Paint by Numbers instructions

Afraid of making a mess of your first paint by numbers?
It's natural - we've all been there! Well, I've been there, at least.

That's why we drew up a list of all the important things you've got to know before you start your first paint by numbers!

The list contains everything we thought of but we may have missed some pieces of advice. Please comment the post if you still have any questions and we'll reply as soon as possible. 

When you begin: 

  • Clear a flat area to start.
  • Arrange your painting where there is good light.
  • Get a cup of water and paper towels handy to clean brushes. Clean them when they start to get all gunked up or when you change to a new color. To clean a brush, simply put it in a glass of water, stir as you would with a spoon and wipe it up a bit with a towel.
  • Make sure the tops are completely closed when you’re done with them to prevent drying.
  • Use enough paint so as to cover the numbers and lines.


Where to start:

I prefer to start at the top left because I'm right-handed. This way I let the paint dry without taking the risk of putting my hand/arm in it.

Some days, I’ll paint all the colors that are in a small area (+- 15cm X 15cm), 1 color at a time. And move to the next area only after having completely painted the previous one.

Other days, I’ll choose one color and paint all areas corresponding to its number before moving to the next color.

But in both cases, I’ll go from the top-left to the bottom-right of the painting.

That being said, this is really about what you feel comfortable doing. There is no right or wrong! 

Here are some suggestions: 

  • Top to bottom.
  • Dark to light. 
  • From the first number on. 
  • Top corner down. 
  • In the middle out. 



Some canvases come a bit wrinkled. Spray a light mist of water on it and iron on low setting on the BACK SIDE. (before you paint it!).

If you’d like to have a sturdy surface to paint, tape the canvas to a piece of foam board or cardboard. 



You may find some paints a bit thick. It's always better to mix it up a bit before using it. If the paint is too thick, do not hesitate to add a drop of water of some flow improver.


Do you still have the contest where you enter a picture of you holding your finished PBN? I would like to enter my picture. Where would I send it? Do you have a link?
Thank You

Cynthia Shannon

How do you paint an area with 2 numbers? Does it mean you mix the two? How do you measure how much of each you need


Just got my two orders yesterday and finally i could start it soon after coating it with Gesso Clear coat for much better result and buy also a flow improver and also a foam to mount my canvass. This is my first time to try painting and i want it done the best way i could to enjoy this new experience at my retirement age of 66.


Thank you
I’m really looking for to paint !!


What do you mean when you say “add a drop of water of some flow improver”?
Do mean just water or add water to a turpentine or solvent??


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