Paint By Number

Do you frame paint by numbers before painting?

It is not typical to frame a paint by numbers canvas before painting it. Here are the steps generally recommended for working with a paint-by-numbers kit, including considerations for framing:

  1. Accessibility: Painting on a flat, unframed canvas allows you to easily reach all of the canvas without the edges of a frame getting in the way. This is especially important for paint-by-numbers, where precision is critical to getting paint into small, detailed sections.
  2. Stretching Needs: Many paint-by-number kits have canvases not pre-stretched over a frame. Painting on them first allows you to stretch the painted canvas over a stretcher bar or have it professionally stretched and mounted to ensure a tight fit and a professional look. Painting after stretching helps prevent any distortion of the painted image during the stretching process.
  3. Drying and Curing: Acrylic paints, commonly used in paint-by-numbers kits, must dry and sometimes cure over time. Painting first allows the entire artwork to dry evenly without being affected by the frame. Additionally, if the paint gets on the frame during the painting process, it could mar the final product's appearance.

2023 Christmas Black Cat Framed Paint By Numbers.jpg

However, if your paint-by-numbers canvas came pre-mounted on a stretcher frame (different from a decorative frame), it will be painted as is. In this case, you only need to think about adding a decorative frame after the painting is completed and thoroughly dried.

If you're considering framing your paint-by-numbers project, here are steps to follow after painting:

  • Let it dry: Ensure your painting is arid. Acrylic paints dry relatively quickly, but it's good to wait at least 24 hours to be sure.
  • Choose a frame: Decide whether you want a floating frame (where the edges of the canvas are visible) or a traditional frame. Remember to measure your canvas size to get the right fit.
  • Consider a mat: While not always necessary for painted canvases, a mat can add a professional touch to specific artwork. This is more common for works on paper but is an option depending on your aesthetic preferences.
  • Frame it yourself or professionally: Depending on the size and comfort level, you can either frame the painting yourself or take it to a professional framer for that perfect finish.

In summary, it's best to paint your canvas first and consider framing after the artwork is complete and dry. This approach will help you achieve the best results during the painting process and in displaying your finished work.

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