Introduction: Gradients in Microsoft Paint

Picture of Gradients in Microsoft Paint

How to create simple color gradients in MS Paint.

Step 1: Open Paint

Picture of Open Paint

Open paint. It is located under "Programs" and then "Accessories". After you have Paint open, press Ctrl+E. This will open the Attributes window (Attributes can be found under 'Image' too). Set width to 100, and height to 500. (Height can be any number, but 500 works well.) Make sure 'Pixels' and 'Colors' is checked and click OK.

Step 2: Draw the Line

Picture of Draw the Line

Your screen should now look like it does in picture 1. Now, select two colors you want to blend. Using the first color that you chose, use the line tool to draw a diagonal line connecting two corners, as in picture 2.

Step 3: Fill & Shrink

Picture of Fill & Shrink

Using the bucket tool, fill the top half of the page with the line color and the bottom half with the other color you chose. Now, press Ctrl+W. This opens the Stretch and Skew window (this can also be found under 'Image'). Enter 1% into the horizontal stretch area. Click OK.

Step 4: Stretch It Out Again

Picture of Stretch It Out Again

Your screen should now look like picture 1. To stretch it out, again open the Stretch and Skew window. This time, enter 500% into the horizontal stretch area (500 is the max amount allowed). Click OK. Do this two or three more times, until your gradient is wide enough to be admired.

Step 5: Wavy Gradients

Picture of Wavy Gradients

This step is a bonus trick I just learned. First, get your gradient to be relatively skinny. Then, use the corner dot to drag your page size so most of your screen is white. Make sure your secondary color white before you do this. Then, select your gradient using the rectangle select tool, and click transparency. Then, while holding the shift key, drag your gradient in any way you want, such as a wavy line. Lastly, use the fill bucket to fill in the white space around the edges. Voila!


TacoBurrito (author)2017-07-26


TheI10 made it! (author)2017-05-26

:D great tutorial i just made it have the width of 1 twice while it didn't maintain its aspect ratio

Natgeo564 (author)2017-05-22

How do I do gradients in windows 10? This is the image I'm trying to add it to... Sorry if can't see

Rylee_Anne_ made it! (author)2017-03-15

I did my two favorite colors and I love it

kennedy_sienko (author)2016-07-15

Ugh! When I tried it this happened!

edgeyedgeedge made it! (author)2016-06-03

lel, i used this for a background 83

and i failed the first time, did better this time

Raccoon77 made it! (author)2016-05-30

Thank you. Very useful.

outofplace made it! (author)2016-05-09

very cool

ABARNA BANU made it! (author)2016-02-17

super cool.

ABARNA BANU made it! (author)2016-02-17

super cool.

ABARNA BANU (author)2016-02-17

Super cool !

kmarie16 (author)2012-07-12

I have windows 7 and and mine does re size and skew not sketch and skew! so it does not work.

AngelFirePone (author)kmarie162015-11-15

This'll help you out -->

XD it actually is possible, I did it quite a few times on my own. I also use windows 7 :P

AngelFirePone (author)2015-07-09

I'm confused. I did all of this, and it's just coming up as a bunch of huge blocks. Can I get any help?

I got that first to, but when I realized that paint automatically checks 'maintain aspect ratio', so uncheck that and change it, done, the gradient is made

Yeah, I figured that out after I looked at a couple YouTube videos. Thanks anyways!

Rain0Knight (author)2013-04-16

Actually, it's possible, I did it on my windows 7 PC

AaronS4 (author)Rain0Knight2014-09-06's possible...i just did i on my Windows 7 PC

artworker (author)2013-01-30

Sooooo coool! This trick is so very out of this world. Please tell us how you found this trick. I would love to know the story behind this.

Icalasari (author)2010-11-01

Still annoys me that they removed this feature

They actually made their program have FEWER features >.>

Aye Pod (author)2009-07-14

dude NICE this is a really good guide

The Jamalam (author)2009-03-13

I have to say this is quite cool. look what i made!

iSmack (author)The Jamalam2009-04-07

Hey those gradients rock!! How did you make the one on the left??

The Jamalam (author)iSmack2009-04-07

i made a cross with the 4 colours in, and did the same thing i think.

iSmack (author)The Jamalam2009-04-09


The Jamalam (author)The Jamalam2009-03-13


Pyrowuzzup (author)2008-02-14

Thats pretty cool. I'm always finding new stuff in paint.

Flumpkins (author)Pyrowuzzup2008-08-22

lol. I like your S.O.A.D. shirt.

Pyrowuzzup (author)Flumpkins2008-08-22

yeah i didnt have room for the full mushrooms/ elephant design lol.

Flumpkins (author)Pyrowuzzup2008-08-23

Mushrooms? Elephant???

Flumpkins (author)Pyrowuzzup2008-08-24

thats cool!!!

kqrpnb (author)2008-02-22

Wow, that's a cool trick. Here's what I made (and what I made it from) using your technique. I skewed it horizontally as follows: 1, 500, 500, 1, 500, 500, 1, 500, 500, 1, 500, 500, 1, 500, 500 Then, in a fit of inspiration, I did it vertically: 1, 500, 500, 1, 500, 500, 1, 500, 500 Then I cropped it square (the right edge was not impressive). Neat, thanks!

DrCoolSanta (author)kqrpnb2008-08-23

It's nice, but I cannot stretch it the way you say. And I doubt you meant skew, you meant stretch right?

Metaferia (author)2008-08-22

thanks it was interesting, this is what i made

SmileGuy (author)2008-08-20

this is cool

blugyblug (author)2008-08-16

Im happy with using photoshop for this xD

Flumpkins (author)2008-06-25

Guess what DRADIS? I finally put up my Instructables!!!

Gage987 (author)2008-06-17

you can do this with more colors i did 3 black then purple then blue

xenobiologista (author)2008-02-13

That's a good idea. Yes, Paint isn't a powerful or very user-friendly program, but you can use it to make some pretty interesting effects. (for example, try opening a photo in Paint and "posterizing" it by saving in 16 colours. Go File > Save As > then in the "Save as type" option, pick 16-color bitmap.)

i just did that, then inverted the colours, (under image) it makes all the shadows look a bit like fire!

Gage987 (author)drummonkey922008-06-17

I did it and got icy edges

its bob bryer from my chemical romance

zachninme (author)xenobiologista2008-02-14

Its also one of the only programs I can find that will print an image across several pages the way I want.

Flumpkins (author)2008-05-16

I forgot to comment about this instructable lol. Here i have a few... 8 in total actually... examples of what i made. On all of them I bedazzled it and stuff.

Flumpkins (author)Flumpkins2008-05-16

Oh.. boy.... Just scroll to see them.... Sideways

crestind (author)2008-02-16

Wow, that's a pretty cool technique! So long for a gradient though. Also, according to the Wikipedia article, there's a "weird lines" easter egg or something. Has anybody gotten that to work? Anyhow, I have high hopes for Windows 7's new Paint.

Flumpkins (author)crestind2008-05-13

What do you mean Weird Lines easter egg? On paint?

crestind (author)Flumpkins2008-05-13

Yeah, I have no idea. Check the Wikipedia entry for MS Paint. Doesn't work as far as I can tell. I just creates an error popup.

dfd9 (author)2008-04-09

I made a strange gradient, with a square:

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