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Beginner’s Guide to Paint By Numbers

Beginner’s Guide to Paint By Numbers

Beginner’s Guide to Paint By Numbers

If you’ve just gotten your hands on a paint by numbers kit but have no idea how to start, you’re in luck! Painting by numbers is actually easier than you think. You’ll soon find out how much fun it can actually be.

Our beginner’s guide will take you through the step-by-step process. In no time you’ll be unveiling your very own artistic masterpiece!

What You’ll Need

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our post on what comes in a paint by numbers kit, but here’s an overview of what you can expect to find in your kit:

  • Paint brushes: You’ll get at least one paint brush. If your particular painting project contains many tiny areas, it’s helpful to buy smaller detail brushes.
  • A canvas: This is divided into sections, with each numbered part linked to its matching paint pot.
  • Paints: You’ll get numbered mini colour pots. Acrylic is the best kind of paint for a beginner. It’s opaque and easily covers numbers on the canvas. It also dries fast, is easy to use and the bright, bold colours make your painting pop.

It’s also a good idea to make sure you have the following handy:

  • Magnifying glass: This highlights tiny areas to be painted.
  • Water: After a painting session, mix some dishwashing soap in warm water to help clean your brushes’ bristles. This avoids stiff brushes caused by hardened paint on the tips.
  • Old cloth or towel: Dry off your brushes after use. If you leave them in water they’ll spoil.

Our 12-step Beginner’s Guide to Painting by Numbers

Step 1: Pick Your Workspace

Find a brightly lit area. A room with natural light, sufficient space and plenty of ventilation is ideal.

Step 2: Protect Your Workspace for Painting

Prepare to paint by ensuring your workspace is protected. Haul out newspaper, an old tablecloth, towel or plastic to line your table. This guards your workspace surface from accidental spills.

Step 3: Get Your Tools

Put your painting tools in one place for easy access. In addition to the above-mentioned items you’ll need, go ahead and fill a paper cup, plastic tub or glass jar with water for rinsing off your brush between different colours.

Step 4: Prepare Your Canvas

Some paint by numbers kits will come with your canvas attached to a frame. If this hasn’t been done, unroll your canvas and iron it to remove any creases or wrinkles. Then tape it to your workspace to keep it firmly in place as you work.

Normal acrylic paints are perfectly safe for your canvas, but some people prefer to prepare their canvas using gesso. This acts as a first layer protecting your canvas. It also prevents your canvas from absorbing paint too quickly, and creates a smoother canvas surface.

Step 5: Select Your Numbers

The choice is yours on where you’d like to start. You could follow the numbers in either ascending or descending order. Alternatively, you could focus on one colour at a time. If you’ve read our blog post on the top 10 tips to get started with painting by numbers, you’ll know that we’re partial to starting in descending order.

Step 6: Pick the Right Paint Brush

Carefully pick the brush best suitable to the area you’re going to paint. A large area requires a large brush, and the same applies to smaller areas.

Step 7: Start Painting!

If you begin painting the largest areas of the picture first, you’ll work your way through the numbers in no time. Some people prefer starting with the smaller details, or painting with darkest colours first. It’s completely up to you. Whichever area you choose to start with, ensure you’ve got the correct matching colour.

After you’ve found the corresponding numbered section on your canvas, start painting in that spot. Open your paint pot and dip in your paint brush tip. Start with a small amount of paint—you’ll be surprised by how far it goes! 

Step 8: Move Onto the Next Section

After filling your first section on your canvas, search for the next section with the same numbers. Work your way through the whole canvas until all the same numbers have been filled.

Step 9: Let It Dry

Next, wait 10 minutes for the first layer to dry. While you wait you can start painting a different number. Just be sure it’s not near the painted areas that are drying. Before you open a new colour pot, rinse your brush in water first.

Step 10: Paint A Second Coat

Apply a second coat to the same areas you’ve just painted. This creates a smoother, more opaque layer and hides your numbers. Don’t use too much paint or it’ll run into other sections. Repeat this painting process until all numbers have been completed in their matching colours.

Step 11: Seal the Paint

Optional extra: to protect your finished artwork, brush on one or two layers of acrylic paint compatible paint sealant. Ensure each layer dries properly.

Step 12: Frame It

The last fun part? Frame your canvas to display and remember all the time & effort you put into creating your own masterpiece!

That’s a Wrap

So, there you have it! You’re now all set to start your first-ever paint by numbers project. Apart from the rewarding satisfaction of completing this project, you’ll also benefit from the stress relief painting provides. You can focus your mind on other things instead of the busyness of life and work, plus enjoy relaxing & unwinding as you create something beautiful.

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