Translational errors during protein synthesis cause phenotypic mutations that are several orders of magnitude more frequent than DNA mutations. Such phenotypic mutations may affect adaptive evolution through their interactions with DNA mutations. To study how mistranslation may affect the adaptive evolution of evolving proteins, we evolved populations of green fluorescent protein (GFP) in either high-mistranslation or low-mistranslation Escherichia coli hosts. In both hosts, we first evolved GFP under purifying selection for the ancestral phenotype green fluorescence, and then under directional selection toward the new phenotype yellow fluorescence. High-mistranslation populations evolved modestly higher yellow fluorescence during each generation of evolution than low-mistranslation populations. We demonstrate by high-throughput sequencing that elevated mistranslation reduced the accumulation of deleterious DNA mutations under both purifying and directional selection. It did so by amplifying the fitness effects of deleterious DNA mutations through negative epistasis with phenotypic mutations. In contrast, mistranslation did not affect the incidence of beneficial mutations. Our findings show that phenotypic mutations interact epistatically with DNA mutations. By reducing a population’s mutation load, mistranslation can affect an important determinant of evolvability.