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How do you mix aqua color?

What is Aqua?

Aqua is a light blue-green color. It sits between green and blue on the color wheel. Aqua gets its name from the Latin word for water, as it evokes the colors you might see in beautiful seas, lakes, or swimming pools.

Aqua is often described as a refreshing, invigorating, and calming color. It has connotations of renewal, energy, and purity. Aqua can create a relaxing ambiance and is said to have a positive effect on the mind and body.

In color psychology, aqua relates to emotional healing and protection. It is associated with water signs like Pisces and Cancer. Aqua pigments are very useful for creating a cool, watery, or aquatic mood in art, fashion, interior design, and beyond.

The Best Ways to Mix Aqua Paint

If you want to mix your own aqua paint for an art or DIY project, there are a few simple techniques you can use:

Start with a blue pigment

Since aqua leans more towards blue than green, start by choosing a blue pigment, like ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, or cerulean blue. Adding a touch of green will shift the blue towards aqua. But you want blue to be the dominant hue.

Add a small amount of green

Next, add a tiny bit of green paint. Green is the complementary color to red, so adding a little bit of green will neutralize any hidden red undertones in the blue pigment. The green also shifts the color towards aqua. You only need a small amount as too much green will make it look more minty or turquoise.

Use yellow sparingly

While some people add yellow when mixing aqua, you want to be cautious with this. Yellow quickly dominates and makes aqua look more green. Add just a dab of lemon yellow to brighten up the aqua slightly. Too much creates a lime green color instead.

White for tinting

Once you’ve mixed the blue and green to create the aqua hue, you can add white paint to make it lighter and more translucent, creating an “airy” quality. Add white slowly until you get your desired tint.

Deepen with navy blue

To take aqua into a richer, darker direction, try mixing in a touch of navy blue. This will give it more intensity without dulling the aqua tones.

How to Mix Aqua with Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a popular choice for mixing custom colors. Here’s a simple acrylic aqua paint recipe:

Supplies Needed:

– Phthalo or Cerulean Blue paint
– Lemon Yellow paint
– Teal or Turquoise paint
– White acrylic paint
– Cup and paintbrush
– Palette or nonporous mixing surface

Step 1: Squeeze out a dollop of the blue paint onto your palette. This will be the base.

Step 2: Add a tiny squeeze of the lemon yellow paint. Mix together thoroughly.

Step 3: Add just a dab of the teal/turquoise and mix together. This will create a nice aqua color.

Step 4: To lighten the shade, stir in some of the white acrylic paint. Add white slowly until you reach your preferred saturation.

Step 5: Test the mixed aqua paint on a sample canvas or paper. Make adjustments as needed by adding more blue for deeper aqua or more white for lighter aqua.

Mixing Aqua Watercolor Paint

For watercolor painting, you can also blend your own aqua tones. Here is one way to mix an aqua watercolor:

Supplies Needed:

– Cerulean or Manganese Blue watercolor
– Green Gold watercolor
– Chinese White or Zinc White watercolor
– Watercolor palette and brush
– Water in spray bottle

Step 1: Wet your palette. Squeeze out a puddle of the blue and green watercolors, keeping them separate.

Step 2: Use your brush to mix together small amounts of the blue and green. Blend until you achieve a pleasant aqua shade.

Step 3: If the color is too intense, lighten it by working in drops of the white watercolor. Test on paper to match your desired hue.

Step 4: Spritz clean water from the spray bottle to dilute the mixed aqua color to your preferred saturation. Thin layers will appear more translucent.

Step 5: For a richer aqua, allow the first layer to dry and apply another glaze of the mixed color. This creates depth.

Mixing Aqua Color with Decorative Paints

For home decor projects, you can mix an aqua color using chalky decorative paints. Here is one recipe:

Supplies Needed:

– Baby blue chalk paint or milk paint
– Sea glass green chalk paint
– White chalk paint
– Mixing stick or paint paddle

Step 1: Pour some of the blue paint into a mixing container. This will serve as the blue base.

Step 2: Add a couple of tablespoons of the sea glass green paint. Stir to incorporate.

Step 3: Stir in the white paint in small amounts until you achieve your ideal aqua tone. Test on scrap wood.

Step 4: Thin with water or clear acrylic sealer if needed for better brushability. Decorative paints have more pigment and can be thick.

Step 5: Use soft bristle brush to apply mixed aqua paint to furniture, wood signs, frames, etc. Allow to fully dry before adding topcoat for protection.

Mixing Aqua Fabric Dye

For DIY tie dye projects, you can mix up a custom aqua dye using professional textile dyes. Here is a simple approach:

Supplies Needed:

– Turquoise fabric dye
– Lemon Yellow fabric dye
– Small plastic bottles for mixing
– Funnels
– Measuring spoons
– White garment, cloth, or sheets

Step 1: Fill a small bottle one-quarter full with turquoise dye. This will be the blue base.

Step 2: Add 2-3 drops of the lemon yellow dye. Insert funnel and cap bottle; shake to blend.

Step 3: Fill a spray bottle with warm water. Test aqua dye on white cloth, spraying water to dilute if the color is too intense.

Step 4: Once your custom aqua dye is mixed to the ideal tone, tie-dye your garments or fabrics as desired.

Step 5: Allow to set fully before rinsing and washing items. The mixed aqua dye will leave beautiful patterns.

Mixing Aqua Glazes for Pottery

For pottery and ceramic work, you can mix your own aqua glazes. Here are some ideas for homemade recipes:

Blue Underglaze + Yellow Underglaze:

– Mix 4 parts blue underglaze with 1 part yellow underglaze on a tile or in a small jar. Test apply to bisque ware. Fire according to glaze instructions to get an aqua finish.

Food Coloring:

– In a small container, combine 4 drops blue food coloring with 2 drops yellow food coloring. Add 1 tablespoon clear glaze then mix well. Test on bisque pieces and fire.

Acrylic Aqua Paint + Clear Glaze:

– Mix acrylic paint in your desired aqua hue. Add 2 parts acrylic paint to 1 part clear glaze and stir together. Use this to brush onto greenware or bisque pieces. Fire according to glaze instructions.

Test your mixed aqua glazes on sample tiles before applying to pottery pieces. Firing will deepen and intensify the colors. Re-mix and adjust recipes if needed to get your perfect aqua color.

Best Aqua Paint Colors from Brands

For quick aqua paint projects, you can use premixed aqua paints from leading brands:

Valspar: Oceanside, Spa Blue, Seaglass

Behr: Water Jewel, Ocean Floor, Splash Zone

Sherwin Williams: Bracing Blue, Emphasis Aqua, Covered Bridge

Benjamin Moore: Baby’s Breath, Sleepy Blue, Waterbury Green

PPG: Little Mermaid, Mint Madness, Harbor Mist

Glidden: Waterfall Lake, Secluded Cove, Pebble Walk

Test swatches on boards first to ensure the pre-mixed aqua tones are suitable for your project before committing to larger amounts. While not fully custom, these mass-produced aqua paint shades provide a faster alternative to mixing your own.

TintingAqua Paints at Home Improvement Stores

Another option is to have paint tinted at home improvement stores. Bring in a swatch or describe the aqua tone you want. Ask them to add tinting colorants to a base white or blue paint. This allows you to get custom aqua paint without the mixing work. Be sure to get samples mixed first to confirm you like the tinted shade before purchasing gallons.

Choosing the Right Finish

Aqua paint works well in any finish:

– Flat/Matte – For walls. Provides a soft, muted aqua look.

– Eggshell – Subtle sheen, resists scuffs. Good for walls, wood trim, furniture.

– Satin – Smoother shine. Nice for windows, doors, cabinets.

– Semi-Gloss – Brighter shine. Great for furniture, decorative accents.

– Gloss – High-gloss. Use for pottery glazes or flashy accents.

Sample different sheens on posterboard to decide which finish best suits your project. Flat or eggshell aqua works well for relaxed spaces, while glossy aqua adds vibrant pop.

Make Your Aqua Paint Projects Stand Out

Once you’ve mixed or purchased the perfect aqua paint, use these tips to make it shine:

– Prep Surfaces – Properly prep and prime all surfaces before painting for smoothest results.

– Use Quality Brushes – Invest in good synthetic bristle brushes. They hold aqua paint better.

– Add Contrasts – Pair with deeper shades like navy or black for striking combos.

– Include Metallics – Try gold, silver, or copper accents for a hint of glam.

– Consider Pairings – Aqua goes great with neutrals like white, tan, gray and bold colors like yellow or red.

– Watch Lighting – Aqua can look totally different in bright sun vs. warm incandescent bulbs. Test in your space.

– Have Fun! – Aqua is inherently playful. Don’t be afraid of bold patterns or expressive brushstrokes.

Aqua paint adds vitality and refreshment wherever it goes. With the techniques above for mixing or buying ready-made aqua paints, you can use this elegant color for all sorts of dazzling projects.


Mixing the perfect shade of aqua paint, glaze or dye may take some testing and adjustment, but is easily achievable with the right color combinations. Start with a blue base, add greens and yellows in small amounts, then modify with white until the ideal aqua tone is reached. Premixed aqua paints are also widely available. The finished aqua color can brighten up art, decor, fashion and more with its soothing, watery vibe. Use your custom mixed or purchased aqua paints confidently, following the tips above for best application results. Aqua is a breezy, beautiful color that offers a welcome sense of renewal.