Paint-By-Number 101

With paint-by-number, you can create beautiful works of art to display in your home, even if you’ve never painted before. All kits conveniently contain the same three basic supplies needed to complete the project—a pre-printed art board, pots of paint, and a paintbrush—so you’re ready to get started right away. Simply fill in small sections of paint on a number-coded canvas to create your very own masterpiece!

Types of Paint

The most important thing to know when choosing a paint-by-number kit is what type of paint is included. Some companies provide pre-mixed paints, meaning the kit contains all the colors you need to paint. If the product description does not say the paint is pre-mixed, that means you must mix the paints yourself, combining different colors to get the shades you need. Pre-mixed paints are easier to work with, especially for beginner painters, but some artists prefer to mix their own. Make sure to read the product description carefully to make sure the type of paint is what you want.


Getting Started

Before you pick up your brush, examine the design to decide which color you should start with first. You want to start at the top of your painting and work your way down. This keeps the drying paint above the side of your hand as you work and prevents smudging.
Paint the smallest areas first, followed by the medium-sized areas, and then the largest areas. Use enough paint so the numbers don’t show through, but not so much paint that it runs into other areas. Try to paint with one color at a time if possible, and let areas dry completely before painting neighboring sections. Remember to wash your brush completely when changing to a new color. With acrylic paints, lukewarm water usually works best.

Tips & Tricks

Whether you’re a paint-by-number expert or taking up this craft for the first time, here are a few tips and tricks to get the best results:
• If you have to mix colors, mix small amounts at a time so you don’t waste too much paint. Darken the color by adding a small amount of the darkest paint color you were instructed to mix.
• Always close the paint pots that aren’t being used to prevent the paint from drying out.
• Use a magnifying glass and paint in a well-lit area.
• Fill in very small areas by dipping the end of a toothpick in the desired paint color and “dotting” in the area on the canvas.