Lightroom Videos

Video – Painter Tool Tipsru

Last week I posted an HDR video tip (link) that happened to use the Painter tool as a quick way to apply a setting to your photos. I saw a bunch of questions come up about the tool itself so I figured I’d dedicate a video to it. It’s probably not the most commonly used tool, but it definitely has it’s place. And it’s kinda fun to use 🙂 Enjoy!



  1. Deedee 9 March, 2011 at 23:16 Reply

    I attended the Houston seminar today and you were awesome! Thanks for all the good tips and hope to see you again in Houston!! I learned a lot today. Take care.

  2. Ron Lacy 5 March, 2011 at 18:19 Reply

    I have never known what this tool was. I assumed it had something to do with the develop module–you know, spray on some effect or color. This can be a really useful and helpful tool. Thanks for letting me know what this is and how to use it! I have already started “painting” many of my images!


  3. Tommy 4 March, 2011 at 16:04 Reply

    Great top Matt. I look forward seeing in Houston. There is a Rodeo Houston in town that week that might a good start for photo shoot. It’s at the Reliant Stadium.

  4. Elja Trum 3 March, 2011 at 16:53 Reply

    I’ve seen the use of this painter tool before, but never used it since. There could be situations where this tool is a handy choice. Got to remember to try it somewhere in the near future. 🙂


  5. ryan 3 March, 2011 at 13:14 Reply

    Are you able to paint develop settings instead of having to copy and paste develop settings to multiple photos?

      • ryan 7 March, 2011 at 10:34 Reply

        Ugh, you’re right, not any better.
        You should be able to copy the dev settings for any photo via rt-click copy dev settings and then spray the settings that are in the “clipboard”.

  6. Dennis Zito 3 March, 2011 at 08:11 Reply

    Hey Matt,

    Great video! I’ve always seen the spray can, but never really knew how it worked. Thanks for letting us know. I’ve already got some ideas for use! Oh, looks like you survived the snow in Denver! 🙂 Will you be showing some of your photos from that trip?

    Thanks again,


  7. FotografieBerliner 3 March, 2011 at 06:46 Reply

    You know what is even better with the Painter Tool? You can access it “on the fly” by holding Shift+Alt on the PC. And when adding the Ctrl key, you make it the eraser tool. Did you know that?!? It must be the similar keys on the mac. I use the Painter Tool in this way much more often than activating it in the “T-Bar”.

  8. David Barrett 3 March, 2011 at 05:59 Reply

    Sometimes it’s the small things, isn’t it. I thought I knew all about the painter tool. But even then I sit through the video just in case and there it is the small piece of information that makes a big difference: the alt key to un paint. I was using the “b” key for adding and removing from target collections rather the painter because I didn’t think the painter click toggled …

  9. Paul 2 March, 2011 at 15:45 Reply

    Been using LR since the first beta. Used to use the PT but gave up on it. Your video today got me back on track and will save me a bunch of time.

  10. Malcolm Sales 2 March, 2011 at 15:39 Reply

    Hi Matt, A great tip, and best of all was the one sentence that explained how to undo the paint tool! Alt+click in Lightroom 3 whereas in Lightroom 2 one painted again to undo. I’ve been looking for ages to find out how to do that! Thanks Matt

  11. Johnny 2 March, 2011 at 06:37 Reply

    Hi Matt… Thanks again for these great tips and videos..
    I’m having problems exporting my photos from lightroom 3!!
    When I try to export my photo (let’s to the desktop), the operation is interrupted with an error :
    “An internal error has occured: Win32 API error 2 (“the system cannot find the file specified”) when calling ShellExecuteExW from AgWorkspace.shellExecute.

    I’m using Windows 7 64bit
    Any idea how to fix this bug?? Please Help…

    • RON 3 March, 2011 at 14:48 Reply


      find your catalog folder and make a copy of it to another location, then uninstall LR. restart computer, then reinstall LR. replace your catalog folder with the one you copied and saved to other location. when you open LR you will still have all your photos as they were before, just a fresh install of LR. see if that helps. sounds like a corruption in the LR files some where.

  12. Johnny 2 March, 2011 at 05:05 Reply

    Great tips as always Matt… Now I’m gonna spray all over my photos, and it’s all your fault.. 😀 LOL

  13. Geoff Wagner 2 March, 2011 at 02:52 Reply

    Thanks for this simple, but useful explanation of the Painter tool. Can it be used in the metadata area to add GPS data to images in a locality where only one or two images currently have it recorded. For example, I have a Nikon GP1 unit. It will pick up a satellite signal (most of the time) when I am shooting outdoors, but cannot do so when indoors. I would like to be able to add GPS data to the indoor images and those outdoor images in the immediate locality that don’t have GPS info. I can’t find a way of doing it in the metadata window because it does not show the GPS fields in images that have no data. Can you offer any advice please?

    Really appreciate your tips – I am in love with Lightroom room and use it 95% of the time. It’s database is fantastic for managing my massive image collection.

  14. John Swarce 2 March, 2011 at 01:55 Reply

    Great video,Matt! Now I know what to do with that spray can on the toolbar. It should really speed up the work flow!



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