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Paint by Numbers Starting Guide

A comprehensive walkthrough designed to turn beginners into confident creators, one number and color at a time.

Paint by numbers with Canvas by Numbers
Paint by numbers with Canvas by Numbers

1 - What's paint by numbers?

Painting with numbers is a technique by which the canvas is divided into numbered sections. The number of each cell corresponds to the color marked with the same number. For example, if we have a small pot of red paint marked with the number "1", we will use that color for all areas of the canvas marked with a "1". Following this process, you can create beautiful paintings that otherwise would be impossible to paint! No previous experience is required; You just need to bring out your inner artist!

2 - Your paint by numbers kit

Your Canvas by Numbers kit includes everything you need to complete a stunning masterpiece:

✅ Pre-printed numbered 100% finely woven cotton blend canvas—great pigment absorption and easy to color.
✅ Numbered acrylic-based paint set. No mix is required. Non-toxic and environmentally responsible. Safe for kids and pregnancy.
✅ Set of 3x standard paint brushes (1x small, 1x medium, 1x large).
✅ Hanging kit, including 2x screws and 2x non-track hooks.
✅ Reference print with the color key and black and white print of the canvas lines and numbers. 
✅ Directions sheet.

  • Chicken Paint by Number for Kids-Spark your child's creativity with our Chicken Paint by Number! With adorable chickens and blooming flowers, it's a painting adventure they won't forget.-Canvas by Numbers
  • Chicken Paint by Number for Kids-Spark your child's creativity with our Chicken Paint by Number! With adorable chickens and blooming flowers, it's a painting adventure they won't forget.-Canvas by Numbers

3 - Before starting to paint

Find the right space

A sturdy chair partnered with a solid desk or table can truly transform your painting experience, providing comfort and support as you create. Remember, the charm of detailed paintings lies in their smaller cells, making it essential to have adequate lighting. Sometimes natural light might not do the trick, so why not keep a handy lamp or flexible light fixture nearby? A magnifying glass could also be your best friend, ensuring that no detail goes unnoticed.

Remember to take breaks

Don't let the time fly by without taking care of yourself! Set a friendly reminder on your phone to nudge you every hour—it's time to stand up and have a good stretch. After all, your neck and back deserve some love too. Small breaks for a bit of movement can make a world of difference in keeping you comfortable and happy, especially if you're sitting for long periods. So, let's embrace those quick stretch breaks!

Clear your workspace

You'll be amazed at how paint has a knack for finding its way into the most unexpected places! Consider safeguarding your space with some old newspapers or a plastic tablecloth. It's a simple step that can save your table from unexpected splatters and spills. And let's not forget about clothing! Why not embrace your inner artist by donning some comfy home clothes? This way, you're all set for a worry-free painting session!

4 - Canvas preparation

Q: What is gesso? Should I use it with my Canvas by Numbers canvas?

You may have heard of gesso. Gesso is a primer material that facilitates paint application and achieves greater contrast by applying one or more layers to the canvas before painting. However, gesso is not strictly necessary for acrylic paints, being more common when painting with oils. Some prefer to paint on gesso while others find that the unprep canvas is completely fine! If you decide to use gesso, use a neutral color to avoid making it difficult to see the numbers and lines of the painting later.

Q: I bought a frame to mount. Should I stretch the canvas before or after painting?

We always recommend mounting the canvas before painting, although it will depend on whether you have an easel. A stretched canvas is not ideal for painting on a table or desk since it can lose tension if you lean on it. This will not happen when painting with an easel. On the other hand, if you do not have an easel, it is better to paint your canvas first, as described in section 5, and then mount the frame once it is finished and completely dry, which we will explain later.

5 - Using the DIY frame

The DIY frame is an inexpensive way to frame your painting with excellent results. Remember that the most important thing is to align the paintable area with the edges of the stretcher bars.

6 - Paint by Numbers recommendations

✅ If you bought your kit without a frame, you could use masking tape to fix it to the surface (table) or a piece of cardboard (cut-out box), providing a more solid base. If you bought your painting already pre-stretched, it is best to use an easel to paint it.

✅ We recommend painting one number at a time, so the rest of the pots remain sealed. Acrylic paints dry quickly. Close the lids whenever you are not painting to prevent them from drying out!

✅ Clean your brushes between colors. Dip the brush into your water, stir and wipe it against the paper towel. Repeat until there is hardly any color left in the brush (the paper towel will barely have any color trace).

✅ Make the most precise strokes, conserve paint, and prevent your brushes from getting dried up and hard by using the tip of your brush!

✅ If you are right-handed, go from left to right. For left-handed individuals, go from right to left. This way, you won’t smudge painted areas that may not be dry yet!

✅ Made a mistake? If you use the wrong color, let it dry completely. You can then paint over the area with the right color of paint.

✅ Save any extra paint you have after your kit for future touch-ups or even a masterpiece of your own!

✅ If you find that a paint pod has dried up or is a little too thick, add a drop or two of warm water to bring it back to life!

7 - Advanced techniques

The adventure with Paint by Numbers doesn't stop once your masterpiece is complete - there's a plethora of new techniques and secrets ready to be explored! Youtube is resource packed with instructional content that delves into advanced practices, helping you make the most of your Paint by Numbers kit. It offers an abundance of videos that are invaluable for anyone keen to enhance their painting skills.

How to improve paint coverage

What's Flow Aid?

Blending colors for a smoother transition

Also Good to Know

Most common questions painting by numbers

A: Yes, you can frame your canvas without stretcher bars by attaching it directly to a solid backing, such as foam board or a wooden panel. However, using stretcher bars provides a more professional and traditional look, as well as better protection for your artwork.

A: If your canvas has wrinkles or creases, you can iron it on a low heat setting before framing. Place a clean, white cotton cloth between the iron and the backside of the canvas to prevent any damage to the paint.

A: Yes, you can use a ready-made frame if it fits the dimensions of your canvas. Be sure to measure your canvas accurately before purchasing a frame. Keep in mind that you may still need to stretch your canvas using stretcher bars or another method before framing it.

A: Ensure that your canvas is stretched tightly and evenly across the stretcher bars before securing it with staples. If the canvas becomes loose over time, you can try gently tapping the corners of the stretcher bars with a hammer to tighten the canvas or use canvas keys (small wooden wedges) in the corners to increase tension.

A: Generally, it is not necessary to add glass or acrylic to a framed canvas, as it can trap moisture and cause damage to the artwork. The texture of the canvas and paint is often better displayed without a glass or acrylic cover.

A: To clean your framed canvas, gently dust it with a soft, dry cloth or a soft-bristled brush. Avoid using water, chemicals, or abrasive materials, as these can damage the paint. To maintain your artwork, display it away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, which can cause fading or cracking over time.

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