Changing colors of semi-transparent objects can be tricky.  When recoloring these types of objects, they can go from vibrant to flat easily.

This  Accent is pretty, soft, and subtle pink colors.

If we want to change the color of this we could apply a color overlay, but it looks pretty flat and “muddy.”


The original accent has pretty texture and color variations, which are lost in the recolor.

You could try experimenting with a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, but if you know you want a specific color, here’s an easier way to get, as well as keep the pretty texture in the original piece. I am working in CC 2017 but this technique works in Photoshop Elements as well. (PSE instructions at the end of this tutorial).

  1. Add a Black and White Color Adjustment Layer to the element.
  2. Clip the adjustment layer to the Accent.
  3. Add a Solid Color Adjustment layer. The Color Picker will open.  Choose the color you want to use. I chose Aqua (Hex 419e8d).
  4. Clip the Color  Fill layer to the Black and White Adjustment Layer.
  5. Change the Blend Mode of the Color Fill layer until you get the look you want. The Mode you use will depend upon the color of the paper you are using as well as the color that you are using on the accent. In my example, Color Burn worked perfectly.


In our final result, we can see the texture, as well as the variations in color.

So many kits have beautiful Blendables, Accents, and/or Stamps. Sometimes they aren’t necessarily in the colors you need for a specific layout. Try recoloring them to suit your needs! Don’t forget you can also use Gradients when applying using this technique.

PSE users:  You do not have a Black and White Color Adjustment so you will need to go to the top menu bar: Enhance > Convert to Black and White. Then follow the rest of the instructions as stated above.

You may download a PDF of this tutorial here: Recoloring Semi-Transparent Objects.