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How to Copy Color in Photoshop

Published: 17/10/2023

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Consistent colors are essential in real estate photos because they can attract clients. When shooting in RAW, the colors can appear flat, and you need to search for a way to enhance them during post-processing. I'm giving a step-by-step guide on how to copy colors in Photoshop.

How to Copy Color in Photoshop Using Four Methods

You can use the Eyedropper tool, Blend Mode, Color Picker, and Match Color feature to copy colors in Photoshop. You'll need to choose a color source from the picture and use that sample color to copy to other parts of the photograph.

Changing the color of elements on your photograph or the whole image’s palette is vital to image manipulation in Photoshop. They are crucial in setting the mood of real estate pictures.

Copy a Color Using the Eyedropper Tool

The Eyedropper tool is a powerful tool in Photoshop that lets you get sampled colors anywhere in a picture. In effect, you can add those to your Swatches panel and copy them in your edits.

In Photoshop, you can select the foreground color from any source using the Eyedropper for this option. It could be the same picture, another photograph, or another application altogether.

When you copy a color with the Eyedropper, it is default selected as the foreground color. You can then use that foreground color or another chosen color with the Eyedropper with the Paint Bucket tool, Brush tool, Gradients, or the Color Replacement tools.

From the Same Image

The easiest way to copy color in Photoshop is to pick a color already in your picture.

  1. The first thing you need to do is to open the image in Adobe Photoshop CC.
  2. Make a duplicate layer of your image by selecting it in the Layers panel. Press the keyboard shortcut CTRL + J (Windows) or COMMAND + J (Mac). This step will ensure non-destructive editing. 
  3. Zoom in on the picture to pinpoint the exact hue you want to copy. 
  4. Suppose you want to copy the color of an object from the photograph and paint another object with that color. Pick the Eyedropper tool from the toolbox. You may also press the I key on your keyboard.
  5. From the options bar on top, select the Sample Size. This determines the number of pixels from which the Eyedropper will sample the color.
  6. Set a higher sample size setting if you want to use the blended color on an area. Choose a smaller sample size for the exact pixel color. 
  7. Choose the Sampled Layers option accordingly. Meanwhile, select the option of the current layer if you want the Eyedropper tool to copy a color only from the current layer.
  8. Turn on the Caps Lock key while using the Eyedropper tool. This will transform the Eyedropper tool into a target that copies color only at the pixel level.
  9. If you want to copy a background color with the Eyedropper tool, press and hold the Alt key (Windows) or Option key (Mac) while picking up a shade for the Eyedropper tool. 
  10. Select the Paint Bucket tool from the toolbar to use the hues selected with the Eyedropper tool on any other part of the picture.
  11. Click on the object that you want to color in Photoshop. 
  12. You may also click and hold to reveal the preview ring to show the color to be selected once you release the cursor. 
  13. Zoom in and out to pinpoint the colors you need.
Using the Eyedropper Tool to sample color in an image

From Another Image

If you have found a desirable shade you wish to use on other photos, Photoshop makes it possible to copy it. Whenever you want to copy a color from another photograph with the Eyedropper tool, open the picture in Photoshop and use the Eyedropper to copy the color.

Sample Color From Other Applications

The Eyedropper tool comes in handy when sampling colors from any other source outside Photoshop.

  1. Select the Eyedropper from the toolbar.
  2. Click on the Restore button to reduce the size of the Photoshop window. 
  3. Open any other application, for instance, a web page on your browser from which you want to copy a color.
  4. Click on the picture in Photoshop using the Eyedropper.
  5. Keep the left mouse button pressed while dragging the cursor on the source application.
  6. Click on the exact color in the source.
  7. Maximize the Photoshop window again and use the sampled color wherever you want on your images.

Copy a Color Using the Blend Mode

Another straightforward Photoshop technique to copy the colors of photographs and seamlessly blend it onto another image is using the Gaussian Blur tool and the Layer Blend Modes.

  1. Open the source image in Adobe Photoshop CC using File > Open. This is the photograph that has your desired palette.
  2. Keep the target image open as well. 
  3. Make a duplicate layer of the target image's background to ensure the editing remains non-destructive in Photoshop.
Copying colors using the Blend Mode in Photoshop
  1. Pick the Move tool from the toolbar. Go to the source image and click on the layer containing the picture.
  2. Drag it onto the top of the target layer. When the tabs are changed, drop the layer onto the target image in the Photoshop workspace.
  3. Make sure the source layer that you just copied is selected.
  4. Go up to the Filter menu. From the Blur submenu, choose the Gaussian Blur tool.
  5. Increase the Radius to a high level. This action intends to keep the hues while blurring the image to hide its details. Click on OK.
  6. With the source layer selected, change the blend mode to Overlay or Soft Light. You can also check other blend modes to decide which looks the best.
Selecting the source layer in an image

Copy a Color Using the Match Color Feature

Although this Photoshop process is a bit complex, the Match Color feature lets you adjust color grading in your target picture to make them look more like those in your source photo.

  1. Open both the target and the source images in Adobe Photoshop CC.
  2. Create a duplicate layer of the background layer on the target layer tab. Click on the layer and select Duplicate Layer.
  3. Go to the Image menu on top. From the Adjustments option, choose Match Color.
Using the Match Color Feature in Photoshop to copy colors in an image
  1. Once the Match Color command opens, choose the source image by clicking its name in the drop-down.
  2. Increase the Luminance and Color intensity values. Adjust the sliders until they give the desired brightness effect and exact color saturation with the copied colors.
  3. Keep the Fade slider within 50.
  4. Click OK
Match Color option in Photoshop

Copy a Color Using Color Values

You can also duplicate a color in Photoshop using a color value because computers see colors as numerical values. 

A Photoshop editor showing the Color Picker pop up window with the color red and a photo of living room on the background
  1. Click the foreground color swatch in the toolbox.
  2. Launch the Color Picker tool.

Photoshop will present color values for your chosen color in five color spaces. Use the numbers from these spaces to copy the color.

  • CMYK: Cyan, magenta, yellow, key
  • RGB: Red, green, blue
  • HSB: Hue, saturation, brightness
  • L*a*b*: Lightness, green/magenta, blue/yellow
  • #: Hexadecimal

Working With Hex Colors

A web browser can use six-digit hexadecimal codes to create and display colors. For example, #0000000 represents pure black, whereas #ffffff represents pure white.

A Photoshop editor showing the Color Picker pop up window with a photo of living room on the background

A hexadecimal code matches Photoshop graphics to a web design color scheme. This is how you can extract a hex code from a picture in Photoshop.

  1. Launch the Eyedropper tool.
  2. Set the Sample Size to Point Sample. The Sample Size will determine the number of pixels for the Eyedropper, especially if you need to blend hues.
  3. Click on the color you want to use and update the currently chosen foreground color.
  4. To see every color value, click the foreground color swatch and open the Color Picker dialog window.
  5. Pick the hexadecimal code, copy it, and paste it into your CSS code.


Adjusting the image using the correct colors is the key to completely transforming your photos. As the Color Picker, Eyedropper tool, and other methods allow you to copy a new color easily, you can drastically improve the visual elements in your real estate photo editing skills using Photoshop.


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