10 Best Paint.NET Alternatives

By Eva Williams 21 days ago, Software Reviews

Looking for Paint.NET alternative programs because are not satisfied with its functionality for photo editing? This list of paid and free programs similar to Paint.NET will be useful for artists, graphic designers or image retouchers.

Top 10 PaintNET Alternatives

Paint.NET is one of the leaders in the sphere of graphics design for Windows. However, there are numerous qualitative programs that might be helpful in image editing, creation of logos, icons and layouts.

Top 3 Paint.NET Alternatives

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Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for PC compatible with Windows. It has an intuitive UI that supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and other useful tools. Thanks to the active online community, you will always get pieces of advice, recommendations, plugins and tutorials.

1. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the best Paint.NET alternative suitable for professional designers, shooters, and artists. It is a part of Adobe Creative Cloud service that will help you easily design a website, mobile app, poster, banners and icons.

It offers convenient templates and intuitive tools that will enhance your productivity. Moreover, you may improve your images using professional photography tools.

adobe photoshop paint.net alternative
  • Numerous design tools
  • Multi-functional software
  • Social media platforms
  • Increases resolution
  • Weak vector support

Main Adobe Photoshop Features:

  • Stroke smoothing
  • Color and luminance range masking
  • Access to Lightroom photos
  • Quick sharing options
  • Fast share menu
  • Variable fonts

Moreover, this Paint.NET alternative is a great tool to improve paintings, illustrations and 3D works. Original patterns, effects and professional brushes enable users to create and customize digital artworks.

What is more, Photoshop CC may boast of such unique tools as brush management, brush smoke smoothing, Lightroom photo access, curvature pen tool, paint symmetry, color and luminance masking controls, group layer arranging, quick share menu, variable fonts, etc.

2. Krita

Krita is a cross-platform Paint NET alternative that works smoothly on Windows, Linux and Mac. It is a free application that may decently compete with many paid programs.

However, if you like Krita and think that it needs your support, you may donate to the developers and make the tool better.

The program offers various brush presets that add different effects. Moreover, you may change the brush settings using the toolbar controls in order to satisfy your requirements. You may also change color, size, opacity and blending mode.

krita paint.net alternative
  • Animation effects
  • Layer styles
  • Real masks and filter masks
  • Easy-to-import resources
  • Not the best for pixel art

Main Krita Features:

  • HDR support
  • Color palette
  • Transform tools
  • Mirroring tools
  • Brush engines/types
  • Layer management

Krita provides numerous filters that may be applied to layers and images. With these filters, you will improve brightness, contrast, saturation, levels, HSV, adjust blurs, apply artistic features, detect edges, etc.

Krita may save your works as a PSD. Speaking of Krita files, they are hardly compatible with any other programs except Krita. Whereas, Ps files are smoothly opened in Unity.


GIMP is an open-source image editing program. Although it is a free Paint NET alternative, it boasts advanced features and tools.

In addition, you may create images using a blank template. It provides such basic features as color adjustment, gradients, noise reduction, cropping, customizable brushes, and even automatic tools for image enhancements.

gimp paint.net alternative
  • Numerous options
  • Intuitive UI
  • Good use of layering
  • Impressive image editing features
  • Limited options for 3D designs

Main GIMP Features:

  • Bezier curves
  • Noise reduction
  • Graphic design elements
  • Customizable interface
  • Automatic image enhancement
  • Customizable brushes

Although the software is completely free, even professionals claim that its features are quite advanced. Moreover, this Paint.NET alternative offers such tools as layer masks and filters. You may also use an animation package.

Thanks to the open-source nature of the software, it supports downloadable and pre-installed plug-ins. In general, many experts believe that it is one of the best free image editing applications on the net.

Speaking of the interface, it looks standard and user-friendly. In general, it resembles most image editing programs. But still, there are some essential differences contributing to better performance.

4. CorelDraw

CorelDraw is one of the first image editing programs that appeared on the market. Although it is an old program, it still occupies the leading positions in the sphere of graphic design.

This Paint NET alternative was developed by the Canadian Company ‒ Corel Corporation. It is a decent tool to create impressive pics, graphics, designs, and websites featuring advanced tools and options.

For today, the application is fully prepared to satisfy the requirements of modern photographers and graphic designers.

coreldraw paint.net alternative
  • Simple curve management
  • High-quality bitmap image editing
  • Automatic tracing
  • Really nice mockups
  • Vector editing is complicated

Main CorelDraw Features:

  • LiveSketch tool
  • Improved vector previews
  • Prominent interactive sliders
  • Custom node shapes
  • Touch-friendly GU interface
  • Import legacy workspaces

CoralDraw is a great tool showing decent performance in creating vector illustrations, designing layouts and editing or retouching photos. Commercial companies, as well as individual professionals, actively use it in their workflow.

It provides convenient options for team collaboration so all people engaged may easily use it to complete projects faster. Although the program is focused on the creative improvement of the images, the developers equipped it with all the necessary tools to satisfy the specific needs of organizations and individual graphic designers.

5. Darktable

Darktable is a free open-source image editing program and raw developer. Unlike Paint.NET, it is not a raster graphics editor.

It unites tools focused on non-destructive raw photo post-production. In general, it is used by shooters to improve large numbers of photographs.

darktable paint.net alternative
  • Fast and flexible
  • Numerous features
  • Good batch editing capabilities
  • Supports tethered capture
  • Can be overwhelming

Main Darktable Features:

  • The whole extent of color management
  • Entirely modular architecture
  • Translated into 19 languages
  • Allows shooting through the connected camera
  • Carries out the search for similar photos
  • Export to Picasa, Flickr, and Facebook

Like several other RAW-specific programs, this Paint.Net alternative operates on the principle of non-destructive editing. Any changes that you make are visible in real-time but laid over the original, the raster data of which is kept clear until you launch the rendering when exporting your perfectly finished outcome.

In the software, you will find ICC profiles and GPU acceleration, plus provided support for any known format.

It is possible to import a wide range of RAW formats, JPEG, HDR, or PFM from a file carrier of any kind and then export to a variety of destinations starting from other carriers finishing with several applications like Picasa Web Albums.

You can also email the results in JPEG, PNG, TIFF, WebP, PPM, PFM, and EXR. If you get a special plug-in, you can output directly to Wikimedia Commons.

6. Photopea

The powerful programs require a one-time or recurrent payment that can become rather hefty with the increase of the toolkit. The developers of this Paint Net alternative have gone against the flow and made their product free to use.

It is truly a unique option as it doesn’t even require any downloading, just loading a page in the browser. They kept the interface recognizable to users of Photoshop and everything that was copied from it. Some claim that this is an unfair tactic and opt for Adobe product in Photopea vs Photoshop stand-off.

photopea paint.net alternative
  • Unrestricted free access
  • Broad feature set
  • No downloading required
  • Supported by numerous browsers
  • Risk of unstable performance

Main Photopea Features:

  • Smart objects
  • Free transform
  • Advanced selecting
  • Recognizes PSD extension
  • Lack of special hardware

Due to its mode of work you are relieved from the need to update hardware or software and even switching to a particular OS. It has a large database of formats so that you are free to start image editing right away.

7. Pixelmator

This pixel art software is specifically designed for Apple users and can do plenty of convenient and advanced things. For instance, it can analyze and tag your images with regard to what’s depicted on them.

Naturally, you will find some photo editing tools here, such as brushes, effects, or color presets.

pixelmator paint.net alternative
  • Incredible options
  • Simple to use
  • Quick PNG generation
  • Automated modification of edits
  • Doesn’t support GIFs

Main Pixelmator Features:

  • Layer styles
  • Dynamic paint blending
  • Instruments for drawing
  • Quick selection tool
  • Color filters
  • Preset aspect ratios

Some programs like Paint.Net can have astonishing additional functionality and here you will see a content-aware filler that can cover the blank spaces by using the pixels around them. This alternative is generally responsive and all the work can be done quickly and smoothly owing to the performance-enhancing mechanisms of Apple.

8. MyPaint

If you are searching for the program with the manual drawing abilities, then take a closer look at this option. You will rejoice at the number of brushes that have interesting realistic textures like that of charcoal.

The most striking is the brush engine that supports such a level of personalization that you can create quite individual brushes for your digital art.

On top of that, you get to work with layers, have a history of actions that can be canceled, can make use of an improved color selector, etc.

mypaint paint.net alternative
  • Supported by most platforms
  • Broadest possibilities of brush creation
  • Collaborates with sensor graphic tablets
  • Unlimited canvas
  • Lacks some useful tools

Main MyPaint Features:

  • Work with layers
  • Clean interface
  • Gamut masking color wheel
  • Symmetry modes
  • Python 3 support
  • Automated bug reporting

If configuring a brush is not your interest, you can make use of the official website where some collections can be downloaded to increase your selection.

The only inconvenience you might experience is the infrequency of updates. The developmental process is slow and many users complain about very rare updates.

9. PhotoFlare

This cross-platform program allows rearranging the workspace and is simple in operation.

There is the pointer for object selections and the Magic Wand for automating that process, instruments for lining, filling, spraying, cloning, blurring, smudging, plus two different brushes.

photoflare paint.net alternative
  • User friendly
  • Cross-platform
  • RAW support
  • Super agile
  • Some features are too slow

Main PhotoFlare Features:

  • All basic photo editing features
  • Paint brushes
  • Image filters
  • Color correction options
  • Shape-drawing instruments
  • Several selection tools

The top toolbar allows users to configure such values as the brightness, contrast, saturation, gamma, hue, plus the dimensions and orientation of the canvas.

In addition, you can overlay text, convert the image into monochrome or use the alternative filters, make the image sharper or softer, lower the level of noise.

10. Gravit Designer

If you are searching for Paint.Net alternative to do vector graphics, here is one concentrated on this sphere. The program is fit for doing a variety of digital designs starting from entire applications and finishing with small items like icons or prints.

You have the flexibility of installing it or accessing the instruments through the browser, both being available on any existing OS.

gravit designer paint.net alternative
  • Gradual learning curve
  • Cross-platform
  • Modern UI
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Quite basic
  • Muddling bugs

Main Gravit Designer Features:

  • Pen shapes
  • Work with presentation/slides
  • SVG editing instrument
  • Frame text overlays
  • Auto-layouts
  • Path graphs

The toolkit can’t be called absolutely intuitive and you won’t have a wizard to guide your first steps but even some menial knowledge will help you manage. This program can quite satisfy professionals in several spheres of digital design who would naturally need advanced tools at their hands.

The program can be flexible and you should look into all developer options to make sure you are provided with enough instruments when you decide to invest money.