The Ultimate Guide to Paint by Numbers: Everything You Need to Know


Are you looking for a fun and relaxing way to express your creativity? Paint by numbers might be just the thing for you. This popular hobby allows beginners to create stunning artworks without any prior painting experience. In this guide, we will explore various tips and tricks to help you get started with custom paint by numbers  and make the most out of your artistic endeavors.

By the end of this blog post, you’ll have a solid understanding of the basics, know the best practices, and be equipped with useful tips to enhance your painting experience. Whether you are a complete novice or someone looking to refine your skills, this guide is tailored just for you.

What is Paint by Numbers?

The History of Paint by Numbers

Paint by numbers has been around since the 1950s. It was first introduced by Dan Robbins, a commercial artist who wanted to make painting accessible to everyone. The idea was simple yet revolutionary—each canvas comes with pre-drawn outlines divided into numbered sections, and each number corresponds to a specific color of paint.

How It Works

The concept is straightforward. You receive a kit that includes a canvas, a set of acrylic paints, and brushes. Each section of the canvas has a corresponding number. You fill in each section with the paint specified by the number, and gradually, a beautiful artwork emerges.

Why It’s Perfect for Beginners

One of the reasons paint by numbers is so popular is that it removes the intimidation factor often associated with art. You don’t need to worry about drawing or choosing the right colors. This method allows you to focus on the joy of painting, making it an excellent starting point for beginners.

Choosing the Right Kit

Consider Your Interests

When selecting a paint by numbers kit, it’s essential to pick a subject that interests you. Whether it’s landscapes, animals, or abstract designs, choosing something you like will keep you motivated to finish the project.

Check the Difficulty Level

Kits come in various difficulty levels, from beginner to advanced. If you’re just starting, opt for a beginner-level kit with larger sections and fewer intricate details. This will make the process more enjoyable and less overwhelming.

Quality of Materials

Not all kits are created equal. Look for kits that include high-quality acrylic paints and sturdy canvases. Premium kits often provide better brushes and more detailed instructions, enhancing your overall experience.

Setting Up Your Workspace

Find a Quiet Space

A quiet and comfortable workspace is crucial for a pleasant painting experience. Choose a well-lit area where you can concentrate without distractions. Natural light is ideal, but a good desk lamp can also work wonders.

Organize Your Materials

Before you start, organize your materials. Lay out your canvas, paints, brushes, and a cup of water for cleaning brushes. Having everything within reach will make the process smoother and more enjoyable.

Protect Your Surfaces

Painting can be messy, so it’s a good idea to cover your work surface with newspaper or an old tablecloth. Keep some paper towels handy for any spills or mistakes.

Getting Started with Painting

Follow the Numbers

The key to success with paint by numbers is to follow the numbers precisely. Start with one color and paint all the corresponding sections before moving on to the next color. This method helps prevent smudging and keeps your work organized.

Use the Right Brushes

Different brushes serve different purposes. Larger brushes are perfect for filling in big sections, while smaller brushes are ideal for detailed areas. Familiarize yourself with the brushes provided in your kit to make the most of them.

Take Your Time

Rushing through your painting can lead to mistakes and frustration. Take your time and enjoy the process. Painting should be a relaxing activity, so don’t stress about finishing quickly.

Enhancing Your Painting Skills

Layering and Blending

One way to add depth and dimension to your painting is by layering and blending colors. This technique involves applying multiple layers of paint to create gradients and subtle transitions. Experiment with blending to achieve a more realistic look.

Adding Personal Touches

While paint by numbers provides a structured approach, don’t be afraid to add your personal touches. You can modify colors, add extra details, or even incorporate different textures. These small changes can make your artwork unique and personal.

Learning from Mistakes

Don’t be discouraged by mistakes—they’re part of the learning process. If you make an error, wait for the paint to dry and then paint over it. With practice, you’ll develop better control and precision.

The Benefits of Paint by Numbers

Stress Relief and Relaxation

Painting by numbers is known for its therapeutic benefits. The repetitive nature of filling in sections can be calming and meditative, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.

Boosting Creativity

Engaging in creative activities like painting stimulates your brain and enhances problem-solving skills. Even though you’re following a template, the act of painting encourages creative thinking.

Building Confidence

Completing a paint by numbers project gives you a sense of accomplishment. Seeing your finished artwork can boost your confidence and inspire you to take on more challenging projects.

Joining the Paint by Numbers Community

Online Forums and Groups

There are numerous online forums and social media groups dedicated to paint by numbers enthusiasts. Joining these communities can provide you with valuable tips, inspiration, and a sense of camaraderie.

Sharing Your Work

Don’t hesitate to share your completed paintings with others. Whether it’s through social media or art exhibitions, showcasing your work can be rewarding and motivating.

Learning from Others

Interacting with other painters allows you to learn new techniques and gain insights. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek advice—it’s a great way to improve your skills.

Advanced Techniques to Explore

Mixing Colors

Once you gain confidence, experiment with mixing colors to create custom shades. This technique adds a layer of complexity to your paintings and allows for more creative freedom.

Using Different Mediums

While acrylic paints are standard in paint by numbers kits, you can try using other mediums like watercolors or oil paints. Each medium has its unique properties and can produce different effects.

Exploring Complex Designs

As you become more comfortable with paint by numbers, challenge yourself with more complex designs. Intricate patterns and detailed subjects can push your skills to the next level.

Maintaining Your Supplies

Cleaning Brushes

Proper brush care is essential for maintaining their quality. Rinse your brushes thoroughly with water after each use and reshape the bristles before letting them dry.

Storing Paints

Store your acrylic paints in a cool, dry place to prevent them from drying out. Ensure the lids are tightly closed to maintain their consistency.

Preserving Your Canvas

Once your painting is complete, consider applying a varnish to protect the surface. Varnish adds a protective layer and enhances the colors, ensuring your artwork lasts for years to come.


Paint by numbers is more than just a hobby—it’s a gateway to unlocking your artistic potential. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this guide, you can create beautiful artworks and enjoy the many benefits of painting.

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