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The Best Paint by Number Guide for Beginners

Posted by Anne Mills on

Welcome to the Paint Plot blog. We get a lot of questions asking for helpful paint by number tips and tricks. So, we have compiled a list of our most common questions, we hope this is helpful to you, weather this is your first paint by numbers canvas or you are an experienced painter.

We strive to make your experience not only enjoyable and rewarding but as relaxing as possible, these tips should help you with this process.

Preparation is very important as it is very tempting to jump straight in without planning the process. 

A little organization at the beginning will leave you much more satisfied at the end. Figure out your colours, the order you are working in and have all the equipment you need at the ready to go before you start your painting.

Our top tips before commencing your paint by number:

  • Take a photo of the canvas with your phone. Unfortunately, some numbers can be painted over by mistake, this is normally caused by smudging or just getting too close to the lines. Some numbers are quite small and difficult to see. 

    If you have a photo that you can zoom in with, it takes any guessing away. Another handy paint by number tip is you can use a toothpick for the tiniest of numbers that even your brush cannot get to.

  • Make yourself comfortable in a well-lit room. Your decision will have been made as to whether you are using an easel, framing/stretching beforehand, if not, you can check out our selection of accessories.

  • Plenty of light and being comfortable is detrimental to you enjoying this experience. Make sure you have either a comfortable chair if working on an easel or a table that is high enough for you not to bend down too much. Natural light if possible, otherwise a good light to work under.
  • Water and paper towelling.  Always have water and paper towelling at the ready. The water is handy to not only clean your brushes between colours but it’s also useful to keep them moist. 

    The paints can become a little dry if the pots are open for too long, dipping the brush into water can stop the application becoming too thick.

    Paper towelling is useful for anything and everything but in this instance, you can dry and clean your brushes between colours or it’s just handy if you have a spillage.

  • The biggest challenge can be for our paint by number beginners is where to start! Painting from top to bottom is not only the best way to avoid any smudging with your palms but it also helps you to improve your technique. 

    From experience, we suggest commencing with the darkest colors, as this just gives you a way to plan and organize the order of the painting.
  • It is very important to make sure that you allow enough time for a number to dry before you commence with the next one. Probably about 10 minutes, if you are unsure try gently nudging the paint with the back of your paint brush to see if it’s dried properly. 

    Remember there is no rush it’s about relaxation, fun and achievement after all Michelangelo took 4 years to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Now that you know how and where to start, sit back, relax and enjoy the painting process. 

The best thing is the achievement and satisfaction you feel when you complete your own paint by number. Don't forget to show off your work when you're done. Your paint by numbers canvas will look amazing hanging on the wall, especially in a well-lit space. 

If you have done a few paint by numbers, try dedicating a wall or space in your home to your collection.

customer paintings on display

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