Whether you’re picking up the paint brush for the first time, or the tenth, everyone loves helpful hints, Paint by numbers tips or tricks that might help you with your practice.

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Here are our top 3 best-practice, paint by numbers tips.


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In the words of artist Bob Ross: “We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” However, if something does go amiss and repainting with the right colour doesn’t work, you can paint over the area in question with white paint and once dry repaint with the correct colour.

Once the paint has dried, if you can still see a number poking through (usually this happen with very light colours), or you want a really vibrant, bold finish, again wait for the paint to dry and add more. Most paint by numbers use acrylic paint which tends to dry slightly darker than when first applied, so don't stress if the second coat seem lighter.

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Remember, in number painting the colours and sections may not make sense at first but they will start to come together more once a few colours are applied on the canvas and you start to see the image really taking shape. Take a step back and look at the painting as a whole in-between brush strokes to get an idea of your progress.


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Let It Flow

You can definitely just let the creativity flow through you and see where it leads you with your Paint by Number project, returning to areas and colours as you feel like it. You may want to begin with light colours and move on to dark.

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It can sometimes help to have a bit more of a plan. Working in sections number by number (i.e. colour by colour) will help you avoid missing any numbers or losing your place.

Alternatively, approach your PBN from left to right if right-handed, or vice versa if left-handed. That way you can continue painting without waiting for the newly painted section to dry.  

Take your time

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Rome wasn’t built in a day and most paint by number projects take several hours (and multiple sittings) to fully complete. Don’t feel compelled to get everything done in one morning or afternoon. Take regular breaks and come back to the project when inspiration hits.

Painting by numbers is a time to be patient with yourself and your progress and let go of perfectionist tendencies. After the piece is finished, you can improve by blending (or using other painting techniques which you’ll find with a quick Youtube search).

Make sure your brush is dry before dipping into the tubs and only dip the tip of the brush into the paint for small areas. Working with a small amount of paint gives better control when painting small sections. Constantly clean the brush when painting the same colour for an extended period to avoid contamination of colours or the brush getting a bit ‘gluggy’ from too much dried paint. Just make sure they are dry again before use!

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