Tips and Tricks for Paint by Numbers: A Beginner’s Guide

Struggling to learn to paint by numbers? I have the best paint by numbers ideas and tips to help you realize your desired artwork! 

It’s never too late to be an artist. Amidst so many Picassos, you may feel like an overwhelmed amateur; luckily, someone has thought of you! Paint by numbers was designed to help you explore your inner artist.  

Paint by numbers is DIY painting kits that novice artists mostly use to paint like professionals. Thus, I can guarantee you will never regret investing in such a kit if you are an art enthusiast.  

 I will guide you with some easy tips and tricks to help you get started with paint by numbers right now.  

 13 Essential Tips to Paint by Numbers 

  1. Keep a Variety of Brushes 

For an artist, owning too many brushes is a myth! If you don’t have many brushes in your collection, you can buy them from your nearest stationery shop.  

Initially, you can get started with the brushes that come along with your paint by numbers kit. Having a bunch of brushes expands your choices. You can use any sized brush to fill a gap.  

Also, make sure you have thin bristle brushes to fill in precise gaps and create thinner lines. With so many sizes and textures of brushes available, you will have the freedom to go limitless with your experiments.      

  1. Keep the Canvas Firm

Having a sturdy canvas will prevent the chances of paint spilling or smudging. If possible, clip your canvas with a frame for more stability. By choosing an appropriate canvas, you can concentrate more on the painting rather than fixing your canvas all the time.  

Moreover, you can add more details to your painting with ease.  

  1. Feel Free to Use Gesso

If you are a beginner, then working on slippery surfaces or laminated canvas with acrylic paints can be challenging. Gesso is a clear-looking substance that helps to make the surface rough for the color to sit better.  

Even if you create a custom paint by number, gesso will help you achieve a more professional-looking outcome.     

  1. Start with the Darkest Color

As a beginner, you need to understand color composition when you are painting by numbers. And to do so, start painting with the darkest shades first and slowly build up with the lighter shades. In this way, you will understand which color better suits certain shades and situations, as well as the impact of light colors on dark.  

  1. Start with Descending Order

As a beginner, it is hard work to fill in detailed and smaller areas. If you want to start your painting with a good flow and not get frustrated at the very beginning, then begin painting larger areas before moving on to the smaller ones.  

This means you should go in descending order. Filling the larger areas will help you get into the flow of painting, save time, and avoid accidental smudging.    

  1. Cover the Numbers

The vital thing to remember while painting by numbers is that you need to cover the numbers. It will make your painting more precise and beautiful. But, on the other hand, you don’t want the numbers peeking through a beautiful painting, right?  

After applying the first coating of paint, let it dry and see whether it has covered the number or not. If not, then apply a second layer and wait for it to dry.  

  1. Start Painting the Topmost Area First 

A crucial tip I can give to beginners is to always start painting from the top area of your canvas. It reduces the chances of smudging to a great extent. If you begin from the bottom, there are chances your hands touch the wet paint and spread it all over.  

  1. Don’t Overpaint

Applying unnecessary multiple layers on paint will cause the paint to chip after a few days. You only need one or two layers of paint. Also, over-using paints will cause them to run out soon, which will add to your cost to buy another set.  

  1. Clean the Brushes

Keep a clean bowl of water while you are painting; of course, keep it at a safe distance so that you don’t spill. After painting each section with a brush, clean the brush in water so that when you use it once again to apply another color, it will give the canvas renewed texture without mixing with the previously done color.  

Moreover, after every painting session, take time to clean all the brushes when they are still wet. Or else, it is difficult and time-consuming to clean dried-up ones.  

  1. Keep the Paint Cup Closed

Each time you take paint on the brush, close the paint cup. It will prevent the paint from drying up too fast. Also, you can save your painting from accidental paint spills.  

  1. Have Patience while the Colors Dry

If you don’t want to ruin your freshly done masterpiece, then you need to have the patience of letting it dry. Usually, acrylic colors take a few hours to completely dry due to their thicker consistency. Moreover, if you have applied thick layers of paint, it will take more time.  

Nonetheless, your patience will be worth it.  

  1. Choose a Peaceful Workplace

True artists paint to relieve themselves from the chaos of life. Painting is not just a hobby but a form of healing too. Therefore, you should choose your painting area to be calm and quiet. Also, the place should have enough light so that you don’t have problems with visibility. 

A natural light source is the best way to obtain the best view and color effects of your painting.    

  1. Enjoy the Time

You can only enjoy your painting time when you are genuinely up for it. Or else, if you have several pending works at the back of your head, you can’t give your 100% to the art.  

As you become an expert, start inventing new ideas and get creative on your canvas because always following the rules can be boring.  

Final Thought 

So, these were some of the rules on how you can start and have a successful paint by numbers experience. Don’t always limit yourself with these rules. Take it easy and let the inner artist in you do the job.  


However, for the budding artists, I suggest you start from the simplest kits and build your way up. If you try your hand at the complicated and professional kits first, then you will end up demotivating yourself. After all, practice will make you perfect! 

Add Your Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.