Beginners Guide to Paint by Numbers

If you have bought the Paint by Numbers canvas and have no clue about how to use it, then we are here to help you. It is time to distress and color your memories with beautiful colors; all that without spending a fortune on shrink’s bills. But before you get it started, there are few things that you need to keep in your mind. We have published a more detailed post on paint by number tips you should read as well.

 Paint by Numbers for beginners

  • First of all, choose a spot, a nook or corner where there is ample light and proper ventilation. This is necessary as you want to make sure you are using the right colors and you are filling in all the paints, without leaving any gaps. The ventilation will ensure that the paints dry quickly, so you can put another coat on it or move on to use another color of the paint.
  • That said, there are few accessories that you will need to paint without hassle. After selecting a peaceful area to work in, you need to clear your work surface of all the dirt, cover it with newspaper or if you have plastic covers, that’s even better. The reason for covering your work space with newspaper/plastic covers is that, that you will not smudge excessive paint of your canvas/sheet and thus your sheet will remain tidy and clean.
  • Have 2 to 3 small water containers, to clean your brushes with, a small piece of cloth or kitchen towel, to pat dry your brushes and hands too.

Now that you have everything that is required to paint, take out your canvas and align your paints and brushes. It is time to get back to real work.

painting area

Time to Match the Numbers with paint:

If you have noticed, each paint box has a unique number to it and your canvas has different numbers in different part of the drawings too. You need to fill in the numbered paint to the designated area. Say for example my canvas has a cat drawing on it. Its ears are marked with number 3, I will have to search for a paint box with number 3 written on it and I will have to fill the ears with that paint only. Simple, isn’t it?

It will be favorable to use one color at a time, so if there are many parts of the drawing with a same number, then paint them all with the paint bearing that number. Once done, wait for your paint to dry and see if it is needed to have some extra coating too.

Clean your brush thoroughly with water by dipping it into water container and then cleaning it with paper towel or kitchen towel, whichever you are using. It is necessary that you properly clean your brush so that the residual paint in the brush does not get mixed up with a new color.

painting by number

Make Sure the Numbers are Covered:

While it is easier to color the designated area, the problem arises when you have to paint enough to cover the numbers on the sheet. For that you will have to paint several coats of paint. The better thing would be to divide the paint in two to four areas using a light pencil. This will allow you to concentrate on one part of the painting at a time and will avoid you from smudging your canvas with paint on your fingers.

While these are some of the tricks that would do wonders for you, there are few more which will come handy when you are not a pro with painting.

  • Firstly, if you are not very familiar with painting, it will be helpful if you will try few paint strokes on a plain sheet of paper.

This will be very helpful for you as you will learn how much pressure you are putting on your brush and how much color it bleeds as a result of that pressure.

Painting by numbers guide

  • If you are short sighted, using a magnifying glass, to paint small areas of the canvas, will be very useful for you.

Not only it will prevent you from painting outside the boundary, but will also allow you to see the gaps that you can easily fill in with paints.

  • After you are done using one paint, make sure you close it.

Most of the time we end up wasting paint as it gets dried out and you end up with incomplete canvas because you run out of the paint.

  • It will be advisable if you will cover your painting with a clear polish or a sealant after your painting is finished.

This will keep your painting protected it will be easier to clear it with a duster as polish makes the canvas surface glossy and smooth.

completed diy painting

As the main purpose of Paint by Numbers kit is to spend joy-able time and get you engrossed in the world of colors, then it will not be wrong to say that you should put in all your efforts in it and not be too hasty with it. The point is not to fill the sheet with colors, but to let you concentrate on colors to let go of your work/home worries for a time being. The more time you will put in, the prettier will be the result.

As the kit does not come with a frame, you need to get it framed from the local art shop or if you are good with wood work, why not make your own frame for your hard work. Tada! You are good to go with your artistic wonder. Adorn your drawing room or your lobby with your beautiful creation and let people appreciate the Da Vinci in you.


  • I had no idea about this painting type and too many questions were in my mind. Your guide really helped me. Thank you.

    Ryan R. Moore
  • This is my first experience with paint by numbers and this blog help me a lot.

    Mary E. Cargo
  • This guide is very useful for those who are using paint by numbers kit for the first time.

    Richard S. Harris
  • I see that the general consensus about the article between everyone who has commented is relatively similar in nature. I love how there is a general idea that everyone is on the same page. this is great as I now know that the company is really something I can perhaps engage with. Moreover, a lot of the general themes of the articles are similar. I guess there isn’t a lot you can diversify with when its a simple company that produces a simple set of paintings. It’s great to see really, companies these days are diversified all over the place, its hard to keep track.
    Other than that, I think the paints by numbers are just fantastic. Though I have not yet received my order, I have been doing them with my neighbor for the past few months and think that it is time I leave him alone and get my own. He is always cribbing that I keep finishing his work and leave him with nothing to do. Hopefully, now that I have my own he will miss me when I’m gone and realise how useful I was!

    Andrew Dawkins
  • Hello guys, thank you for the beginner’s guide, I really liked the way you guys explained some of the stuff here, it would have been very useful to read when I was starting out with the paints by numbers. Even though I didn’t get to read this specific article when I started, I think I turned out okay and have been doing a fairly okay job ever since then. Its been a while since I have been doing the paints, I have loved them ever since I started, a couple of years ago.
    I just wanted to suggest that you guys do a three-part series perhaps? A guide for sure but may something for amateurs as well and even pro-level. I would love to come across some guides like these as I found this one to be way to beginner. Even though that was the intention of the article, I hope that I might find others a little bit more challenging and perhaps ii can put them to the test on my canvas through the paints.

    Allen Redding

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