© 2022 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Copyright protection of digital images has become a consequential issue in recent years. To prevent a breach of copyright for a color image, this article presents a novel discrete wavelet transform (DWT) based robust image watermarking method with a color channel multiplexing approach. In this proposed method, the original color image is separated into red, green, and blue color channels. One of these color channels is copied and a set of four channels is obtained. Then these channels are combined to obtain a new gray-level cover image. 2-level DWT is performed on the cover image. Arnold scrambled binary watermark image i embedded into the low-frequency sub-band of the cover image. 2-level inverse DWT is performed to produce a gray-level watermarked image. Then a demultiplexing process is performed by separating the gray-level watermarked image into four color channels. The average values of the two copied color channels are calculated and then converted into a single-color channel. Finally, the watermarked color image is get by merging three different color channels. To approve the performance of the presented method, various experimental tests have been performed and a benchmarking analysis has been conducted. The results show that the proposed method is robust against non-linear and linear attacks while protecting watermarking imperceptibility.