How to Import a Color Palette Into Paint.NET

Add more colors to Paint.NET for Windows

While graphics programs like GIMP and Inkscape offer multiple ways to import new color palettes, Paint.NET is more limited. That said, there is a workaround that allows you to use custom color palettes in Paint.NET.

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 Import a Custom Color Scheme Into Paint.NET

The first step is to produce your own color palette, or find one created by someone else. You can use any application for this purpose. In this example, we'll use a web application called Coolors.co:

  1. Create a custom palette in your web browser, then select Export in the upper-right corner of Coolors.co.

    A screenshot of Coolors with the Export button highlighted
  2. Select PNG to open the palette in a new window.

    A screenshot of the Export screen on Coolors with the PNG option highlighted
  3. Take a screenshot of the palette.

    In Windows 10, press the Window Key + PrtSc to save screenshots.

    Take a screenshot of the palette.
  4. Open Paint.NET and select Layers > Import From File.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Import from File command highlighted
  5. Select the screenshot of your custom palette.

    If you get a warning about the pasted image being larger than the canvas size, select Keep canvas size.

    Select the screenshot of your custom palette.
  6. Select Tool > Rectangle Select, then draw a box around the edges of the palette.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Rectangle Select tool highlighted
  7. Select Edit > Invert Selection.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Invert Selection command highlighted
  8. Select Edit > Erase Selection.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Erase Selection command highlighted
  9. Go to Tool > Color Picker to choose your color of choice and use it to color objects on other layers.

You can hide the layer by selecting the checkbox beside its name in the layer's window. Try to keep the colors palette as the uppermost layer.

A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Color Picker tool highlighted