Painting by Numbers - Helpful Tips and Tricks

Painting by Numbers - Helpful Tips and Tricks

Painting by Numbers - Helpful Tips and Tricks


Painting by number kits can be an extremely fun and time consuming task that can leave you with a finished masterpiece of your favourite picture or landscape. However, if you make simple mistakes throughout the completion of the paint by numbers kit it can leave your final painting looking below average. With these super simple and easy to do tips your paint by numbers kit for adults can look like a professional artist has completed them, even though we both know who really completed the painting. If you want to put the tips and tricks you have learnt from this article into practise then check out our range of affordable paint by number kits here.

1. Keep the Work Area Clean

It is an extremely simple tip to start off but cannot be understated enough. Use newspaper or material you do not mind getting dirty to cover a table where you will be painting. 

Paint by numbers setup

Having a tidy area will help you to focus on your paint by numbers canvas and will avoid any stress if paint gets spilled. However as the paints are an oil-acrylic blend they are not very liquid and therefore the chance of spilling is extremely low. Nonetheless it is still a good practise to maintain when completing any paint by numbers. 

2. Start from the Top

Smudging your beautiful piece of artwork before it has been completed is not an experience you want to deal with. Therefore we strongly recommend that you begin any paint by numbers kit from the top of the painting. The best position to begin painting from will depend on which hand you paint with. If you are left-handed (like myself) I prefer to begin painting from the top right corner and move down the painting. If you are right-handed then I recommend you start painting from the top left of the painting. This way the chance of smudging is greatly reduced. 

3. Go Big or Go Home

Start from the biggest sections of your paint by numbers kit, which is typically the background of whatever painting you are completing. Painting the larger sections of your masterpiece will consume less time and will also begin to bring your painting to life. You will have a clearer mind of what the finished painting will look like and this can help you throughout completing the work of art as it will help to guide you while painting. Going from big sections to smaller sections will also help to prevent smudges as you will not paint over the small areas while completing the larger sections first.  

4. Pick a Number, Any Number

Once you have set-up your paint by numbers kit and chosen which parts you are going to start painting, it is time to pick your first number and start painting. Whichever number you decide to start with make sure you do not switch numbers between sections as this will dirty your brushes and leave your painting with a strange final colour. Work downwards as mentioned in the previous section completing any section that corresponds to the colour you are currently using.

paint by numbers for adults

5. Start with Dark Colours

Starting with a dark colour is one of the best habits you can pick up while completing your paint by numbers kit. If you make a mistake or accidentally go over the lines between different sections with a dark colour you will be able to correct this mistake once the paint has dried. However if you start with the light colours and make a mistake you will not be able to paint over it with a different colour. The paints dry quickly and a black smudge can be easier to cover with a lighter colour compared to a darker paint. 

 6. Keep the Brushes Clean 

It may seem like an obvious tip to make sure your brushes are clean when changing between different paint colours. You would be surprised the number of artists I see trying to paint a yellow section of their paint by numbers canvas with a brush which still has brown paint on it. Do you want to know what happens next? Your painting will not look as good as it should do and you will be mad at yourself.

paint by number

So I am begging you to make sure your brushes are clean before switching to a new paint and section. DO NOT wait to clean your brushes, as the paints are designed to dry very quickly and permanently, so the quicker you clean your brushes the better. 

7. Watch those Paint Pots

It is imperative that you make sure you close each paint pot once you are finished using that colour on the paint by numbers canvas. There is also no need to have every single paint pot open, you merely need the paint pot open that you are using in that moment in time.

Paint by numbers

The paints are designed to dry quicker than normal paint (so you can complete your paint by numbers quicker) and you therefore must be careful not to leave any pots open once you have finished. If you do end up with certain pots drier than others you can attempt adding a few droplets of water to hopefully restore the paints original smooth state. 

8. Less is More... Most of the Time

You do not need to dunk your entire brush in the paint pots when starting new sections. Start with lightly dipping your paintbrush into the paint pot and begin painting on the canvas, continue to add small amounts of paint until the section has been completed. This will save you a lot of paint in the long run while also reducing the excess paint left on the canvas, which can lead to smudging of the painting. You will be surprised how far a small drop of paint when applied to our paint by number canvas'. 

9. Mistakes will Happen - Do not be Afraid

You are not a professional Artist, if you were then you would not be using a paint by numbers kit, or maybe you are trying to paint a specific image or improve your ability. The entire point of our paint by number kits is to improve our customers painting ability, in order to improve a skill you will make mistakes along the way. If you paint a section a wrong colour, or over paint past a certain section border you have not ruined your painting! Simply wait for the paint to dry and then paint over the wrong colour with the correct colour. If the first colour is a darker colour then it may take a few layers of the correct colour to fix, but it will eventually no longer be visible.  

10. Paint by Number Kits take Days not Hours

Far too often I see new customers attempting to complete one of custom painting kits in one day. Our kits are extremely detailed and will take you several days to complete, if not days weeks! Take your time with each section and do not rush any parts as this can lead to your completed painting not being up to your standards. Da Vinci completed the Mona Lisa in 7 years not 7 hours. 

11. Wet piece of Cloth or Paper Towel

Make sure you have a wet cloth or paper towel beside your paint pots and brushes as it will save your painting more times than you will know. While you are painting the same colour you will occasionally want to remove excess paint from the brush head, without cleaning it in a pot of water completely.

paint by numbers for adults

A piece of wet cloth or paper towel is the perfect partner to quickly clean your brushes or remove excess paint from the brush head or from the actual canvas itself.  

12. Have Fun

Although paint by number kits can be infuriating and time consuming at times, they can also be a relaxing, enjoyable way to spend your leisure time while also improving your painting ability. So sit back, relax and enjoy whichever of our paint by number kits you want to paint. Check out our full range of our paint by numbers for adults and kids here


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