Free Action and Overlay: Add Color To Transparent PNG Overlays

Action overview

This action will quickly add a color clipping mask to the overlay. This overlay included in the download.

A Simple Production Action And A Free Overlay

When you get a French Kiss Overlay, it comes as a B&W, transparent .png file. You can then change the color by adding a solid color adjustment layer with a clipping mask. (That sounds really complicated, but it’s super easy. See the video tutorial here.) Even though adding a color clipping mask is only a few steps to do, I’m a firm believer in automating any repetitive task in Photoshop or Elements, so I’ve created an action for the process.

Here’s a layer panel view of the overlay placed and the color adjustment layer added by the action. I’ve also added a layer mask to show where to place it.

Layer Panel View

A view of the overlay placed with the color adjustment layer.

Download The Action and Free Overlay Now

I’ve included the overlay above in the download so you can try it out.

download button

How To Use The Action

  1. Find your Download on your computer. When you click the button above, it downloads automatically in the background. Check your download folder. It’s called
  2. Unzip the file.
  3. Back Up your action to a safe place.
  4. Install the action into Photoshop or Elements.
    For Photoshop, just select Load Action from the Actions flyout menu.
    Elements is slightly more complicated. Texas Chicks Blogs & Pics has great instructions and help for Elements users.
  5. Place the Overlay into your image file. Open it and then place by dragging or copy/paste.
  6. With the Overlay layer selected, run the action by clicking the button in the Actions Panel.
    Tip: For even faster automation, add a keyboard shortcut to the action.
  7. Change the Color by double-clicking on the color square.
  8. Any edits such as Blend Mode, Opacity or layer masks should be done on the overlay layer—not the color layer.

A Few Important Notes

  • To change the color, the file must be in RGB. When you drag the overlay into a color file, it will automatically become color. If you run the action on the overlay before you drag it into an image, you will need to change the color mode from grayscale.
  • I’ve tested the action in Elements 9. It should work for at least 7&8 I’m not sure of other versions.
    Let me know.
  • Works in Photoshop CS5. Let me know if it doesn’t work in your version of Photoshop.
  • Use a layer mask to show only a small portion of the overlay like some of the text.
  • Lightroom does not support .png files. If you would like to import your overlays into Lightroom, save them as Photoshop files first.

Still confused about how to use the overlays?

Watch these videos.



12 Responses to Free Action and Overlay: Add Color To Transparent PNG Overlays

  1. Geri April 19, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    Thank you so much for help in my growth. Found you by early sign-up on the Creative Market.

    • Leslie Nicole April 20, 2012 at 6:11 am #

      Thanks! Great to hear that. I’m looking forward to seeing the Creative Market up and going.

  2. Su Hall April 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    Great little tutorial and download! I sure thank you!
    Su Hall recently posted..Freebie Collab “April Showers” Final Parts

  3. Barbara April 26, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    Thank you so much this is a great tutorial will be trying this out.

  4. Judy June 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Thanks for this Leslie, its a great help (and I need as much as I can possibly get). You are such an inspiration!

    • Leslie Nicole June 19, 2012 at 8:12 am #

      You’re welcome! I use this action all the time. Tip: Add a keyboard shortcut and it’s a 1 second change.

  5. Geri July 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    I’ve just finished your vid on two ways to change overlay colors it was great. I came over here to pick up the action you mentioned and wonder if you could go into programming the F14 key more. Thanks.

    • Leslie Nicole July 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

      In Photoshop, open up the Actions panel. Switch the button mode to the recording side (rather than the button side where you implement the actions.) Open up the folder that says “FrenchKiss BW PNG To Color”

      Inside the folder is the action: “FrenchKiss BW PNG to Color (run on overlay layer)”

      Then, double click on this – a dialogue box will come up and you can set the keyboard short key combination that you want. (Note – it can be tricky. If you click right on the title, it thinks you want to rename it – so click off to the side of the title.)

      I didn’t add the shortcut to the action as I didn’t want it to conflict with an action that someone may already have for that key combination.

      Let me know if this helps!

  6. Ivelina Aasen October 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    Thank you so much, dear Leslie ! Thank you for the lovely overlay and for this tutorial. I just tried Actions for the first time and I am so excited I have learned something new ! Your tutorials are easy to follow and so helpful ! I found your site several days ago. I already bought L’Artiste collection which I love and the first thing I do in the morning ( besides coffee. lol ) is to open your site. Now I have to learn how to create a shortcut 🙂
    Have a gorgeous day xxx

    • Leslie Nicole October 17, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

      Thank you, Ivelina! There are instructions in the comments for making a shortcut. Hmmm. Maybe I should do a post!

  7. Jan January 2, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    This looks so cool! Thanks.

  8. Lillias Olsen April 22, 2017 at 11:28 am #

    Thank you, this looks great.

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