Before you start:

  1. Find a well-lit space to do your painting – The more detailed the kit, the smaller the numbers and spaces may be. For the particularly small spaces, a magnifying glass and lamp can be very helpful.  If you wear glasses, have them close by too.
  2. Get comfortable!  At a table or even an easel if you have one.  Remember this is a self-care activity and should be enjoyable.  Try to make sure you are comfortable and change positions frequently.  Being hunched over for long periods of time can be bad for your neck and back.  Switching between painting on a flat surface and a tabletop easel usually helps!
  3. Be sure to have enough space, free of anything that should not get wet or dirty! As careful as we think we will be, the paint always seems to find its way onto something other than canvas!
  4. Take a digital picture of your canvas with your phone! This will give you a permanent reference sheet that you can never misplace, spill paint on, tear, burn, crumple, or shred! You can also zoom in on any small numbers or spaces.  That’s right, zoom will be your friend for those difficult to read numbers!
  5. Get a small cup of water and a few paper towels. Keeping the brush moist, but not too saturated, is very important throughout the painting process. We highly recommend going 1 colour/number at a time as it will ensure your paints stay moist and fresh for the entire kit!. To keep your brush moist and clean, dip the brush in water and dry off any excess with your paper towel. Make sure to clean it well when switching colours/numbers!      

Starting your kit

Easy Paint by Number Instructions

  1. Unpack your paint by number kit and lay out the canvas, paints, and brushes on a flat surface.
  2. Unroll the canvas and carefully iron it on a high setting to remove any wrinkles or creases if required.  Rolling the canvas the opposite way to how it was in the package also helps.
  3. Tape the canvas to the flat surface. We recommend masking tape to mitigate any residue that may be left on the flat surface or canvas.
  4. Fill up a small cup of water and lay out the few paper towels. (Do not forget the paper towels, they are very important for cleaning your brushes when changing colours!)
  5. Be sure to take that digital picture of your canvas with your phone!  This trick will give you a permanent reference sheet that you can never misplace, spill paint on, tear, burn, crumple, or shred! You can also zoom in on any small numbers or spaces with ease.
  6. Match each of the numbered paint pots with the pre-numbered area on the canvas. We highly recommend going one number at a time to prevent the paints from drying.
  7. Start with the darker colours first, then go lighter. Go from top to bottom. For right-handed individuals, go from left to right as your make your way from the top to the bottom of your canvas. For left-handed individuals, go from right to left as your make your way from the top to the bottom of your canvas.
  8. Dip the tip of your paintbrush and begin painting! Using just the tip will increase the precision of your strokes and help you stay within the lines. It also prevents paint from drying up in the bristles closer to the handle, which may damage your brush. Using just the tip will also conserve paint so you will have plenty leftover for touch-ups and free-hand kits for fun once you are done!
  9. As tempting as it is to paint over the number first, try not to do this, especially when they are odd shaped sections.
  10. Use the paper outline page to work out what the numbers are as you go – the further you go along, the more this is useful.

Expert Tips

  1. Acrylic paints dry quickly. Make sure to paint 1 number at a time and close the lids whenever you are not painting to prevent them from drying out! Only open 1 paint pot at a time!
  2. A paint pod with no number or a grey dot will correspond with the grey or blank area on the canvas.
  3. Always iron your canvas before beginning to paint to get out any creases or wrinkles!
  4. If you want to hang your painting, but do not want to put holes in your wall or all the hassle of framing your canvas, you can use double-sided tape, glue dots, or reusable adhesive tabs! Quick, easy, and a cheap way of displaying your artwork!
  5. Make sure to clean your brushes thoroughly between colours. It helps to dip the brush into your water, then wipe it against the paper towel, and repeating until there is hardly any colour left in the brush.
  6. Moisten your brush before putting it in the paint. We recommend dipping the brush in a cup of water and then drying the excess water off on a paper towel before dipping the tip of your brush into the paint pod.
  7. Dip the tip! To make the most precise strokes, conserve paint, and prevent your brushes from getting dried up and hard, just use the tip of your brush! It makes it much easier to paint the fine details in these kits!
  8. Use white out or a white coloured pencil to cover the numbers and spaces and ensure they do no show through the
  9. Save any extra paint you have after your kit for future touch ups, or even a masterpiece of your own!
  10. All our paints are acrylic and water soluble. Sometimes paint dry up if they were not sealed well after use. If you find that a paint pod has dried up or a little too thick, add a drop or 2 of warm water to bring it back to life!
  11. Is your paint thicker than you would like? Add 1 part flow improver or flow aid to 20 parts water in your water cup. This will make the paint flow more smoothly off your brush compared to dipping in regular water!
  12. Tiny spaces too small for even your tiniest professional paint brushes? Try using a toothpick!
  13. Having trouble getting paint off? Try a cotton ball and nail polish remover!