How to Make a Photo Look Snowy in Paint.NET

Simulate a snowy scene in Paint.NET for Windows

Paint.NET is a free image editor capable of producing many of the same effects you can create with Photoshop. For example, you can make it look like its snowing in any photo.

Instructions in this article apply to version 4.2 of the Paint.NET image editing software for Windows, not to be confused with the website of the same name.

How to Add Snow to a Photo in Paint.NET

As odd as it may seem, you first need to create a new layer and fill it with solid black to produce the effect of snow. You'll then combine the fake snow with the background layer to give an impression of the final effect:

  1. Go to File > Open and select the image you wish to edit.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Open command highlighted
  2. Go to Layers > Add New Layer.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Add New Layer command highlighted
  3. Set the Primary color in the colors palette to black, then select the Paint Bucket tool either from the menu or the toolbar.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Paint Bucket tool highlighted
  4. Click on the image to fill the new layer with solid black.

    Click on the image to fill the new layer with solid black.
  5. Go to Effects > Noise > Add Noise.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Add Noise command highlighted
  6. Set the Intensity slider to about 70, set the Color Saturation slider to 0, and move the Coverage slider all the way to 100. You can experiment with these settings to get different effects. When you've applied your settings, select OK.

    Set the Intensity slider to about 70, set the Color Saturation slider to 0, and move the Coverage slider all the way to 100.
  7. Go to Layers > Layer Properties.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Layer Properties command highlighted
  8. Select the Blending Mode drop-down menu and select Screen, then select OK.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET's Layer Properties window with the Screen Mode option highlighted
  9. Go to Effects > Blurs > Gaussian Blur.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Gaussian Blur command highlighted
  10. Set the Radius slider to 1 and click OK.

    Set the Radius slider to 1 and click OK.
  11. For denser snow, go to Layers > Duplicate Layer.

    Alternatively, you can produce a more random result by repeating the previous steps to add another layer of fake snow.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Duplicate Layer command highlighted
  12. You can also combine different fake snow layers with different levels of opacity by changing the settings in the Layer Properties dialog, which can help to give more natural results.

    You can also combine different fake snow layers with different levels of opacity
  13. Go to File > Save As to save the edited image.

    Go to File > Save As to save the edited image.