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How to Remove a Specific Color in Photoshop

Published: 17/10/2023

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When editing real estate images, you may encounter shots where you need to remove and replace certain colors. At first glance, it seems tricky to remove one color in Photoshop without affecting the solid colored background. Learning how to remove color in Photoshop enables you to change colors in an image to enhance its appearance.

How to Remove a Specific Color in Photoshop Using Multiple Methods

You can use the Magic Wand, Magic Eraser, and Replace Color options to remove a specific color in Photoshop. You may also use the Color Range and Selection tools. After opening the image in Photoshop, make a selection before deleting or masking it using the tools mentioned.

Learning how to remove color in Photoshop can help target edits in your real estate images. Along with a video tutorial, here are more tutorials to remove one color in Photoshop.

Method 1: Remove a Color In Photoshop Using the Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand and Select Color Range tools are powerful tools for real estate photo editors to remove color in a selected area. They make the same selection of pixels based on the sample colors in Photoshop to eliminate one color in Photoshop.

Step 1: Select the Magic Wand Tool

Depending on the color you click on, the Magic Wand selects a similar color in Photoshop. This makes it the best tool for removing a single color. For example, removing a logo from a white background without affecting similar colors.

A photo of a living room on a Photoshop with the Magic Wand Tool selected on the left side
  1. Select an image and open it in Photoshop.
  2. Choose the Magic Wand tool, which is bundled up with the Quick Selection tool. You can access it by right-clicking on the Quick Selection tool. You can also press the keyboard shortcut W to activate it. 
  3. The Select Color Range tool is the other option that you can use to eliminate one color. It uses the eyedropper tool settings to pick color samples from your photo.

Step 2: Set the Tolerance

A photo of a living room on a Photoshop with the color tolerance open on top

The next step to remove color in Photoshop is to set the Tolerance values to include hue variations in your selection.

  1. Go to the Magic Wand settings bar on top. Set the Tolerance between a range of 10-35.
  2. Check whether this tolerance setting makes a comprehensive selection in your image to remove color.
  3. Increase or decrease the Tolerance until you're satisfied.

Step 3: Make a Selection

Click on the color you want to remove. Depending upon the uniformity of the color range, the Magic Wand will select the areas in your image with a similar color.

A photo of a living room on a Photoshop with the color options open on the right side

The Magic Wand tool may leave areas that you need to select once you remove color in Photoshop. To refine your selection by adding or subtracting from it:

Selecting all the areas in your image with the same color using Photoshop Magic wand
  1. Press the Shift key while clicking on more areas to add
  2. Another option is to press the ALT / OPT key to subtract that area from the selection 

There are icons for adding or subtracting from the selection in the Magic Wand tool setting bar. 

Adjust the selection using Magic wand tool in Photoshop

Step 4: Inverse the Selection

Once satisfied with the selection, it’s time to inverse it. Press SHIFT + CTRL + I (Windows) or CMD + SHIFT + I (Mac) to invert the selection.

A photo of a living room on a Photoshop with the highlighted Select Inverse option

Step 5: Remove the Color Permanently

You can delete the selected color permanently or in a non-destructive way. 

  1. Press the Delete key to remove the color permanently. Remember that further adjustment is impossible if you delete the color this way.
  2. For a non-destructive way, add your inversed selection to an image layer mask. Click the Create a New Mask button at the bottom of the layer thumbnail.
  3. You will see that the selected color is now removed. The advantage of using a mask is that you can adjust or refine your selection later.
A photo of a living room on a Photoshop with the edited version of the color

Method 2: Remove Color in Photoshop Using the Magic Eraser Tool

In contrast to the Magic Wand tool, the Magic Eraser lets you erase a single color from localized color clusters. This is the perfect tool for images with a defined colored area. I usually use this when working on images with flat colors and sharp edges to remove color in Photoshop.

  1. After opening the image, choose the Magic Eraser tool from the toolbar.
  2. Set the Mode, Opacity, Flow, and Smoothing values from the settings bar on top.
  3. Drag the tool along the area you want to remove a single color.
A photo of a living room on a Photoshop, editing the wall

Method 3: Remove Color in Photoshop Using the Replace Color Option

What if your client wants to remove the lush green color in an architectural shot and replace it with white for a snow effect? Another way to remove color in Photoshop quickly is to use the Replace Color feature.

Removing a color in Photoshop using Replace Color Option

Step 1: Select the Replace Color Option 

Start by opening your image in Adobe Photoshop CC.

A photo of a living room on a Photoshop with the Image tab open highlighting Adjustments and the Replace Color options
  1. Make a duplicate of your image by selecting Image > Duplicate.
  2. Choose the duplicate image tab to work on color removal. 
  3. Select the new layer from the Layers panel.
  4. Go up to the Image menu bar on top.
  5. Hover the cursor on the Adjustments option.
  6. From the submenu, select Replace Color.

Step 2: Choose the Settings in Replace Mask Settings

Wait for the Color Picker dialogue box to open. Choose the color to replace, the result color, and other settings.

A pop up window of Replace Color on Photshop
  1. Set the Fuzziness slider between 20-30. This determines the tolerance of varying hues to help you tweak the edges.
  2. Set the color you want instead of the current color range. For example, I need to eliminate this image's green portion and replace it with white.
Choosing the settings in Replace Mask settings to remove a specific color

Step 3: Select the Color With the Eyedropper

Use the Eyedropper tool to select the color from the image you need to remove.

A photo of a living room on a Photoshop with the Eyedropper tool selected on the left corner
  1. Choose the eyedropper with the plus sign to add to the selection.
  2. You can also select the one with a minus to deselect any area.
  3. Press CTRL / CMD + Z to undo an accidental selection.

Method 4: Remove Color in Photoshop Using the Color Range Tool

The Select Color Range tool uses the Normal eyedropper tool to sample similar colors in an image and eliminate one color in Photoshop. The samples help create a new selection based on a grayscale, including variations in shades and tones to remove color in Photoshop.

Step 1: Access the Select Color Range Tool

Here, you will adjust the settings to remove everything except one color in Photoshop. You may also work on the view settings.

A pop up window of Color Range on Photoshop
  1. Open the image in Photoshop. Unlock by double-clicking on it.
  2. Go to Select and click on Color Range from the menu bar.
  3. Pick your preferred settings from the Select Color dialogue box.
  4. Set the image preview to Selection.
  5. Select Grayscale for the Selection Preview.

Step 2: Make a Selection

The next step is to make a selection. Click anywhere within the picture to get a sample to remove color.

A pop up window of Color Range showing the fuzziness
  1. Return to the Select Color Range dialog box and adjust the Fuzziness slider. For example, a lower level will make Photoshop pickier in selecting colors. In contrast, a higher value will make Photoshop lenient in choosing colors.
  2. Once satisfied with the results, click OK to turn the grayscale into a selection.

Step 3: Remove Color

With the selected color range, you can either create a layer mask or delete the background color.

A photo of a living room on a Photoshop with the Select tab open highlighting the Inverse option
  1. Invert the selection. Go to Select and click on Inverse to swap the selection area.
  2. While keeping the selection active, press the Delete key to permanently delete the current selection.
  3. Click on the image layer and add a layer mask.

Method 5: Remove Color in Photoshop Using the Selection Tool

Getting rid of all of the same color in images can be quite tricky. This process enables you to remove color by deleting them from a photo. However, once you do this to remove color in Photoshop, you cannot modify it with a different color later.

Step 1: Work on the Image Layer

This step allows you to refine the selection further. In this way, you can avoid images with low contrast.

A photo of a living room on a Photoshop with the Select tab open highlighting the Select and Mask option
  1. Select the image layer you're working on while keeping the Color Range tool active.
  2. Choose any of the Selection tools.
  3. From the Select toolbar, click on the Select and Mask option or press Alt + CTRL + R (Windows) or Option + CTRL + R (Mac)

Step 2: Refine the Layer Mask

To remove color in Photoshop, you must also create a layer mask to hide a selected area. In effect, you can make your chosen color invisible. 

A photo of a living room on a Photoshop with the Layer tab open highlighting the Layer Mask and choosing the Reveal All option
  1. Hold the Shift + Control/Command + I buttons to invert the selection.
  2. Select the image layer and apply a layer mask.
  3. Go to the Layer menu bar at the top of the screen and click on Layer Mask.
  4. Choose the Reveal All option to create a white layer mask. Select Hide All to form a black one. Shades of gray represent different levels of transparency.
  5. You may also work on the Hue/Saturation levels to improve the contrast or flatten one color.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Select a Certain Color in Photoshop?

Click and hold on to the Quick Selection icon, then use the Magic Wand tool to select a particular color in Photoshop. Even when you remove color in Photoshop, you may increase the Tolerance level and choose a broader range of colors if the initial selection doesn't show your desired color.

How to Replace a Deleted Color in Photoshop?

To replace a deleted color in Photoshop, go to Image, expand the Adjustments option, and then click on Replace Color. Once you remove color, you can use the Eyedropper tool from the dialog box to choose the replacement color.

How to Desaturate a Color in Photoshop?

To desaturate a color, go to the Layer menu bar, click New Adjustment Layer, and then select Hue/Saturation. From the drop-down menu next to Hue, click on the color you need to desaturate. Adjust the Saturation slider to the left until you're satisfied with the desaturation level.


I hope the various methods above will help you quickly remove color in Photoshop with just a few clicks. Now that you've successfully learned different ways to remove color in images try experimenting with the Magic Wand, Magic Eraser, and Replace Color options to see which can improve your editing techniques in Photoshop.


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