C# – Background color of a ListBox item (Windows Forms)


How can I set the background color of a specific item in a System.Windows.Forms.ListBox?

I would like to be able to set multiple ones if possible.

Best Solution

Thanks for the answer by Grad van Horck. It guided me in the correct direction.

To support text (not just background color), here is my fully working code:

//global brushes with ordinary/selected colors
private SolidBrush reportsForegroundBrushSelected = new SolidBrush(Color.White);
private SolidBrush reportsForegroundBrush = new SolidBrush(Color.Black);
private SolidBrush reportsBackgroundBrushSelected = new SolidBrush(Color.FromKnownColor(KnownColor.Highlight));
private SolidBrush reportsBackgroundBrush1 = new SolidBrush(Color.White);
private SolidBrush reportsBackgroundBrush2 = new SolidBrush(Color.Gray);

//custom method to draw the items, don't forget to set DrawMode of the ListBox to OwnerDrawFixed
private void lbReports_DrawItem(object sender, DrawItemEventArgs e)
    bool selected = ((e.State & DrawItemState.Selected) == DrawItemState.Selected);

    int index = e.Index;
    if (index >= 0 && index < lbReports.Items.Count)
        string text = lbReports.Items[index].ToString();
        Graphics g = e.Graphics;

        SolidBrush backgroundBrush;
        if (selected)
            backgroundBrush = reportsBackgroundBrushSelected;
        else if ((index % 2) == 0)
            backgroundBrush = reportsBackgroundBrush1;
            backgroundBrush = reportsBackgroundBrush2;
        g.FillRectangle(backgroundBrush, e.Bounds);

        SolidBrush foregroundBrush = (selected) ? reportsForegroundBrushSelected : reportsForegroundBrush;
        g.DrawString(text, e.Font, foregroundBrush, lbReports.GetItemRectangle(index).Location);


The above adds to the given code and will show the proper text plus highlight the selected item.