Top Tips & Tricks for Paint by Numbers

If you’ve already read our comprehensive ‘getting started’ guide you’ll already be well on your way to expert status when it comes to our paint by numbers kits.  However, this helpful list of tips & tricks is great way to really master your painting skills.  These paint by numbers hacks will really take your talents to the next level!

Use a photo opportunity

Before you even dip your brush in a pot of paint – get clever!  Use your phone to take a picture of the canvas.  This is a helpful record of your starting point – refer back to it if you ever lose sight of the bigger picture (no pun intended). 

But the BEST thing about deploying this smart tactic is that it allows you to zoom in on the image at any time and check out those teeny tiny segments to make sure you’re choosing the correct color each time.  This is so much more efficient than using a magnifying glass…. Like you’re from the 19th century, right?

No Need for mulit-tasking!

Choose one color at a time and stick with that until you’ve completed all its segments.  This is a paint-saver and a time-saver.  Acrylic paints dry out quickly so by keeping a lid on all but one at a time, you’re keeping them fresh for longer.  Sticking with one color at a time also saves you the trouble of having to wash your brush for each segment of the canvas…. More time painting & less time doing the washing up!

Keep it light

Begin with the very lightest colors from your palette and gradually get darker over the course of the painting. This is great for two reasons:

  1. It’s easier to paint over a mistake if the color that went before it was lighter.
  2. Cleaning your brush to go from a lighter one to a darker one is much easier than the other way around – however thorough you are there’s always a chance that some residual paint could be lurking in the bristles ready to spoil your next masterstroke.

Cover up

When painting with lighter colors the numbers may show through from underneath.  You’ll need to either double up your paint layers to hide them or to activate expert-mode: Use a white-out pen to cover the number before you paint that segment.

Avoid slipping

If you’re painting on a table use masking tape to secure the canvas in one place.  Avoid any unnecessary slips & smudges.

Take a sensible route

Start at the top of your canvas & work your way down.  This way there’s no danger of smudging or blotting your previous work.  Top to bottom, left to right is the most sensible way of tackling the canvas for right-handed people, though going right to left may be easier for lefties.

Everyone makes mistakes

Hey, don’t worry if you make a mistake – it happens!  The best way to deal with an error is not to panic.  Leave the paint to dry – do not attempt to rub it off or cover it up while it’s still wet.  Be patient, wait for it to dry & simply cover it over with the correct color later.

Good housekeeping makes for a happy painter

The one thing you will definitely regret is not paying proper attention to brush cleaning. It is important to wash each brush thoroughly between paint colors and at the end of every day.  Leaving paint in the brushes for any amount of time can really affect the quality of the bristles, making them difficult to use & accuracy impossible.

Get blurry

If you want a truly professional finish on your paint by numbers project sometimes it’s encouraged to paint outside the lines.  If that hasn’t totally blown your mind check out this video which definitely will!

Waste not, want not

You’ll likely end up with leftover paint once your masterpiece has been completed.  Why not make good use of them by purchasing one of our blank canvasses & showing your own creative flair with a one-off piece of art?

Written to a brief for Kandsart; online art supplies store