Learning how to paint by numbers is a process that can take time. The art form became popular as a way to teach everyday people how to paint by giving them a guideline to follow when creating art, but there’s still a lot you have to learn to master this process.

Paint by numbers kits will give you everything you need to start, but it will take time to hone your skills and feel brave enough to get creative with your projects. These simple tips will show you how to do paint by numbers with ease and build up the courage to move from beginner to creative artist, covering all stages from preparation to presentation.

Curious to know how to paint by numbers? We prepared a video for you and some tips below!



#9: Be Prepared

DIY Paint by Numbers for Adults - Inspiration - Painting paint by number kits - Watercolor Octopus

Avoid the temptation when starting a paint by numbers picture to just jump right in without giving it any thought. Preparation is a key part of this process and spending a little time at the start will leave you much more satisfied with the final piece. Figure out your colors, the order you’re working in, what brushes and equipment you need, and have it all laid out in front of you and ready to go.

#8: Work in Descending Order

One of the biggest challenges for new paint by numbers artists is figuring out where to even start. There are a few approaches you can take, with some people swearing by their method, but the easiest way is to work in descending order. You’ll want to begin with the largest areas first and then work down to the smaller, and this is due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, it helps you get the hang of the painting system, and secondly, it’ll show you more of the painting as you progress and give you a feel for how it’s going to turn out.

#7: Darkest Colors First

If you’re trying to figure out where to even begin, it can help to organize the painting process by starting with the darkest colors first. This will not just make it easier to work your way through the painting, but it can help you figure out how the light and dark colors correspond with each other and what effect they have. This paint by numbers technique is used by serious artists and beginners alike, so make sure you try it out.

#6: Try Not to Smudge

It sounds easy enough to try and avoid smudges and marks on your painting, but it’s a pain that artists know all too well. The best approach is to start from the very top and work your day down so you lessen the chance of smudging paint all over the canvas with your hand. You might feel this takes even more out of the natural flow of the painting but you’ll be thankful when you end up with a clean piece of art that you didn’t ruin with your own hand.

#5: Cover the Numbers

Even if you don’t plan on hanging your piece and declaring to the world that you painted it yourself, you still don’t want the numbers to show when you look at it. The best way to ensure the numbers don’t come through is to apply a second coat of paint, but it has to be even. You can wait for the first coat to dry before you go again, or give it a few minutes and go over it. Either way, it’ll look a lot more professional when you can’t see any hint of numbers.

#4: Watch Your Supplies

All good artists understand the importance of caring for their supplies and it’s something that the paint by numbers beginner will have to learn as well. Keep an eye on everything you’re using and take care of it so you’ll be able to use it again. Wipe and wet brushes clean, practice good brush maintenance, and always put the lids back on your paint pots to keep them from drying out. Once you get the hang of these small details you can keep a professional set of brushes that will make your paintings even better.

#3: Break Some Rules

A paint by numbers kit will come with pretty specific instructions about how to create your own masterpiece. While they’re certainly helpful to follow, that doesn’t mean you can’t break some rules as well. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colors or try other brushes, because that’s how we learn. You might find that what you’ve come up with on your own actually turned out better than the kit recommended, and the final piece will have your personal touches to it.

#2: A Little Goes a Long Way

One of the most important paint by numbers techniques that you’ll need to learn is just how much paint to put on the brush. It can be tempting to dunk the whole thing and start painting, but you’ll soon learn this approach doesn’t work. A paint brush requires a surprisingly small amount of paint to work so only dip the very tip in and see how much it’s actually capable of covering.

#1: Make It Pop

Once you’ve finished your paint by numbers piece, you might feel that it’s still missing something. Even the best artists probably weren’t entirely happy with their art until it was hung properly, so the same goes for you. An important part of the paint by numbers process is what to do with your art when you’ve finished, so take the time to learn some techniques and hang your canvas or frame it to truly appreciate what you created.


  • The paints are acrylic based and dry easily. Do not leave the paints uncovered for long periods of time.
  • Wrong colors painted? Leave it to dry totally, and use the correct color to cover on top of it. Apply thicker paint to cover black border lines to create better effect.
  • Rinse the brushes thoroughly when changing color. When you stop painting for the day, wash the brushes with clear water to prolong the life span of brushes.
  • You may personalize the painting by adding words or your signature, up to your own creativity!
  • Paints with no numbers indication or grey dot on top are for the grey area printed on the canvas.
  • You may wish to hang it on the wall by simply getting a double-sided sticker as an adhesive. No drill no nail decorating, simple and easy.
  • Buy a Frame.
  • Keep the work area clean.
  • Start from the Top.
  • Start from the Background.
  • Close the paint pot lid after using.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
  • Use water for better flow.
  • Take breaks - Enjoy Art.
  • Use nail polish to clean your brushes.
  • Don't use up all the paint before the painting is completed.
  • Use a wet piece of cloth.
  • Buy a professional set of brushes.
  • Give a realistic look to your painting (Use blurring).
  • Use clear gesso.
  • Take a Photo of Your Canvas before you Start Painting.
  • Use White pencils to to hide numbers/lines.
  • Iron your canvas to get rid of wrinkles.
  • Use flow-improver .

The excellent quality, the variety of pictorial formats and compositions, as well as the possibility to create surreal, fantastic, and unique masterpieces using the paint by numbers kits without having to learn the principles, the wide choice of subjects, make it very popular both among the beginners and the great hobby painters.

How do you get wrinkles and creases out of canvas?

The #1 secret to getting wrinkles and creases out of a canvas is to use an iron on high! However, before you go ahead and do that, you should read through our list below of the most important Do's and Dont's.

The good news is that some wrinkling for canvases of all types is VERY normal. The bad news is that wrinkles on paint by number canvases are more common due to the printing of the numbers and lines, which also makes it a little more challenging to deal with. Fear not! We are here to help you with the Do's and Don't of getting those annoying creases out!


Let's start with the Don'ts:

X Mark Don'ts

  1. DO NOT use a lot of water, and avoid using any. Many websites suggest using a little bit of water, fine mist, or steam when ironing. We recommending doing this with caution because paint by number kits are different from regular canvases in that they have numbers and lines printed on them. Too much water and steam can actually clean away the numbers and lines, so unless you want to paint completely free-hand, we recommend proceeding with caution any time you spritz your canvas with water or use steam when ironing.
  2. DO NOT iron face up! When you begin ironing, make sure you iron face down to prevent any smudging of numbers and lines. Canvases are designed to be painted on, not printed on, so the ink can smear easily. Direct contact with a hot iron can easily blemish your favorite paint by number kit!


Check Mark Do's

  1. DO iron your canvas on high without steam. Many websites suggest using a little bit of water or steam when ironing. You're welcome to try doing this, but  Paint by number kits are different from regular blank canvases in that they have numbers and lines printed on them which may be accidentally cleaned off! Make sure to press down firmly on the canvas, and make sure you never keep the iron in one place for too long.
  2. DO make your canvas taught. Canvases are made to be stretched, and the stretching process helps to get the last wrinkles out. Try to make sure the canvas is as tight as possible, even when just taping or tacking the canvas to a flat surface!
  3. DO use a damp cloth on the back of the canvas. If you can't get the wrinkles out without water, and you don't have a VERY fine mister, we recommend laying the canvas face down, and ironing with a damp cloth on the back.


And also, you can check this video:

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