Paint by Numbers Tips – 10 Tricks to Know Before You Start Painting by Numbers

If you've already got one of the paint by numbers kits from our large selection and your kit has just arrived, don't forget to read bit first, before head-diving into the painting process.

1. Select your canvas carefully

The first thing on our list of paint by numbers tips is about the canvas. When you’re a complete and inexperienced novice to the world of painting, you should spend some time before jumping headfirst into making your first painting. There are differences in the difficulty, and you should consider them before ordering one. Look at the overall design and try estimating the number of colors – the more colors the longer it will take. Also, details are something that you should be looking at. The more detailed the picture is, the more time you will need. Some of our canvases have the remark that they’re suitable for beginners. But in general, we avoid marking the kits with the scale of difficulty, because all of them are achievable. It just takes longer and requires more effort. Of course, your first paint by numbers masterpiece is going to take the most time.

2. Stretch your canvas

Just before starting the painting itself, stretch your canvas properly. It's one of the most underestimated tips for paint by numbers. Our canvases come rolled and properly packed so when you unroll them on the flat surface of your workplace, it should be enough. You can use an easel as well, it only depends if you have one. When it happens that your canvas arrived wrinkled, there’s no need to worry. Just like your clothes coming out of the tumble dryer – a bit of ironing helps.

3. Paint larger areas first

Having the canvas wrinkle-free in front of you, check the areas and have a look at those larger ones. It’s very recommended to paint them first. By doing so, your work will proceed in faster steps in the beginning and for you, it will be more satisfying.

paint by numbers kit for adults

4. Work from left to right

It depends on which side do you prefer. If you’re right-handed like most of us, work from left to right. You will avoid accidental smearing of the wet paint. You will then always have a dry place to rest your hand. But if you’re left-handed, do it another way round.

5. Stick to painting the same color

When you’re painting one color by another, you will most likely keep them moist during painting and your paints will stay clean and unspoiled. When you want to change colors, you need to wash your brushes in clean water properly and then wipe them dry with a clean piece of cloth. But I recommend not change it frequently unless it’s really necessary.

6. Put more paint when using lighter colors

A problem for many of you who are just starting is that you don’t cover the numbers properly and then complain that the acrylic paints are not thick enough. There are more easy tricks on how to avoid numbers being visible. The easiest is to paint the numbers twice and use thicker paint. You can also help yourself by using a white pen marker to cover the number each time before applying the paint. It makes the work less smooth as you have to put the brush aside each time, grab the pen, whiten the number and then repeat the same again. But the result is sure and you avoid using excess paint.

7. Check the reference guide often

When you start your first painting by numbers ever you will notice, that some areas are pretty small and so are the numbers. Customers sometimes refer to that. Some of you are using magnifying glasses or magnifying work lights. You have to know that it’s vital to have those small areas to reach a better detail level.

A great tip to paint by numbers of small areas is to take a photo before starting the painting at all. Thus, you will always have a reference, a starting point and you can zoom the picture in anytime to view the number.

abstract paint by numbers kits

8. Use proper lighting while painting

Apart from using table magnifier lamps you always need to have proper light conditions in your room. You will see the reference guide and the canvas with the small numbers better. That means you’ll not get tired easily. But you will also feel much better when there’s enough natural sunlight in your room. People are not underground creatures and we need sunlight to live and not to feel fatigued.

9. How to melt the paint or recover the dry paint

To melt your acrylic paints I advise using just a few drops of clear water. I think I mentioned that in our product descriptions. This way you can control how thick the paint will be and you also control the effect it has on the painting. In case you want to re-use a very old paint that you have as a left-over from your previous works months or years ago, you will need more water. If adding more water doesn’t help, just contact us and we might get you the paint you need.

10. Make painting by numbers your new hobby

I’m sure that once you start, you’re going to like it. It’s a very relaxing a joyful activity. Read more on this topic in the Benefits of Painting by Numbers article. You spent the time on your own quietly. It’s almost like a meditation. That is one of the main attributes and positive effects. However, there are often sessions organized when a group of people paints everybody the same painting. But that is more a rare occasion.

Back to blog

1 comment

Yes! Very helpful tips & advice. Thank you so much!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.