If you’ve created publishing sites and then tried changing the theme on a sub-site, you’ve probably run into this issue:
You apply the theme and nothing changes!!!!!
For some reason or another, when Publishing features are enabled; sub-sites inherit the theme from their parent site. You can prevent this from happening by doing the following:
Open up the default master page for the site in SharePoint Designer and look for the following tag:
<meta name="Microsoft Theme" content="<Theme Name> 1011, default">
Either delete or comment-out this tag and then save your master page, you should no longer have this issue.