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How to use adjustments to re-color Photoshop patterns tutorial

how to recolor patterns using adjustments in Photoshop

Patterns can be re-colored by many means such as adjustment layers and adjustments in Photoshop. You can create patterns in many ways such as via the edit menu and fill and layer menu. You can add adjustments in two ways, you can add them as a destructive image adjustment via the image menu and you can add them as an adjustment layer (which can be removed and modified). There are a number of adjustments available both in the image menu and layer menu. You can change the brightness, vibrance, invert the image etc. There are a number of different settings for the adjustments available to re-color the patterns. You can also use blending modes / options to re-color the adjustment layer. You can add multiple adjustment layers on top of the Photoshop patterns. You can add a mask to the adjustment layer to modify only part of the color of the patterns in Photoshop. You can also use selections with adjustments to only modify part of a pattern. This tutorial shows a number of ways to re-color parts or all of the patterns / pattern layers in Photoshop using adjustments

  1. Layer menu in Photoshop

  2. New fill layer

  3. Pattern

  4. Set scaling and position for the Photoshop pattern layer

  5. Select the actual pattern to use

  6. OK

Patterns and pattern layers in Photoshop

adjustments and fill

The first thing is to create a pattern or a pattern layer and that can be done in Photoshop in many ways such as using the layer menu and fill content and pattern content or using layer effects with a pattern overlay or using a fill via the edit menu and so on. You can also edit the color of the source pattern in Photoshop as well though that does require a few additional steps

  1. Edit menu in Photohop

  2. Fill

  3. Select a custom pattern

  4. Set blending mode

  5. OK


Now you can go and color the fill using an adjustment layer via the layer menu




Adjustment layers or Adjustments

adjustment layers and properties

If you want to have a non destructive effect then the adjustment layers (layers menu) are probably best though if the pattern has been stored as a smart object then you can also use adjustments via the image menu and they are also then non destructive.


  1. Layer

  2. New adjustment layer

  3. Select one from the menu such as hue / saturation

  4. Give it a name and select blending mode and opacity etc and click OK

  5. Go to the properties panel (window / properties)

  6. Change settings via the properties


The adjustment layer is live and can be altered by going to the layers panel and double clicking the little adjustment icon, it can also be deleted as it is a normal layer. You can also modify the mask of the layer to perhaps set one side of the pattern to the original color and one side to the new color in Photoshop

Destructive adjustments for the pattern

fade adjustment to pattern and difference

If you don't mind radically and permanently changing the pattern then you can use the Photoshop adjustments in the image menu. If you are using a pattern layer then you cannot use the image menu adjustments unless you flattern the work or change it into a smart object


  1. Image menu

  2. Adjustments

  3. Select one of the adjustments

  4. Change settings as required


Of course, you can always just undo the action or set a history state / snapshot via the history panel to go back to if you decide the color or change was wrong


Or use the fade command with the adjustment and add into blending modes such as difference etc into the image.

Adjustment layers panel and settings

blending modes for hue saturation and pattern layer

If you go for the adjustment layers approach in Photoshop then you will have to select one of the adjustment layers such as


  1. Channel mixer

  2. Photo filter

  3. Hue saturation

  4. Exposure

  5. Vibrance

  6. Color balance

  7. Invert etc


You will see a properties panel appear where you can change the settings for the color of the underlying layer (or layers).


Say, you decide to use the hue / saturation then you can then re-color or change the color such as hue / saturation / lightness. It should be noted that if the underlying layer is greyscale then the result of the hue etc will have no affect. You can set the panel adjustment layer to colorize which is a useful setting to change the entire pattern into blue or red etc


With adjustment layers and patterns in Photoshop, you can also use blending modes with the adjustment layers so the adjustment can be radically changed by using linear burn or difference etc via the layers panel for the adjustment layer (or layers if you have more than one) such as with the image on the left

Blending options for the adjustment layer

blending options for the pattern and adjustment layers blend if

You can also use the layer menu and layer style and blending options to change how the adjustment layer interacts with the underlying pattern layer depending on the blend if (this layer and underlying layer) such as with the image on the right and how that can change the color in radical ways as well


  1. Select adjustment layer in layer panel

  2. Layer menu

  3. Layer style

  4. Blending options

Multiple adjustment layers

adjustments layers and moving up and down with pattern to color

Another great thing for changing the color of the patterns in Photoshop with adjustment layers is that you can add multiple adjustments (the same or different) and the layers can all be seen in the layers panel where they can be deleted or shifted up and down to modify the end result.

  1. Layer menu

  2. New adjustment layer

  3. Select hue / saturation

  4. Change settings etc

  5. Go to layer menu

  6. New adjustment layer

  7. Select photo filter

  8. Change settings etc

  9. Select one of the adjustment layers

  10. Move up above the other adjustment

Masks and adjustment layers and patterns

patterns and masks and adjustments in Photoshop color effects

Another great thing about using the adjustment layers to modify the patterns is that you can click the properties panel and instead of the hue / saturation you can select the mask (at the top of the panel with the little frame icon) and then you can modify only a part of the underlying pattern and you can then go to the layers panel and add or subtract from the mask to see more or less of the changes to the color of the pattern by using varying shades of gray (black / white etc)

Selections and adjustment layers and patterns

adjustments layers and selections and photoshop patterns color

You can also add a selection to the Photoshop pattern beforehand and then use a selection to define a particular area to be adjusted and that adjustment layer can be a lot less than the original pattern size (perhaps circles or dots or a square etc) and the adjustment can then be selected and shifted as as re-sized or rotated etc as well as duplicated and then used to create interesting color shifts on top of the Photoshop pattern.


You can also use the pen tool as a great way of creating an interesting shape for your adjustment layer, select path mode with the pen tool and just add the anchor points and go to the path panel and create a selection from the right side menu and then invert and then apply the adjustment layer and you will see only that part of the image change and as it is a layer, you can then move the artwork around and re-size and also adjust the settings for the color as well as use different blending modes

Patterns and adjustments

adjustments and effects and hdr toning for photoshop patterns re-color

You don't have to use the Photoshop patterns as a layer as well as the adjustments in Photoshop, just flatten and then re-color the pattern using the image menu adjustments and the range of options is slightly greater as now you can use the HDR toning which adds even more amazing colorful manipulation to the pattern.


You can apply the adjustment multiple times (the same or different adjustments)


Or mixing HDR toning with gradient map adjustment and also effects and filters such as on the right

Original source pattern

recolor adjustments subtle blue Photoshop pattern

You can also edit the original source patterns from the patterns panel in Photoshop and use adjustments and adjustment layers with that to make a permanent change to the color. You need to find the pattern dimensions by hovering over the pattern in the panel and if it is 2000 x 2000 for the source tile then create a document with that set of dimensions and use the edit menu and fill.


You can then use adjustments such as hue / saturation and in most cases, the results should still be a seamless tile. You can then go to the edit menu and define the pattern again.

Other tutorials

1. how to create an exciting pyramid pattern in Photoshop

2. how use lines and pattern tools in Photoshop to create unique backgrounds and textures

3. how to copy patterns from Photoshop for use in other apps such as Affinity Photo tutorial

4. Random fill scripts and Photoshop patterns fill tutorial

Youtube video tutorials

How to use adjustment layers and patterns in Photoshop (youtube video)