Changing an all Black Icon to a Colored Icon


I recently bought an icon set of all black icons ( These icon's look really sharp, however I am interested in changing the color of some of them so something other than black (shade of green, red, etc).

I am kind of novice with image editing (I use Paint.NET - I can do some things, am familar with basic concepts like layers, clone stamps, etc).

I have a color replacer plugin for Paint.NET that I can use to change black to my new desired color - but the icons lose their "sharpness" because of the lighter grays that exist around the main dark black portions of the icon.

Is this an easy thing to do? Or am I just being lazy - do I need to just change every color, even the lighter shades, to my color - shade by shade?

Here is an example of one of the icons I want to turn to a different color:
enter image description here

Also - I am willing to use GIMP or some other free editor to accomplish this. I like Paint.NET, but am not married to it.

2/10/2012 6:29:00 PM

Accepted Answer

In the image below, I've used the magic wand to select the pixels in the mobile phone icon, I then apply a Photoshop style. There are numerous other ways of achieving what you want that include adding a mask as mentioned above, or creating a new layer with this outline selected and filling with a new color.

Try to find the equivalent actions in GIMP if you can't get your hands on Photoshop.

Photoshop color change using magic wand or selecting the image

2/21/2012 11:53:00 AM

If you were using Photoshop (or GIMP I guess, but I have no experience) then you could just use the original black icon as an alpha (transparency) mask for a colour fill.