How to Change Background Color on Instagram Story (Step-by-Step Guide)

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Hey there! Have you ever wanted to make your Instagram stories pop a bit more? Switching up the background color is an easy way to level up your Instagram game!

The default plain white background can get old pretty fast. But with the ability to customize the color, you can really make your stories stand out.

For example, did you know about the psychology behind color choices? Certain colors evoke different emotions in viewers. So you can strategically choose hues that complement your post vibes.

In this guide, I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know about changing up the background color on Instagram stories. Trust me, it‘s a game changer!

Here‘s what we‘ll cover:

  • Why change the Instagram story background color?
  • Step-by-step instructions for changing the color
  • Creative ways to use custom backgrounds
  • Background color ideas and palette inspiration
  • Pro tips for creating stunning colored backgrounds
  • Answers to frequently asked questions

Let‘s get started!

Why Should You Change the Instagram Story Background Color?

Here are 5 excellent reasons why taking a few seconds to switch up the background color can seriously elevate your Instagram stories:

1. Makes Your Content Stand Out

A colored background makes your text, images, stickers and other elements pop against the background. This immediately catches viewers‘ attention and makes them more likely to watch your entire story instead of just quickly tapping through.

Studies show the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. So a vibrant background captures eyes faster than plain text on a white screen.

2. Strengthens Your Brand Identity

Using your brand‘s signature colors consistently throughout your Instagram presence is key for brand recognition.

Your ideal followers will start to associate certain hues with your brand, just like they recognize the Starbucks green or Tiffany‘s robin egg blue.

Design expert Kate Morss says, "Brand recall happens when a consumer can recognize your brand by color alone."

3. Allows You to Get Creative

With the ability to customize backgrounds, you can let your creativity shine! Coordinate backgrounds to match your photos. Try out different aesthetics. Experiment with unique layouts.

And if you ever feel stuck in a creative rut, changing up the background color palette can give you a refresh.

4. Enhances Your Visuals

Photos, text, stickers, and any other elements will be more defined against a colored background.

Especially if your story contains light colors like white text or clothing, a dark background makes them pop. Same goes for dark visuals against a light background.

5. Sets a Mood or Tone

Different colors subconsciously evoke different feelings in viewers. Called color psychology, here are some examples:

  • Blues = Trust, security
  • Greens = Health, tranquility
  • Yellows = Happiness, optimism
  • Reds = Energy, excitement

Leverage this by choosing background colors that set the mood you want viewers to feel as they watch your story. Promoting a upbeat event? Use a vibrant yellow or red background.

Now that you know the benefits, let‘s get into how to actually change the background color on Instagram stories!

How to Change Background Color on Instagram Story

The Instagram app provides a couple built-in ways to customize your story background colors. You can also use third-party editing apps for more options.

Here are step-by-step guides for 4 easy ways to change the background color:

Method 1: Use the Color Brush Tool

The fastest way is using the color brush within the Instagram Stories camera:

  1. Open Instagram and tap the + icon to open Stories.

  2. Take or select a photo/video for your story.

  3. Tap the marker icon at the top to open the drawing tray.

  4. Select the color brush tool (looks like a solid color square).

  5. Tap a color from the color palette at the bottom to choose your desired background color.

  6. Drag your finger across the entire screen to paint over the original background with your new color.

  7. Tap "Done" then share your story!

The color brush gives you a solid, customizable background color in just a few taps. Plus you can quickly change it up for each story you post.

Method 2: Re-Upload a Colored Background

For more precision, you can download a colored background and re-upload it:

  1. Create a story and change the background to a single color using the color brush method.

  2. Tap the download arrow icon to save the story with colored background to your camera roll.

  3. Open a new story, then tap the photo grid icon to access your saved photos.

  4. Select the colored background image you just saved. This uploads it as the new background.

  5. Use the sticker tool to add your original photo/video over the colored background.

  6. Resize and arrange the stickers how you like.

  7. Share as your colorful new story!

This technique gives you more control over the background. You can make sections color blocked or gradients.

Method 3: Use Color Story Templates

Instagram‘s Create mode has premade Color Story templates with colorful backgrounds:

  1. In Stories, tap the Create icon (square with star icon).

  2. Browse the templates and select a Color Story.

  3. Tap the color bubble icon to change its background color.

  4. Tap "Use Template" then customize by adding your content.

  5. Share as your own Creation.

The templates make it super quick and easy to get a professionally designed background!

Method 4: Use Third-Party Apps

For maximum customization, use apps like Canva, Adobe Spark, or Over to create your background:

  1. Design your background in the app – add colors, gradients, patterns, illustrations.

  2. Save/export the finished design to your camera roll.

  3. Upload it as your Instagram Story background using the re-upload method.

Third-party apps give you more robust design tools for a completely customized background. Get creative!

And if you‘re feeling stuck creatively, keep reading for ideas and inspiration for background colors and designs!

Creative Ways to Use Custom Background Colors

Once you know how to quickly change up the background color, what cool ways can you use this fun feature?

Here are some creative ideas to inspire you:

Match Colors to Photos

Pick out a prominent color in each photo and make that the background – it creates a pulled-together, complementary look.

The background color enhances the overall feel of the photo. For example, use a moody navy blue to accentuate a night skyline shot.

Use Brand/Product Colors

Keep your brand looking cohesive by using your logo colors in the background. Alternatively, showcase a specific product with its matching colors.

This subconsciously reinforces those color associations in your followers‘ minds.

Themed Colors

Designate themes for each day or group similar stories into color-coded categories.

Try "Manic Monday" purple backgrounds or blue for all your beach trip stories. The possibilities are endless!

Color Blocking

Use blocks of different solid colors throughout your story. For example, make each text element a different bright color.

Or alternate between two colors for a clean, striking look. This technique really grabs viewers‘ attention.

Duotone Gradient

Select two complementing colors and apply a gradient so the background transitions seamlessly between them.

The gradient effect looks super sleek and professional.


Liven up a basic background by adding a subtle pattern. Try dots, geometric shapes, or subtle textures like brush strokes or watercolor.

Pick patterns that complement your brand identity for a cohesive, stylish look.

As you can see, the options are limitless for creatively using color to enhance your Instagram stories! Let‘s look at some specific color palette ideas next.

Background Color Scheme Ideas

Stuck on which colors to choose for your Instagram story backgrounds? Here are some color palette ideas to spark your creativity:

Bright Contrasting Colors

  • Yellow, fuchsia, turquoise
  • Lime green, navy blue, maroon

These bold, contrasting color combos grab viewers‘ attention.

Earthy Natural Tones

  • Sage green, terra cotta, sand
  • Forest green, taupe, rust orange

These grounded earth tones give a laidback, nature vibe.

Ethereal Pastels

  • Lavender, blush pink, mint
  • Sky blue, peach, seafoam

Soft, dreamy pastels create a soothing feel.

Vibrant Neons

  • Lime green, bright pink, neon orange
  • Electric purple, teal, highlighter yellow

Make a serious color statement with these playful neons.

Sophisticated Neutrals

  • Charcoal grey, olive, tan
  • Dove grey, brown, ivory

Elevate your stories with refined and neutral hues.


  • All shades of: blue, green, purple, red, orange

Monochrome color schemes with different tints/shades of one color look bold and elegant.

I recommend checking out color palette inspiration on Canva or Coolors. Browse until you find the perfect color combo for your vibe!

Now let‘s get into some pro tips and tricks for taking your colored backgrounds to the next level.

Expert Tips for Creating Stunning Colored Backgrounds

Here are my top pro tips for making visually stunning backgrounds that enhance your Instagram stories:

Use High-Resolution Images

If creating backgrounds using photos, make sure they‘re high quality with zero distortion. Pixelated or blurry backgrounds will degrade your overall story quality.

Stick to images from your DSLR, Canva templates, Adobe Stock photos, or your phone camera.

Balance Bold Colors with Simple Text

Bright, busy backgrounds compete with text or logos placed on top. Keep text minimal with simple fonts and plenty of negative space so viewers can easily read.

Save the complex backgrounds for stories with less text elements.

"Cut Out" Background Around Shapes

Use the eraser drawing tool to erase the background color around shapes like your profile pic or product photo stickers.

This helps them stand out against the background color.

Reuse Consistent Backgrounds

Maintain a consistent look by saving background images or colors you create to reuse across multiple stories.

Having a cohesive style will improve brand recognition.

Add Visual Interest

Take basic backgrounds up a notch by adding:

  • Subtle patterns like stripes or geometric shapes
  • Textures like paper grain or watercolor
  • Graphic shapes and illustrations
  • Gradient color blending

These details make your backgrounds more dynamic.

Save Styles in Drafts

Design backgrounds you love? Save them in drafts to easily reuse or build upon later.

Drafts allow you to store and collect Instagram story "snippets".

FAQs About Customizing Your Story Background

Let‘s wrap up with answers to some frequently asked questions about this fun Instagram story feature:

Can you change the background on someone else‘s story?

Nope – you can only change the background of stories you post from your own account, not ones shared by others.

How do you remove the background color on a story?

Use the eraser drawing tool to erase the entire colored background, which will return it to the default white background.

Why does my photo get covered by the colored background?

If the background color fills the whole screen, it will overlay your photo unless you resize/move it. Try applying color first, then adding the photo as a sticker on top.

Can you use a green screen effect on Instagram stories?

They don‘t have an official chroma key tool, but you can mimic it by uploading your photo over a solid green background color. A third-party app works too!

Can I post a story background as a grid post?

Unfortunately no – Instagram doesn‘t allow you to share Story content to your profile grid. You‘d need to recreate the background using a third-party editing app and re-upload as a new grid post.

Start Enhancing Your Stories with Custom Backgrounds

Hopefully you now feel motivated and confident to start boosting your Instagram stories using custom backgrounds!

It may feel tricky at first, but with a bit of practice it‘ll be a breeze. And you‘ll start to see the noticeable difference it makes in engaging your audience.

So what are you waiting for? Try out some of these techniques next time you share an Instagram story. Have fun getting creative with different colors and designs!

I‘d love to see how you leverage backgrounds to enhance your Instagram presence and amazing content. Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to chat more about rockin‘ social media.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.