Video Showing One of Lightroom's Most Under Utilized Tools

As a type of person that loves to figure out everything I can about gadgets and software, I am always surprised by how often I meet up with photographers that really only use the powerful programs on their computers for the most basic functions. Typically we get comfortable with a few features and never really explore what else can be done. Maybe we run out of time, maybe we just have no interest. Either way, I hope to share some short, quick, easy to follow along videos over the next few weeks sharing some of my favorite tips and tricks in Lightroom.

This first one covers a tool that is quite often under utilized, the Painter Tool, found in the Library module. This tool can be used in quite a few different ways, to rate, flag or label your photos with a color. It can also be used to quickly add keywords to photos or move them into collections. Lastly, you can even apply your favorite presets to your photos while looking at them in the Library module. This can especially be effective in applying a black and white preset for example to a collection of your favorite images from a shoot.

Let me know if the video was useful and if so, I'll put together some more that dive deep into some of the useful though not often used features of Lightroom. Thanks!

Trevor Dayley's picture

Trevor Dayley ( was named as one of the Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the US in 2014 by Brandsmash. His award-winning wedding photos have been published in numerous places including Grace Ormonde. He and his wife have been married for 15 years and together they have six kids.

Log in or register to post comments

Thank you Trevor!

That's a a great tool! I think you had a blog or something about it no too long ago. I used to apply different labels to my images and to organize different aspects of a wedding. I believe my labels were pre-ceremony, portraits, ceremony, details, reception. You're able to just drag the paint spray and do a bunch of images just at once. So, if you're editing a whole batch you don't have to click each one of the photos.

Thanks Trevor

Great tip! I saw it, I knew it's there but I completely overlooked it. Thanks for pointing it out it's very useful! :)

Great tips! I literally said out loud..."That's pretty cool" :)

I love Trevor's tips! I had no clue that tool was even there.

Awesome Trevor! Thanks so much for sharing about that! Totally didn't know about it and I am definitely going to use it to speed up my workflow!



Great tip! I'd love to see more!

DUDE! Awesome info! Thanks!

sweet! Thanks!

Thanks for the cool tip. Will definitely use this on my workflow. Thanks for sharing and keep it coming. :)

That was great, didn't know about that one, thanks!

Nice tool, especially for keywords(which I don't unfortunately use). For rating, color coding and flagging I have always blazed thru my photos with the keyboard shortcuts. One downside I see with this tool is having to constantly go back down and select the different item you want. Still, had no idea it was there, will def use for keyword tagging.

Great tip! Thank you. Will be looking through more of your videos for more gems.

Thanks Trevor, nice one. I usually ignore that tool !

sweet like honey!

Thanks for shedding some light! :)

hey! Papago Park!

Good tip!

Great tips Trevor, many thanks!

great tips...thanks Trevor !!

Thanks, I also never used this tool.

great tip - been using the paint can for bulk jobs like adding color and number ratings. so fast.

You're amazing.

this is great!! thank you :)

Very cool. I don't have LIghtroom but looks like something i coud use

Great tip, "thank you" for sharing this information. I currently use LR 4 and a flagging system in initial import; this will be very helpful. The name of the tool is misleading to me as I thought it would apply (paint) an action/preset to my photos, now I know the value of this tool.

You have just changed my life. <3

This was really, really awesome, Trevor! Please do more! =]

Very smart. I'd never thought to use the paint can that way before.

oh my gosh!!!!! I've had lightroom for 3 years and NEVER knew it was there! hahaha! so awesome!

Same here - had no clue it was there! Thanks!

Much easier way to do the rating is by using the number 1-5 on your keyboard. This will rate the pictures you like from 1-5 stars, and you can scroll through your images in full size and see every detail. Mark them red, blue, yellow or green with 6-7-8-9. Reject photos with backspace. Other than that. Great!

Hi Marius I agree that keyboard shortcuts are awesome in Lightroom. I too love using the numbers to rate and color label the images. I have found though the Painter tool to be a valuable asset when looking at the photos all together and just picking out the favorites from an edited batch or applying keywords.

Trevor, you seriously just changed my life. Please please please do more of these!!! And THANK YOU!!

This was very useful. I knew about it and forgot. Please share more...

LOVE IT! What a great tip, I had no idea! Would love more "Trevor tips"!

Thanks Trevor! :)

Thanks Trevor!!! I've never used that tool before!! I will definitely put that to use!!!

Super useful. Thanks Trevor! Would love more of these. Great to learn from experts such as yourself. Thanks for sharing.

helped me, keep going!

Wonderful. Thank you.