Paint.NET Tutorial – How to Use Paint.NET on Windows and Mac

Last Updated on March 6, 2022 by Peter Wood

As you know, Paint.NET is a free raster graphics editor for Windows, developed on the .NET framework. Thus, Paint.NET is not the same as Paint. With the support for layers and masks, you can use Paint.NET like Photoshop. Of course, it will be easier to edit images with Paint.NET. Though the built-in features are limited, you can do the majority of image editing tasks with Paint.NET.

You can download Paint.NET for free or give a donation from its official site. As for Paint.NET features, you can make a pixelate distortion, add noise, blur, add artistic effects and apply basic adjustments within Paint.NET. If you have never used Paint.NET before, you can read the Paint.NET tutorials to get the core features.

Paint Net Tutorial

Part 1: The Simple Tutorial of Paint.NET

Volunteers continually update Paint.NET. You can use the Paint.NET plugins to get the expansion of effects and file types. Just visit the plugin website to find the Paint.NET plugin you need. Now, let’s get started to edit in Paint.NET.

Step 1: Resize canvas

Get Paint.NET for Windows 10 or other versions. Then launch Paint.NET. The default canvas size is 800x600. You can choose the Canvas Size option from the Image list to change the canvas with a new size by percentage or absolute size. Mark before the Maintain aspect ratio option if necessary. Then click the OK button to save changes. Moreover, you can also choose the Resize option to resize an image in Paint.NET instead.

Resize Canvas

Step 2: Use Paint.NET tools

Use Tools to draw on a canvas. For instance, you can use the Rectangle Select tool to draw a rectangle in any size with Paint.NET. If you want to fill in a certain color, you can use the Paint Bucket option from the Colors window. Later, deselect the selection. You can also use the clone tool in Paint.NET to paint the selected area in clicks.

Edit with Tools

Step 3: Manage with Paint.NET adjustments

From the Adjustment list, you can adjust brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, transparency, and do more changes. There are also Black and White, Color Accent, Sepia, Levels, and other useful options you can get. Adjustment

Step 4: Use Paint.NET to apply image effects

The Effects menu contains many interesting features. You can use artistic effects, blurs, distortions, noises, renders, stylizations, and more. Each one also has many adjustable options and settings. You can have fun editing photos with Paint.NET. Effects

Step 5: Export your edited picture

Choose the Add New Layer option to add a new layer. You can delete, merge and duplicate a Paint.NET layer too. Well, you can use layers in Paint.NET to create masks as well. If you are done with Paint.NET editing, you can choose the Save As option from the File drop-down list.

Save Your Image

Paint.NET can be regarded as a free Photoshop alternative for Windows. From the above Paint.NET tutorial, you can get many Photoshop similar filters to achieve basic photo editing effects. As for high-end photographers, you can add Paint.NET plugins to explore more features.

Part 2: Alternative to Paint.NET for Mac and Windows

The only Paint.NET drawback is that you have to install the .NET network before using Paint.NET software. However, the uploading time will be rather slow. The lack of the Paint.NET Mac version is also disappointing. What about Mac users? Is it possible to use Paint.NET on Mac?

Luckily, you can get a lightweight Paint.NET alternative named WidsMob Retoucher to retouch photos without slowing down your computer. The intuitive interface and easy-to-use filters are also friendly, especially for novices who don’t like editing photos with separate layers and masks.

There are also many attractive features that can make your picture look perfect. Different from Paint.NET, you can get the additional film pack and portrait retouching sections. Thanks to the wide support of analog film and film grain support, you can apply the classic film analog effects with one click. By the way, you can minimize freckles, whiten teeth, and smooth skins with advanced photo beautifier algorithms.

If you use Paint.NET to achieve those effects, it may take lots of time and effort. But here, you can click simple clicks to make your photo look more energetic and natural.

  1. Adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, temperature, and tint flexibly.
  2. Do skin smoothing and skin whitening to remove selfie imperfections.
  3. Eliminate image noisewhile preserving the image details.
  4. Apply artistic effects with color opacity, vignetting, and fisheye.
  5. Analog film effects with dozens of revolutionary camera profiles.
  6. Fully support both Windows and Mac computers.
Win Download Mac Download

Step 1: Launch the photo editing software alternative to Paint.NET. Add your pictures from the desktop or other connected external hard drive. Click the Next button to access the built-in image editors.

Import Photo on Retoucher

Step 2: Edit your photo with various sliders in different sections. The entire photo editing changes will be reflected in the main interface immediately. You can choose the Before/After option from the View list to get the direct comparison.

Retouch Portrait on Retoucher

Step 3: Let’s see the Film Pack section, in which you cannot get similar features when you use Paint.NET on a PC. Choose the color rendition profile from Color Positive Film, Color Negative Film, Black and White Film, and Color Proceed Film. Later, you can choose the related camera profile below.

Color Rendition on Retoucher

Step 4: Now you can adjust the color modes from high, medium-high, medium-low, and low. The Paint.NET alternative software offers Contrast, Saturation, and Special options.

Color Modes on Retoucher

Step 5: Get dozens of film grain effects under the Film Grain part. Meanwhile, you can adjust intensity and film grain size to make your photo special. Finally, share or save your photo based on your need.

Film Grain on Retoucher Win Download Mac Download


Paint.NET offers more customizable tools. You can use Paint.NET to do many image editing tasks on Windows for free. Of course, Paint.NET does not have all the powerful features of Adobe Photoshop. Though Paint.NET offers a clean interface, it is still a challenge for most beginners. If you want to make your photo look more energetic and cool without too much effort, WidsMob Retoucher can be your reliable friend. You can touch up both portrait and landscape photos with artistic photo effects with a few clicks quickly.

Win Download Mac Download