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Most Common Questions About Paint by Numbers

Most Common Questions About Paint by Numbers

From all of us here at Paint Plot we welcome our newest Paint Plotters and of course as always, our talented and helpful community.

Our aim is to make sure you enjoy every minute of your painting journey.

We have written many blogs to help our new and existing customers, which you can find on the Paint Plot Art Academy.

Our closed facebook group is also a great source of information.  The willingness of our community to help others enjoy their experience is extremely gratifying.

We would like to address the 10 most common questions we receive. We will provide links, where possible, if you would like to read the blogs where there are longer descriptions.

  • I’m a newbie, what do I need and where do I begin.

You will get everything you need to get started in your Paint Plot paint by number or diamond painting kit. We also sell added extras that can take your painting experience to the next level.
This advice comes from one our Paint Plotters, Sophie and we think it’s perfect. 

  • You don’t need all the extra gear when you’re just starting out – I taped mine to a folded down nappy box and have only used what has been provided. Now that I know I enjoy it, I can look at ways of improving the setup to make it more comfortable.
  • Read the advice from all the lovely people in this group, I didn’t even think about doing second coats, but it is making it look so much better. I think I’ll try blending on the next one.

However, if you do want to take a look at our extra art supplies, we have many on offer such as paint brushes, holders, easels, gesso etc

For other tips and tricks for a beginner or best beginner paint by numbers check out our full blog.

  • Should I frame before or after I’m finished my art work?

There are three options for when to frame your art work, which we detail in our ‘How to stretch and frame’ blog.  Which includes a video of how to frame your paint by number. 

  • Frame first, this is probably best if you are painting on an easel.
  • Paint first then frame, this is popular because you can create a firm backing.
  • Alternatively, you can tape or secure your canvas to a piece of foam board or anything stable (as above Sophie used a nappy box that was lying around). This gives you the option of framing/stretching later, using a table or hard surface sometimes or the choice of painting on an easel as well.
  • What is flow aid/medium and gesso, do I need to use it?

Firstly, flow aid also known as flow medium. It increases and enhances the flow of your paint. It spreads easily and feels smooth and light under your brush.  Alternatively, if you don’t want to invest in flow aid a few drops of water can help with gluggy paint.  Click here for our tips and tricks blog on acrylic flow medium.  

Clear gesso (it must be clear, NOT white), provides a more absorbent surface to work on. Therefore, the coverage is smoother and the need to do more layers is eliminated.  There are, of course sometimes very light colours that will need multiple coats even with clear gesso.  Click here for our tips and tricks blog on ‘to gesso or not to gesso’. 

  • I’m struggling with the lighter or translucent colours, what is a swatch and can I cover with a white paint pen?

Many of our Paint Plotters have different methods to combat the unavoidable lighter/translucent colours.

A swatch is trying colours out to see whether they are going to need two coats.  Doing a sample along the side of the canvas will allow you to see whether they will cover completely or need another coat.

Many painters choose to use a white out pen to cover the number in the beginning. If you join our subscription program, we send white charcoal pencils as one of your free monthly gifts.

Many believe that using gesso helps with translucent paints however, the reality is that translucent colours often need a second coat if you want to completely cover the lines. 

  • What is blending and how do I do it?

The easiest way to explain blending is the sample below:

We teamed up with Melanie Gilstrap better known as Mel B and created a video explaining how to blend. 

  • The Paint Pots look so small, will there be enough?

Never fear, they look tiny, but you’ll be amazed at how far they go.  Many of our Paint Plotters swear by Acrylic Medium flow, as you need less paint when you add a drop to each pot. Don’t forget to get all the paint out of the lid first, there’s quite a lot in there.  Here at Paint Plot, we guarantee the paints for six months so you can email us at  and we’ll send you more if you run out for any reason.

  • Do I need to stay inside the lines as I paint?

Don’t be too harsh on yourself, enjoy the process and make the painting your own as you go. A little painting outside the lines won’t make a big difference overall. (Blending is a great example of this). 

  • My paint by number canvas arrived creased, can I get this out?

This is a little unusual as all canvases are rolled up for each order and posted immediately within Australia.  However, it can occur, so we suggest the easiest way is to turn the canvas face down, put a cloth over the top and iron the canvas.  Fellow Paint Plotters have suggested a light spray on the back of the canvas as well, just take care not to wet the canvas completely as this will cause more creases.

  • Should I paint one colour at a time?

The one thing that we have learnt from our group is that the order you paint in is an individual preference.

Generally, the fastest way to paint is sweeping from the top corner, down the canvas to the bottom corner. If you’re right handed, you would start on the top left so that you don’t smudge your painting and if you’re right handed, it would be the other way around.

 Something that has been widely discussed within the group and of interest is that a lot of our community prefer to do sections at a time so that they can see the painting come to life early on.

  • What does everyone do with their completed paint by numbers?

Oh, there are so many delightful choices once you complete your painting.  At the top of the list would have to be updating the décor in your home. Painting are also a perfect gift for someone special because there is so much time and love that is invested that the recipient can appreciate.
Some customers choose to store their paintings in a portfolio which is also a great choice, just ensure the painting is fully dried before doing this to ensure that the paint doesn’t stick to the plastic. 

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