How to Paint By Numbers: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners | Paint Craftology
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How to Paint By Numbers: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Posted by raena moralidad on

How to Paint By Numbers: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

So you've just got your very first Paint by Numbers kit from Paint Craftology, and you're feeling excited and a bit overwhelmed. Not to fear, we’re here to help! In this guide we cover everything you need to know before you start.


In this step-by-step guide we’ve answered your most frequently asked questions, so you’ll have everything you need to enjoy your new hobby and create a Paint By Numbers artwork you’ll be proud of.


We’ve also included tips and tricks to help you along the way as you unleash your creative side.


What's Included in My Paint Craftology Paint By Numbers Kit?


Items included in paint by numbers kit


Our beginner-friendly paint by numbers kits include everything you need to get started.


Each kit includes:


  1. High quality canvas

    An outline of your selected Paint By Numbers kit is digitally printed on our high quality canvas along with the numbers which correspond to the numbered paint set.

  2. Numbered paint set

    All paint colors are included in the kit to complete your artwork. Manual mixing or blending of paint is not required.

  3. Set of 3 unique paint brushes

    We provide each kit with 3 different sized paintbrushes. This will come in handy when you need to get to those small areas that require a little more precision.

  4. Optional frame

    You have the option to choose a kit with a frame. We provide everything you need to stretch the canvas over the frame and hang it to your wall.


What size is available in the Paint by Number kits?


Paint Craftology’s Paint by Numbers kits come in 16” x 20” and designs are available in landscape or portrait formats.


Is Paint Craftology’s paint acrylic or oil?


We are using acrylic. This kind of paint dries quickly, so make sure to paint one number at a time.


Before Starting Your Kit


Now that we’ve covered what’s included when you purchase a kit from us, here are some handy tips to remember before starting your Paint By Numbers kit.


  • Find a nicely lit area to work on your project


We recommend working in an area where there is good lighting so you can see your artwork clearly to avoid strain on your eyes or making mistakes.


It would also be best to have your work area protected. A plastic table cloth or old newspapers to cover the surface will do.


Get a cup of water and some paper towels for cleaning your brushes in between colors.


  • Unpacking your kit


Unpack your kit and lay out the canvas, paints, brushes, and frame on a flat surface. Unroll the canvas and carefully iron it on a low to medium heat setting to remove any wrinkles or creases.


If you purchased a kit with a frame, we recommend that you use the frame before starting.


How do I assemble the frame?

  1. The wooden frame set includes 2 long strips and 2 short strips. Attach the corner edge of a long strip with a short strip. Do the same with the remaining 2 pieces.
  2. Next, align the dark edge line of the canvas pattern with the edge of the frame.
  3. Secure the canvas to the frame using thumbtacks or staples. Apply thumbtacks on all sides of the frame
  4. Lastly, secure all corner edges with thumbtacks


    You can also refer to this step-by-step image.


    If you did not purchase one, that's totally fine! You can tape the canvas to any flat surface. We recommend using a painter’s tape instead of a masking tape as it tends to leave residue behind if left for the duration of a paint session.


    There are wrinkles in my Paint By Number canvas. What should I do?


    Your canvas is a high-quality material and it can easily be ironed.

    Be careful to set your iron on a low to medium heat setting so you don't burn the canvas. Lay your canvas face down onto a thick towel and mist the back of the canvas lightly with water from a fine spray bottle.

    Just dampen the fabric rather than soaking it. Gently iron over the surface, keeping the iron moving, and your canvas will be wrinkle-free within seconds.

    If you are a bit nervous about ironing your canvas, try stretching and rolling the wrinkles out. You can do this by placing your canvas face down onto a clean flat surface, and misting the back of the canvas lightly with water.

    Gently start to stretch the canvas out to remove the wrinkles by hand, or roll them out by using a clean rolling pin to roll the canvas flat, applying gentle pressure as you go. As the canvas dries out, the wrinkles should disappear.


    • Take a digital picture of your canvas with your phone


    This reference is something that you will never misplace, tear, or spill paint on. This will also help you zoom in on any small numbers or spaces with ease without the need for magnifying glasses.


    Starting Your Kit


    Now that you’re well-prepared and ready to begin your Paint By Numbers journey, let's get started!


    STEP 1. Matching Colors and Numbers


    Match each of the numbered paint pots with the pre-numbered area on the canvas. It is strongly advised to go one number at a time to prevent the paint from drying.


    Start with the lighter colors first, then go darker. Go from top to bottom. If you are right-handed, go from left to right as you make your way from the top to the bottom of your canvas. If you are left-handed, go from right to left as you make your way from the top to the bottom of your canvas.


    Dip the tip of your paintbrush and begin painting. Using just the tip will increase the precision of your strokes and it will also help you stay within the lines.


    Additionally, it prevents paint from drying up in the bristles closer to the handle, which may damage your brush. Using just the tip will also help you conserve paint and not run out of them.


    STEP 2. Adding Layers


    Most colors will cover an area in one coat, however, some light colors may need additional layering to cover the numbers completely. Just be careful and take your time so you don’t end up using too much paint.


    STEP 3. Using Water to Thin Out Paint


    Acrylic paint is bound to get thicker as it dries and it may be a bit difficult to work with the paints when this happens.


    Here’s a simple solution: put a few drops of water into your paint until it reaches your desired consistency. Voila! The paint is now ready to be used.


    STEP 4. Cleaning Your Paint Brushes as You Go


    As you now know, acrylic paint is thick and dries off pretty quickly, which makes it difficult to get them off your brushes. Make sure all your brushes are completely clean of the paint as soon as you are done using them, so that the paint does not get stuck to them.


    That’s where your small cup of water and some paper towels come in handy. Dip the brush into the water, then wipe it against the paper towel, and repeat until there is hardly any color left in the brush.


    STEP 5. Have Fun, Be Patient and Take Your Time!


    The whole purpose of this craft is to have fun while working on your paint by numbers kit. So, just take it easy and let our paint by number kits unchain the artist in you!


    Some Additional Painting Tips to Consider


    1. There is no need to mix the paints included in your Paint Craftology Paint By Numbers kits. They are all packed and labeled with the individual color ID.

      But if you feel like mixing the paints, mix light colors first, then finish with darker colors. When blending colors, always leave a small amount of the original colors for any places you might have missed.

      Toothpicks work well for mixing colors as well as filling in the very small areas of the canvas.

    2. Most of the time, the numbers underneath don't show through. However for some lighter colors, you’ll occasionally see the number through the paint.

      If this happens just paint a second layer over the top. If that doesn’t help you can cover the actual number with white paint, white out pen or white colored pencils.

      Some customers find it’s not so much about how many layers but the way you paint over it. Paint over with a thick coat but very lightly, like barely touching the canvas, and don't go over it again.

    3. You do not have to prime your canvas for acrylic paint. Some of our customers use clear gesso but this is optional.

    4. Use enough paint to cover the numbers, but not so much that the paint runs into other areas.

    5. Close the paint pots when not in use to prevent them from drying out.

    6. Keep a magnifying glass or reading glasses on hand so you can look closely at the finer details.

    7. Made a mistake? Don’t worry. If you use the wrong color, let it dry completely. You can then paint over the area with the correct color.


    That's it!


    We hope this was helpful so you can dive into your paint by numbers kit brimming with confidence and excitement :-)


    Take your time and enjoy the thrill of transforming a blank outline into something wonderful! Create a beautiful masterpiece you can proudly show off to your family, friends, and fellow artists.


    Happy Painting!