients for this method are easy to find. Also, it gives room for customization depending on your imagination while mixing.

 How to Make Tan Acrylic Paint

Once you get all the necessary ingredients, you can proceed with the following steps.

STEP 1: Setting up the Palette

The first thing to do when making tan color is to set up the palette. There, you pour all the acrylic colors (yellow, blue, red, and white) in the exact quantity, amount, shape, etc. Ensure to have a wide space between every single dollop of colors you drop.

STEP 2: Mixing all the Primary Colors

Gently put all the primary colors in the same portion and amount altogether. Afterward, mix them to obtain a complicated solution.

You can proceed with the mixing by combining yellow-red color with blue color while using your knife to gently mix them for a little period. You will notice a change in the mixture’s color from the initial color to a muddy-like mixture. The muddy-like texture afterward, turns brown after some while.

STEP 3: Add White Color

After carrying out the steps above with a brown mixture result, you can add a bit of white color to the same mixture. Note that the white color to be added could be smaller in quantity and amount than that of the primary colors you used in making the brown mixture.

When mixing, please be vigilant and endeavor that your mixture is not becoming extremely lighter. Additionally, the white color you added will make it have a brighter look; thus, kindly take note.

What I mean in the paragraph above is that if the mixture is brighter after adding the white, the result will be much more perfect.

STEP 4: Test the End Product

This is the last step in making tan acrylic paint. Here, you only need to test the paint you made. The color/result you obtain is the very basic and beautiful tan color that you want to make. Now, you can test the tan paint on your wall or a surface to see for yourself if it is good enough.

You can test it by using your paintbrush to take out a bit of the mixture and write or draw anything on paper or cardboard. Afterward, assess it to confirm if it is good enough.

If it does not suit your taste or demand, you can try other methods to change the tan color, and make it suit your taste. A simple way to do this is to make the tan paint lighter, and you will find an explanation for this as you continue reading through this article. Now, I will explain how to make other tan colors.

how to Make Tan Color with Paint

How to Make a Lighter Tan Color with Paint

You can make a lighter tan color by mixing the tan paint with a little bit of white. If after adding more white color, you still need to make it lighter, you can add more white color. If you add excess white and the paint is looking excessively light, you can amend this issue by making it darker.

To make the tan paint darker, mix it with some black paint. To change your tan paint’s hue, you can add red to make it warmer. You can also make it cooler by adding purple and green.

How to Produce Darker Tan Color

If you will be creating hair, twilight pictures, dark woods, etc, it’s best to use a darker tan. By using black color, you can produce a darker tan, however, the painting result may look a little too muddy. Therefore, if you will make your tan color darker, it’s best to measure the black color and mix it with the appropriate amount.

How to Produce a Warmer Tan Paint

The warmer tan paint looks pleasant on woods, trees, and bricks. Therefore, to obtain a warmer tan paint, the steps below will help out.

  • Add more yellow or red paint to your resulting mixture
  • If it’s still not up to your desired outcome, you can add more red or yellow paint till you are okay with the result
  • Whenever you overuse the red or yellow paint, you can cool it down with the blue paint

How to Produce Cooler Tan Color

If you are going to make dark hair, wood, fur, etc, a cooler tan color works perfectly well. Therefore, if you feel your tan color result is too warm or dull and you want it to look cooler, you can add some blue paint until you obtain your desired cool paint.

How to Make a Tan Skin Color with Paint

You can make a tan skin color the same way I explained earlier. To create a tan skin color, follow the steps below.

  • First, create a palette with the primary colors: yellow, red, and blue. You can also add white and black although, these two are optional.
  • Mix each primary color together in equal proportions. Note that every skin tone contains a little yellow, red, and blue, however in different ratios. Once you have done this a few times, you might begin with more of one color or another. Nevertheless, start by mixing each part of each color using a palette knife
  • You will obtain a somewhat dark result. Once you obtain this, you are on the right track because generally, it is easier to make skin tones lighter with acrylic than to make them darker
  • Afterward, refine your color. If you have mixed equal proportions of each color, it’s likely the blue has made the color mix somewhat dark. You can make it lighter by adding white and/or yellow.
  • If there is the need to make it more reddish, you can add more red paint
  • Once you create these obvious tweaks, you will get the opportunity to refine
  • You can add a little bit of each color when there is a need until you obtain your preferred tone.

How to Make Tan Color with Brown

The color combinations here, differ a bit from other color combinations I explained earlier. To make tan color using brown paint, you only need brown, white, and yellow colors. Once you get these colors on your palette, mix them in equal proportions.

 If you obtain a darker shade, perhaps there is excess brown, you can make it lighter by adding some white colors and vice versa. You can make the shade warmer by adding more yellow.

Note that using brown is not compulsory in making tan paint. Therefore, if you don’t have brown paint, you can use the colors: blue, red, yellow, and white. If you want a very dark tan shade, the white color might not be necessary.

However, if you need a very light shade, the white color is necessary. After mixing the colors and you need the shade to be lighter, you can adjust it by adding more white color.

Alternative Method for Making Tan Acrylic Paint

Ingredients needed: White paint, brown paint, red paint, paintbrush, water, rag, and mixing tray.


  • Apply a large quantity of white paint in a mixing container
  • Rinse off the white paint on your paintbrush and dry it using a rag
  • Afterward, dip the paintbrush in brown paint and mix a brush-worth of brown paint into the white. The paint becomes dark at this point.
  • Repeat the process using a small amount of brown at a time until you obtain your desired result
  • Add a touch of red paint as the red paint adds a little life to the tan paint. Ensure to add just a brush-worth into the tan paint. This is because the paint is subtle; thus, if you overdo it, it can ruin the entire tan paint.
  • Mix up your paint thoroughly before using it. If you don’t mix it up thoroughly, you will have brown or white paint pockets that won’t evenly match the overall paint color.
  • If the paint is too dark, you can make it light by adding more white paint. Also, if you want to obtain a darker shade, you can add more brown or little red.

You can learn more about making tan acrylic paint by watching the video below.


Tan is a color present all around us although you might not notice it. It is easy to create tan paint. Colors you can use to make tan acrylic paint include white, brown, yellow, blue, and red. Note that you can’t use all colors at once as there are different methods of making acrylic paint.

 To make your tan paint, you can follow the steps in this article and choose your combination. Just like how you can make darker tan shades, you can also produce lighter shades, including cooler and warmer shades. Good luck with your next project!