Paint by numbers - Useful Tips

Looking for helpful hints, tips, and tricks?

We have answered the most common questions and highlighted everything you need to know to get started and start enjoying your new hobby.


The essentials:

  1. Find a comfortable and well-lit room.

The more detailed the kit, the tinier the numbers and spaces may be. For the particularly small spaces, a magnifying glass and lamp can be very helpful – find our suggestions in Accessories.

  1. Get a comfortable desk or table.

Take care of your neck and back, make sure you are comfortable and change positions frequently. Switching between painting on a flat surface and an easel usually helps.

  1. Take a picture of your canvas with your phone

This will give you a permanent reference sheet that you can never misplace. You can also zoom in on any small numbers or spaces – perfect, if you don’t like working with a magnifying glass!

  1. Get a small cup of water and a few paper towels.

Keeping the brush moist, but not too wet, is very important throughout the painting process. We highly recommend going 1 colour/number at a time as it will ensure your paints stay moist and fresh until you’ve completed your project.

To keep your brush moist and clean, dip the brush in water and dry off any excess with your paper towel. Make sure to clean it well when switching colours/numbers!



Get started:

  1. Unpack your paint by number kit and lay out the canvas, paints, and brushes on a flat surface.
  2. Unroll the canvas and carefully iron it on high to remove any wrinkles or creases.
  3. Tape the canvas to the flat surface. We recommend masking tape to mitigate any residue that may be left on the flat surface or canvas.
  4. Fill up a small cup of water and lay out a few paper towels. (The paper towels are very important for cleaning your brushes, especially when changing colours).
  5. Take a picture of your canvas with your phone! This trick will give you a permanent reference point that you can never misplace.
  6. Match each of the numbered paint pots with the pre-numbered area on the canvas. We highly recommend going one number at a time to prevent the paints from drying.
  7. Start with the darker colours first, then go lighter.
  8. Go from top to bottom. If you are right-handed, you may find it easier to go from left to right as your make your way from the top to the bottom of your canvas and avoid any smudges. For left-handed individuals, go from right to left as your make your way from the top to the bottom of your canvas.
  9. Dip the tip of your paintbrush and begin painting! Using just the tip will increase the precision of your strokes and help you stay within the lines. It also prevents paint from drying up in the bristles closer to the handle, which may damage your brush.
  10. Use your left-over paint for any other art projects!


Expert tips:

  1. Acrylic paints dry quickly. Make sure to paint one number at a time and close the lids to prevent the paint from drying out.
  2. A paint pod with no number or a grey dot will correspond with the grey or blank area on the canvas.
  3. You can use an iron to smooth out any wrinkles or creases on your canvas.
  4. Moisten your brush before putting it in the paint. We recommend dipping the brush in a cup of water and then drying the excess water off on a paper towel.
  5. To make the most precise strokes, conserve paint, and prevent your brushes from getting dried up and hard, just use the tip of your brush. It makes it much easier to paint the fine details in your chosen artwork.
  6. Apply a second layer of paint, especially for the lighter colour areas, to ensure that the numbers do not show through the paint. You can also use white coloured pencil to cover the numbers before applying the paint.
  7. All our paints are acrylic and water soluble. Sometimes paint dry up if they were not sealed well after use. If you find that a paint pod has dried up or a little too thick, add a drop or 2 of warm water to bring it back to life.
  8. Is your paint thicker than you would like? Add 1 part flow improver/aid to 20 parts water in your water cup. This will make the paint flow more smoothly. You can find our flow improver suggestions in Accessories.
  9. Tiny spaces too small for even your tiniest professional paint brushes? Try using a toothpick.
  10. Having trouble getting paint off? Try a cotton ball and nail polish remover.

Bonus tip - most importantly, have fun, enjoy the process and discover the joy of painting!

Happy painting!

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