how to make sage green paint

How To Make Sage Green Paint

Interior designers love sage green. It’s a cool gray-green that blends wonderfully with modern interior design styles. You’ll also find it in many paintings and textile designs. 

Unfortunately, finding the perfect shade of sage green at the stores is nearly impossible.

It’s often too dark or brighter than necessary. Therefore, the best artists have made making their own sage green paint a habit.

I’ve prepared this guide to help you know how to make sage green paint so you can make yours too. 

How To Make Sage Green Paint

The easiest way to make sage green paint is by altering the green paint at your disposal. For instance, mint, camo, and olive green are excellent starting points. Add a drop of red at a time, mixing thoroughly until you achieve the desired shade of sage green. Cool reds produce duller sage greens, while warm reds light up the color. 

What is Sage Green?

What is Sage Green?

Sage green is an earthly gray-green hue resembling dried sage plant leaves. The sage plant is a culinary herb with a woody stem and grayish-green leaves.

Sage green is a quaternary color comprising equal portions of citron and slate.

Alternatively, on the RGB color scale, which defines colors as observed from three colored lights (red, blue and green), it comprises 69.8% red, 67.5% green, and 53.3% blue, thus, the hex code is #B2AC88.

Meanwhile, if you work in the printing industry where the CMYK is the standard color coding method, sage comprises 0% cyan, 3% magenta, 24% yellow, and 80% black.

You may also want to know that its hue angle is 51.4 degrees, the saturation is 21.4%, and the lightness is 61.6%. 

What Tone is Sage Green?

Sage green is a muted green color with a greyish silver blue and muted green tone.

Its muted tone makes it perfect for study rooms. Alternatively, use it in the bedroom for a peaceful and mindful night.

Here is a guide on the difference between gray and silver.

Sage Color Meaning

Sage has many meanings in different cultures. For instance, it means a “profoundly wise” person in English, celebrated for their wise judgment and experience.

Thus, some artists use sage green to convey wisdom. Meanwhile, others use it to relay a message of peace, relaxation, renewal, and growth. It also creates the impression of freshness. 

Sage is also a highly comforting color. It’s a lighter, more muted shade that creates a calming effect throughout the home. 

For these reasons, it’s a popular color. For example, mid-20th century military jackets are sage green, specifically the MA-1 bomber jackets.

More importantly, sage green was Sherwin Williams’ color of the year in 2022. 

Shades of sage green 

There are multiple shades of sage green. Some are greener, while others are more gray. Similarly, others are lighter while others are darker. 

However, the four most notable shades of sage are;

  1. Ryegrass – hex code #aeac7a
  2. Artichoke – hex code #8f9779
  3. Wool skein – hex code #d9ceba
  4. Laurel green – hex code acbaa1

Other common shades of sage green are desert sage, surf spray, silt green, and eucalyptus. The green lily is another gayish-green color. 

Is Sage More blue or green? 

Sage is a light green color with a heavy gray undertone. Of course, you can combine blue and yellow to make green. But the blue isn’t as visible as the green in sage paint. 

If you’re wondering where the term “sage blue” comes from, it’s a herbaceous perennial native to central and eastern North America.

It blooms in the rainy season, producing bright blue flowers. Both sage and sage blue herbs are from the Salvia genus. 

What Colors Make Sage Green?

how to make sage green paint

You need green and gray to make sage. Mix the two until you achieve a favorable sage green shade. 

However, this method rarely works as you have many green and gray colors.

Moreover, most professional artists prefer to make secondary and tertiary colors themselves.

In that case, you have a few options. For instance, you can make a mossy green sage with just blue and yellow.

But the challenge is finding the right blue and yellow shades to create the perfect sage green. So, prepare for a bit of practice. 

Alternatively, use all three primary colors. Red and blue will give you the green.

Then add red to make it green-brown or green-gray. Here, the trick is to test out a few red shades until you achieve the desired sage green. 

Finally, you can make sage green using green, white, and gray or blue, yellow, white, and black.

This process is longer, especially using white and black instead of gray. But it produces the most authentic results. 

Making Sage Green by Altering a Green Shade 

The easiest way to make sage green color is by altering the green color you have on hand.

Fortunately, you can start with any basic green color. Here’s how I do it;

1. Choose the closest green on your color palette

So, you have green paint, but which green? Identify the type of green, either forest green or hunter green. For instance, I love to have a warm and cool selection of colors.

So, I may use lemon yellow and Prussian blue to make a brighter green. Meanwhile, cadmium yellow and ultramarine blue do the trick for a darker green.

2. Assess and adjust its value

I prefer to call it “value” rather than saturation or intensity because we don’t merely want to mix a gray-green paint. Instead, we want to achieve a mid-value sage.

The best route is adding white. This may seem odd initially. But you’ll discover that it’s the right process. 

3. Adjust the saturation and intensity to the desired shade

Now you can add a different color to make your green grayish. The obvious solution is to mix green with its complement – red.

But you must choose the right shade of red. From my experience, bright green combines best with orange-red (cadmium red light). Meanwhile, mix duller greens with violet red (magenta rose). 

Beware that red easily overpowers green colors. So, you must add tiny bits of red at a time and mix thoroughly before adding more.

You’ll notice that different approaches and color combinations form very different sage green shades. 

4. Make final adjustments

Getting the right shade of sage green takes a lot of practice. But that’s what artists do, right?

We try different methods and colors until we find the perfect shade. Apply a similar approach here.

For instance, adding more green-blue (Prussian blue) makes sage slightly more blue. Alternatively, add cerulean blue 

3 Other Ways to Make Sage Green Color Paint

how to make sage green paint

Unfortunately, you may not always have a green color to start with. In that case, you should be prepared to use selected primary colors plus white and black paint (in some cases).

The following are three of the most straightforward approaches I use. 

Method #1: Making sage green paint color with yellow and blue paint 

One of the easiest ways to make sage green paint is by using yellow and blue. You don’t need any other paint colors for this method.

The only challenge is picking the perfect shades of yellow and blue. Your choices will determine the sage green shade. 

  1. Mix yellow and blue to make basic green: Scoop two parts of yellow paint and place it on a clean surface. Then add one part of blue and mix the two thoroughly until you obtain a green color.  
  2. Add more yellow or green to make a sage color: A few more drops of yellow makes a bright sage color. Meanwhile, add more green to darken the sage color. 

Method #2: Making sage green paint with red, blue, and yellow paint 

Though blue and yellow are sufficient to make sage green, finding the right shades of the two to make the perfect sage is a big challenge.

Thus, I often add the third primary color – red. The process is as follows;

  1. Add one part blue to two parts yellow paint: Stir the mixture gently until it’s uniform with no streaks. You want more yellow than blue. So, place a few parts of yellow paint into the mixing bowl and add tiny bits of blue gradually until you hit the sweet spot. You’ll get a tasty green shade.
  2. Add some red to the mix: Red (sitting opposite green on the color wheel) makes green grayish or brownish. Add one drop at a time, stirring thoroughly after each drop until you achieve the desired shade. Typically, two parts yellow, one part blue, and a dash of red paint get the job done. 

Related: Sage green vs mint green

Method #3: Mixing sage green paint with blue, yellow, white, and black

Finally, one of the best ways to make sage green paint is by using blue, yellow, white, and black.

Feel free to use gray paint from the store. However, I prefer mixing white and black to obtain the gray shade that best meets my needs. 

  1. Mix two parts yellow with one part blue: True green comprises equal parts yellow and blue. But you need more yellow to make a basic green. Using a paintbrush or palette knife, add one part of blue paint to two parts of yellow in a bowl or a plate. Then mix the two until there are no visible streaks. 
  2. Add three parts yellow to the basic green: Adding more yellow makes a bright grass green. Again, mix thoroughly using your paintbrush or knife until there are no streaks. 
  3. Make a gray paint separately: If you have some gray paint on hand, great. Otherwise, using a clean brush or knife, mix three parts white and one part black paint to make gray paint. You’ll get a medium, light gray color. Add more black to darken or white to lighten the gray, noting that it takes just a little black to darken but plenty of white to lighten the gray paint. 
  4. Mix the grass green and gray paints: You can mix all the green and grey paint you made. But a wise painter knows that mixing small amounts of paint is the way to go. In this case, add tiny bits of grey to the grass green paint until you achieve the desired sage green. 
  5. Add more white or black to make it lighter or darker: This time, skip the gray paint and use plain white and black instead. A tiny amount of black makes a darker sage while a few more portions of white makes it brighter. 

How Do You Make Sage Green Out of Acrylic Paint?

Mixing green acrylic paints is easy. All you need is yellow and blue. Unfortunately, you must be much more savvy to create sage green.

Of course, you can create green and adjust it to make sage. But I know a slightly different approach that promises even better results. 


  • Sap green
  • Raw sienna
  • Zinc white paint 
  • Mixing knife 

How to mix sage green acrylic paint: step-by-step guide

  1. Take precautions: Dress properly to avoid accidents. Then place two parts of each color on your palette, far from one another to prevent accidental mixing. 
  2. Mix sap green with raw sienna: Add equal parts of sap green to raw sienna in a clear space using a mixing knife. Then mix the two thoroughly until there are no steaks. You’ll get a green shade. Add a few more drops of sap green to make it darker or raw sienna to make it lighter. 
  3. Add zinc white: A few drops of zinc white turns the green paint grayish. Add one drop at a time, mix thoroughly, and assess the results before adding more. If your acrylic paint is too light, add more sap green to make it darker. 

Related: Olive Green Vs Sage Green

Can You Make Sage Green Paint with Gel?

Yes, you can make sage green paint with gel. But gel colors have a different consistency than acrylic and oil paints. So, you must be extra careful when mixing your paints. 

For instance, you need different portions of each paint than when making sage green acrylic paint.

Why? Because gel paints are more transparent than acrylic paints. So, you require more portions to make darker greens. 

Nevertheless, you can make perfect sage green using succulent green, red velvet, and mushroom gray gel paints. Follow the steps below;

  1. Add one part of red velvet to two parts of your succulent green paint and mix thoroughly to a uniform color. It makes a beautiful green shade.
  2. Add one part mushroom grey gel to the green mixture and stir thoroughly to make a sage green shade. 
  3. Adjust the brightness by adding more red or green. Adding more green makes it darker, while more red lightens the shade. 

What Colors Go with Sage Green?

The best colors to use alongside sage green depend on the project. For instance, sage green offers a calm and topical vibe indoors, offering relaxation. But more importantly, it makes other colors pop.

Therefore, it combines well with accent color, metal finishes, and wood tones. 

For the bedroom, combine it with pearl white bed sheets and wood-toned furniture to achieve a bold feel.

Meanwhile, sprinkle your living room with yellow and bright orange to blend with sage green walls. It looks wonderful in a bohemian decor. 

Hunter green goes well with sage green in nature-inspired designs. A sage green cabinets and a hunter green kitchen island, create a cohesive and harmonious color scheme.

Sage green and pink combined create a captivating color combination that is further enhanced by adding orange, blue, cream and beige color.

Blending sage green, pink, orange, blue, and cream evokes a visually stunning and harmonious aesthetic.

Even neutral colors work wonderfully with sage green, provided the colors don’t overpower the sage green. 

Related post: What colors do you mix to make lime green?


What can I mix with green to make sage green?

To make sage green, mix basic green with a gray color. Begin by adding a few drops of basic green to a clean mixing bowl. Then, add tiny drops of gray until you arrive at the desired sage shade. Alternatively, mix green with white and black. Mix white and black separately to make gray, then add tiny bits of the gray color to the green one. 

What is the best color combination for sage green?

Sage green is a subtle, relaxing shade many artists consider neutral. So, it pairs best with other nature-inspired colors, such as brown, mustard yellow, light grey, cream, and taupe. Alternatively, pair it with contrasting colors like gold and purple to make it bolder and more exciting.  

How do you make a picture sage green?

The best way to make a picture sage green depends on the type of project. For instance, if your project requires percentage representation, sage green is 70% red, 53% blue, and 67% green. Alternatively, mix green and gray colors until you achieve the desired shade of sage green. 

How do you make sage green water?

You can make sage green watercolor by mixing any gray and green paints. For instance, mix regular green with titanium white for a grayish-green watercolor. Alternatively, use primary colors. For instance, to make sage green food color, mix six drops of yellow to two drops of blue food color, mix thoroughly, then add a drop of brown. 

How do I make olive green paint?

Mix equal parts of green, yellow, and acrylic pigment to make olive green paint. Stir thoroughly to a uniform mixture, then add tiny bits of blue pigment until you achieve the desired olive green shade. Feel free to add a bit of white paint pigment to lighten the olive shade or black to darken it if your focus is on how to make dark olive green.

How do I make Army green?

Army green is 33% green, 29% red, and 13% blue. You need yellow, blue, and black colors to make it yourself. Begin by mixing equal parts of yellow and blue to create green. It’s best to add blue to yellow and not vice versa. After forming green, add a tiny speck of black paint and mix it thoroughly. Knowing which color makes black in the first place will be useful so you can mix it with other colors. 

What is the difference between army green and olive green?

Army green vs olive; The difference between army green and olive green is subtle. Army green is typically darker and has more gray or brown undertones, resembling the color of military uniforms. Olive green, on the other hand, has a slightly lighter and greener hue with yellow undertones, resembling the color of olives.


Sage green is a popular, relaxing, calming green shade in interior design. It’s also common in textile design.

Fortunately, it’s easy to make. The simplest method is mixing blue and yellow.

Alternatively, mix all three primary colors, adding only a twinge of red to flavor the shade.

Another way to make sage green is mixing green with grey (or white plus black).  


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