How to Cover Up Your Mistakes with These 7 Quick Coloring Tips

Learn to correct your coloring mishaps with these quick and easy coloring tips.

By Thea Voutiritsas

Any colorist knows a few little slip-ups are par for the course. From coloring outside the lines to mixing up your coloring tools, mistakes will inevitably happen. But don’t let one little mistake make you scrap an entire adult coloring page! Here are seven simple tricks to help fix those little mistakes.


7 Quick Coloring Tips to Fix Mistakes

1. Use a black marker.

Using a black marker
Credit: Thea Voutiritsas / Posh Coloring Studio

If your marker or pencil slips a bit outside the line, use a black marker to thicken the line and cover it up. As long as you use a black pigment that’s dark enough to match the existing line, this cover-up should be easy-peasy!


2. Try Wite-out.

Using Wite-Out
Credit: Thea Voutiritsas / Posh Coloring Studio

Wite-out isn’t one-size fix all. It can get a little gloopy and is best used sparingly. However, if you’re careful with it, Wite-out is the perfect tool to correct small mistakes. You’ll also want to be careful about what tools you use on top. Pencils might not jive with the texture, while a permanent marker can glide right on top.


3. Switch to a darker color.

Switching to a darker color
Credit: Thea Voutiritsas / Posh Coloring Studio

If you realize you picked up the wrong color, or just don’t like the look, try covering up the old shade with a new, darker shade. Just be sure to choose a color from the same color family that will blend nicely with the original one. (For example, cover orange with red, rather than blue.)


4. Blend away mistakes with water or rubbing alcohol.

Blending with q-tip
Credit: Thea Voutiritsas / Posh Coloring Studio

Water-based markers can be blended away with water, while alcohol-based markers can be “erased” with—you guessed it—alcohol. Use a small paintbrush or q-tip to gently dab away small mistakes. We like using one end of a q-tip to apply the liquid, and the other dry end to pick up some of the color. While this may not remove the color completely, it can help to lighten its appearance and soften harsh edges, making it easier to cover up later with another color after the paper dries.


5. Use an eraser.

Using eraser
Credit: Thea Voutiritsas / Posh Coloring Studio

Colored pencil isn’t fully erasable, but an eraser can help pick up some color if you’ve made a little slip-up. Just use an eraser to rub lightly over your mistake to remove the top layer. This will help make it light enough to color over with a new color. Putty erasers are also nice for picking up pigment in tight places without leaving eraser shreds all over the place.


6. Switch mediums.

Switching mediums
Credit: Thea Voutiritsas / Posh Coloring Studio

If you’ve been using colored pencil and it looks streaky or too pale, try switching to a more densely pigmented tool, like a marker, to cover up your pencil streaks and even out the pigment.


7. Turn it into something else.

Creating a doodle pattern
Credit: Thea Voutiritsas / Posh Coloring Studio

A minor slip up can also be a chance to think outside the box. If you make an accidental line or dot, consider filling in the entire area with lines or dots to turn your mistake into a unique doodle pattern. Because when life gives you lemons, you’ve gotta make creative lemonade, right?


With these easy tricks, a simple snafu won’t ruin your coloring fun. Just take it as a creative puzzle and find a way to roll with it! In the immortal words of Bob Ross, “We don’t make mistakes—we just have happy accidents.”


What coloring tips have you picked up to help "fix" mistakes? Share with us in the comments below!


Tags: Tips & Techniques