Some Background

Back in 2014, I made a "wand" out of a wooden dowel, and some glue gun glue for the handle. The "wand" part was a single pre-made colour, but for the handle, I mixed together a few different colours to create a nice brown-ish colour. Once I was satisfied, I began to happily paint the handle, unaware that I had not mixed enough of the colour. Once I began to run out, I attempted to re-mix the colours in roughly the same ratio as best I could remember, but obviously it wasn't exact.

I ended up having to do this at least twice, as far as I remember. I managed to get the colour pretty close, almost indistinguishable, but by the third time, I simply mixed a massive amount and painted over what I had already done.

While this was not the end of the world, it dawned on me that there must be a better way than simply eyeballing amounts and relying on memory to determine ratios.


How would a more experienced crafter/painter ensure that, if they needed to mix a new batch of a custom colour, they mixed colours in the proper ratios each time?

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    Mostly, I go with the "mix a (relatively) massive amount" method, which is fine because I use watercolors - if there are leftovers, I let them dry out, and then I can use them for the next project by adding water. I have no idea what people do when painting a large canvas with oil paints or acrylics, other than maybe "don't mix your own colors, buy them instead".
    – Martha
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 23:36
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    There are things called paint mixing cups that have different measurements all over the sides. Those are really good, and I know some people do it by weight. They get a cup, put it on a scale, then pour paints in to the right weight. So it could be like 9g or blue, 7g or red, and 2g of white to make light purple, Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


It would be helpful to know the order of magnitude of your volumes.

I paint miniatures and so milliliters are often enough. In this case my paints are in dropper bottles and I count the droplets I add to the mix.

For bigger volumes I would use a transparent bottle and make a level mark for each colour I add. So next time the marks could be reused in the same bottle to get the same ratio.

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    I see, ok so your dispenser (the dropper bottles) dispenses discrete amounts, which you simply count/keep track. That makes a lot of sense. The transparent bottle idea is excellent too, I will keep that in mind. Thank you! Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 21:13

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