Paint By Number

Paint by number painting steps

Paint By Number Painting Steps

The first step is ensuring you have a bright and comfortable space to paint in. While painting by numbers is easy and fun, a dark or cramped room will not help the process. A dry and clean area is also essential to protect your artwork from damage.

It’s best to place your canvas on a large enough table or desk where it’ll stay flat. You should be able to move around to the different corners of the painting quickly.

Have a cup of water and some cloth handy to clean the brushes with when they get gunky or when you switch colors.

Finally, place the reference photo from your kit somewhere you can see while working. Remember, this demonstrates what the painting is supposed to look like at the end of the process. But this is your artwork – your style and creativity should show on the finished product!

Next, we’ll look at the paint-by-numbers instructions to ensure you understand exactly what you need to do.

Paint by Numbers – Instructions

Learning how to paint by numbers is pretty straightforward. The painting already exists on the canvas; you must paint each area with the correct color. The numbers on the page indicate this.

You could use various methods, tricks, and tips to make things easier.

Please keep reading for more details on how to paint on canvas, mix colors, and what you can do with the finished work.

How to Paint by Numbers on Canvas

On your canvas, you will find the picture you will paint. The different sections are numbered according to the color you should paint them. This gives you clear directions for painting by numbers on your canvas.

It’s essential to keep your canvas dry and clean, so place it somewhere it won’t be damaged.

It’s also important to stretch your canvas out to paint smoothly on it. If your canvas comes out of the kit wrinkled, spray a light mist of water on it and iron it using low heat. Make sure to iron the reverse of the fabric (not the side with the picture drawn on it) before you paint it.

If you want a sturdy surface to paint on, you could tape the canvas to some cardboard, wood, or foam. Ensure it’s easy to remove without damaging your work when you finish your painting.

Paint by Numbers – Mixing Colors

You might find some of the paints too thick to work with. In this case, feel free to mix in a bit of water to dilute the stain. But try not to use too much so the color keeps vibrating. Remember, you can always add more water as you go if needed.

You might notice that some sections of your painting have two numbers rather than one. This means that your image requires mixing colors to get the correct tone. With paint by numbers, mixing colors must be done slowly and carefully. Be sure to use the same amount of paint from each color and wash your brush between dips into the color pots so that you don’t contaminate the colors. You might want to use a toothpick to mix the colors (it can also help when painting tiny areas).

  • Paint By Number Painting Steps

Tips and Tricks

We’ve put together a little ‘how to paint by numbers’ cheat sheet for you to help you create the best piece you can:

  • Use dark colors first. This helps you see the colors' overall effect and understand the composition quickly.
  • Cover the numbers. Use enough paint to cover the numbers on the canvas to ensure your painting looks clean and beautiful. That’s not to say you need to use lots of color, as that might make it run into the neighboring section. The best method is to paint one layer, let it dry, and then paint another on top if needed.
  • Start at the top. This prevents you from smudging the paint with your arm while painting. Depending on your hand, you can also start on the right or left side of the picture. It’s your choice. After all, it’s your art!
  • Take care of your tools and materials. It’s essential. Make sure to shut your color pots properly when you are not using them to avoid them drying out. Also, remember to clean your brushes well after each use.
  • Take your time. Painting should be relaxing and enjoyable. Don’t rush your work; it will help you stay accurate as you paint and allow for a better result. It’s also important to let your paint dry well, especially if you want to paint more than one layer over a specific section.

The Finishing Touches

What you do with the finished artwork is up to you! You could get it framed or hang it up on the wall as it is.

The goal of learning how to paint by numbers is to have fun and create beautiful paintings in a simple and relaxing way. Whether painting a picturesque nature scene for yourself, having fun learning a new skill with your kids, or making someone a unique present, you can choose the perfect kit to help you release your inner artist.


How do you cover lines in paint by numbers?

Staying within the lines while covering them is a learning curve. The trick is using enough paint to cover the entire area but not too much so it doesn’t run to the neighboring sections.

Do you paint light or dark colors first?

According to the paint-by-numbers instructions, it’s best to paint the dark colors first. This can help you better understand the composition and see how the colors affect one another.

Is it better to paint the background first?

The recommended methods are to paint the darker colors first, to paint all the sections of a specific color in one go, and to paint from the top to the bottom of the canvas.

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