How to Merge Layers on Krita: The Ultimate Guide

A Simplified Approach to Merging Layers on Krita

Are you struggling to merge layers on Krita? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of merging layers on Krita, a powerful open-source digital painting software. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, mastering this technique will enhance your creativity and allow you to create stunning artwork. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets of merging layers on Krita!


What exactly is merging layers, and why is it important?

Krita provides artists with a wide range of tools and features to create amazing digital illustrations. One of the key features that sets Krita apart is its layering system. Layers allow artists to separate different elements of their artwork, such as the background, foreground, or specific details, making it easier to edit and manage each component individually. However, there are instances when merging layers becomes essential. Merging layers combines two or more layers into a single layer, simplifying the composition and improving the overall workflow.

Why should you learn how to merge layers on Krita?

Merging layers can offer numerous benefits, including:

  1. Organizing your artwork: By merging layers, you can declutter your canvas and tidy up your project. This way, you have a clearer view of your composition and can focus on the details without distractions.
  2. Reducing file size: Merged layers can decrease the file size, making it easier to share or export your artwork. This is especially useful when working with large projects or limited storage space.
  3. Streamlining your workflow: Merging layers allows for faster and more efficient editing, particularly when working on complex projects. Instead of making changes to multiple layers individually, you can make adjustments to the merged layer as a whole.
  4. Creating new effects: Combining layers can result in unique visual effects, enabling you to experiment and unleash your creativity. By merging layers with different opacities, blending modes, or brush strokes, you can achieve interesting and dynamic results.

Now that we understand the importance of merging layers, let’s dive into a step-by-step tutorial on how to accomplish this in Krita.

Tutorial: How to Merge Layers on Krita

Step 1: Open your project in Krita.

Before we begin, make sure you have Krita installed on your computer. Launch the software and open the project that contains the layers you want to merge. This could be an ongoing artwork or a new canvas that you’re starting.

Step 2: Select the layers you wish to merge.

Look at the layer panel on the right side of the Krita interface. Hold down the Ctrl key (Command key on Mac) and click on each layer you want to merge. Alternatively, you can select multiple layers by dragging your cursor over them. To ensure you don’t miss any layers, toggle the visibility of each layer while selecting them to ensure all desired layers are included.

Step 3: Right-click and choose “Merge Selected Layers.”

Once you have selected the desired layers, right-click on any of the selected layers. A context menu will appear, and from there, choose “Merge Selected Layers.” You can also access this option by navigating to Layer > Merge Down in the top menu bar. The selected layers will now merge into a single layer.

Step 4: Adjust the merged layer if necessary.

After merging the layers, you may need to make further adjustments. Use the various tools and brushes in Krita to refine the merged layer and ensure it aligns with your artistic vision. You can modify the merged layer’s opacity, blending mode, or apply any additional effects or filters to achieve the desired result.

Step 5: Save your artwork.

Finally, don’t forget to save your artwork! Go to File > Save or use the shortcut Ctrl+S (Command+S on Mac) to save your merged masterpiece. It is always a good practice to save your work regularly to avoid losing any progress.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Now that you have mastered the basic process of merging layers on Krita, let’s explore some additional tips and tricks to enhance your workflow and creativity.

Utilize Layer Opacity and Blending Modes

Experimenting with layer opacity and blending modes can create interesting effects when merging layers. Lowering the opacity of a merged layer can create a translucent or subtle effect, allowing underlying layers to show through. Additionally, trying out different blending modes, such as Multiply, Overlay, or Screen, can produce unique color interactions and enhance your artwork.

Explore Adjustment Layers

While merging layers flattens the image, restricting further individual adjustments, you can utilize adjustment layers in Krita to make non-destructive edits. Adjustment layers allow you to apply modifications like brightness and contrast adjustments, color corrections, or even filters to affect the entire image without altering the merged layers underneath. This way, you can still fine-tune your artwork without compromising the flexibility of your layers.

Create Backup Copies

Before merging layers, especially if you’re uncertain about the outcome, it’s always a good practice to create a backup copy of your project. This way, you can always revert to the original layers if needed or explore alternative merging strategies without any worries. Saving multiple versions of your artwork with different layer combinations can also serve as a reference for future projects.

Use Layer Masks for Non-Destructive Edits

If you want to make adjustments to specific parts of a merged layer without permanently altering the original merged state, consider using layer masks. Layer masks allow you to hide or reveal specific areas of a layer, enabling targeted editing while preserving the overall merged composition. By painting on the layer mask with a soft brush and adjusting its opacity, you can selectively apply changes to the merged layer.

Group Layers for Organization

Merging layers can help with organization, but it’s also essential to maintain a structured workflow. Grouping related layers together can keep your canvas organized and make it easier to navigate through complex projects. To create a layer group, select the layers you want to group, right-click, and choose “Add Group from Selected Layers.” You can also use keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl+G (Command+G on Mac) for quicker grouping.

Table: Step-by-Step Guide to Merging Layers on Krita

Step Instructions
Step 1 Open your project in Krita.
Step 2 Select the layers you wish to merge.
Step 3 Right-click and choose “Merge Selected Layers.”
Step 4 Adjust the merged layer if necessary.
Step 5 Save your artwork.

How to Merge Layers on Krita – FAQ

1. Can I merge more than two layers in Krita?

Yes, Krita allows you to merge any number of layers. Whether you want to merge two layers or multiple layers, the process remains the same. Simply select all the layers you want to merge and follow the steps outlined in this guide.

2. Will merging layers affect the quality of my artwork?

No, merging layers does not degrade the quality of your artwork. Krita retains the original image quality even after merging layers. It simply combines the visible content of the selected layers into a single layer, maintaining the same resolution and detail.

3. Can I undo a layer merge in Krita?

Unfortunately, once you merge layers in Krita, it becomes a permanent action and cannot be directly undone. However, you can always create a duplicate of your project before merging layers to have a backup or use the Undo History Docker to revert to a previous state if available.

4. How can I rearrange the order of merged layers?

After merging layers, the resulting merged layer becomes a single entity. You can change the order of the merged layer by simply dragging and dropping it within the layer panel. This allows you to rearrange its position relative to other layers and modify the layer hierarchy as needed.

5. Is there a shortcut key to merge layers in Krita?

Currently, Krita does not have a default shortcut key specifically for merging layers. However, you can customize shortcut keys in the Krita settings according to your preferences. This allows you to assign a shortcut of your choice to the “Merge Selected Layers” function, speeding up your workflow.

6. Can I merge specific parts of layers instead of the entire layer?

Krita does not have a built-in feature to merge specific parts of layers. However, you can use layer masks or selection tools to achieve similar results. By creating a selection or applying layer masks, you can limit the impact of edits to specific areas while keeping other parts of the layer intact.

7. Will merging layers delete the original layers?

When you merge layers in Krita, the original layers are replaced by the merged layer, and they are no longer individually accessible. To preserve the original layers, it is recommended to duplicate your project or use non-destructive editing techniques like grouping or applying layer masks before merging layers.


In conclusion, merging layers on Krita is a valuable technique that offers a wide range of benefits. By decluttering your canvas, streamlining your workflow, and creating new effects, merging layers can enhance your digital artwork and make your creative process more efficient. So, why wait? Start experimenting with merging layers on Krita and take your artistic skills to new heights!

Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep exploring Krita’s features and experimenting with different layer combinations. Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of your creativity and have fun merging layers to unlock endless possibilities in your digital artwork!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on our research and understanding of the topic. It is not intended as professional advice. Please consult with official documentation or experts in the field for more accurate guidance.

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