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Tips and Instructions for Completing a Paint by Numbers!

These Tips and Instructions also come inside your kit! If you still have more questions before you start, find our blog here where we answer more questions!


When first looking at the canvas it may be daunting to have so many lines but sit back, listen to some music if you want to and relax. You will soon find it calming.

Don’t feel stressed about going over the lines. You won’t notice it when it is finished. Some spots are almost impossible to get perfect.

You can separate the paint pots by twisting the connection between them and breaking them off. If the acrylic paint becomes gluggy or thick, add water to the paint container and mix to make the consistency easier to work with or use the lid for smaller quantities.

If you accidently paint over a number, use the template to check what the number was.

If you do run out of a certain colour, do not worry, you can easily mix and experiment with some of the leftover paints. If the colour is slightly off you won’t notice.

Shaded areas on the canvas are to make it easier to see where you need to paint. There is a paint pot for them with either a circle or a corresponding number that is written on the template. If the canvas becomes creased before you paint you can iron the unnumbered side with a medium heat iron (use spray setting). You can also put a damp clean cloth on the canvas and iron over it on a higher setting. Don’t iron the canvas once you have started painting. Pinning the canvas to a cork board will also help stretch it out if needed. Resting your painting hand on the canvas will help with controlling your paintbrush while painting. Make sure the paint is dry before putting your hand down.


If possible, we recommend you find an area where you can leave your Painting by Numbers ready to go each time you feel like painting. Desk or stand up easels work well. If you don’t have an easel and your Painting by Numbers is unframed you can use a cork board to thumb tack the canvas to, or you can use Blu Tack to stick your canvas to the wall or back of a door.

You will need a cup of water and a paper towel or rag to remove excess water from your brush. Acrylic paint is water based. If you get some on your clothing the paint washes off while still wet. However, you may want to wear an old shirt or an apron.

Check to see which colours correspond to which numbers. Choose one colour/number. If the paint doesn’t spread easily you can thin it with a few drops of water. Mix well before you start painting. Choose a big space to begin with to help you get used to the feel of the paint and the brush.

You can start wherever you want although if you need some direction we recommend that if you are right-handed start in the top left-hand corner and work your way across. Go the opposite way if you are left-handed. Lighter colours usually won’t cover the number with one coat. Paint over the number only for the second or third coat to save paint. Don’t worry about making a mistake, you don’t notice them when the painting is completed. We both make mistakes all the time and you would never know :) A magnifying glass helps with really detailed areas or if you wear glasses, you can get clip on lenses to add magnification.

Wash your brush off when changing colours and when you have finished for the day. Remove excess water with the paper towel or a rag. Make sure you close the paint container lids firmly to prevent the paint from drying out.

Let the areas you have painted dry. Repeat with a new colour until you have painted as much as you want, rinse your brush and continue with another colour.

You can use a clear lacquer spray on your finished painting to protect from dust and add a shine to the painting if desired. Painting by Numbers are very detailed and will take several hours to complete.



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