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Painting by Numbers Tips & Techniques

Painting Tips

Acrylic is an easy water-based medium to work with that cleans up easily from most surfaces with soap and warm water. However do protect your clothing to prevent possible stains. *Always be sure to select a well-lit space to work on your project. *Stir paints thoroughly with toothpick or brush handle before using. *Paint in small areas first and work towards larger areas. Details in faces are important, so for portraits we recommend starting with the eyes. *Before changing paint colors, rinse your brush gently with water. *To prevent paints from thickening, close each lid securely after use. If paint becomes thick, add one drop of clean water at a time until desired consistency. *Lighter colors may require additional coats of paint for desired coverage, but keep in mind that acrylics dry to a slightly darker tone. *For a finer brush tip, trim brush fibers to a point using scissors. If you paint a number field with the wrong color, allow the area to dry, then repaint using the correct color.

Painting Techniques

These techniques may help you fine-tune your artwork. To be sure you get the desired effect, try them out before using them on your canvas.

Go Lightly - Painting conservatively in thin layers will preserve the genuine canvas texture without completely sealing it.

Highlighting - Once dry, select a lighter color than the painted area. Apply color to a dry brush and streak until the paint is tacky. Apply lightly to highlight canvas texture.

Blending - As you complete a number field, use the bristles of a dry brush to blend the wet edge with the adjacent field, softening the contrast.

Streaking - Softly paint fine streaks of a lighter shade over a darker shade. This is a good technique to add texture to hair and backgrounds.

Glossy Finish - To saturate colors with a brilliant shine that protects, you may add a clear gloss layer. Brush a Gloss Medium and Varnish over the completely dried painting. Brush one coat horizontal, allow to dry. Brush a second coat vertically, allow to dry.


Allow your painting to dry 24 hours before inserting your canvas into a frame. Glass is not necessary when framing painted canvas pieces. Congratulations, you are an original Canvas by Numbers Artist! Now you can…

Share with The World!

You are welcome to exhibit your final work on Instagram and share your final painting with the world. Make sure you tag us #canvasbynumbers. Thank you for inspiring us!

Not sure what to paint? Find some suggestions in our Best sellers paint by numbers!

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