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If you’ve just gotten your hands on a paint by numbers kit but have no idea how to start, you’re in luck! Painting by numbers is actually easier than you think. You’ll soon find out how much fun it can actually be.
Our beginner’s guide will take you through the step-by-step process. In no time you’ll be unveiling your very own artistic masterpiece!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our post on what comes in a paint by numbers kit, but here’s an overview of what you can expect to find in your kit:
It’s also a good idea to make sure you have the following handy:
Find a brightly lit area. A room with natural light, sufficient space and plenty of ventilation is ideal.
Prepare to paint by ensuring your workspace is protected. Haul out newspaper, an old tablecloth, towel or plastic to line your table. This guards your workspace surface from accidental spills.
Put your painting tools in one place for easy access. In addition to the above-mentioned items you’ll need, go ahead and fill a paper cup, plastic tub or glass jar with water for rinsing off your brush between different colours.
Some paint by numbers kits will come with your canvas attached to a frame. If this hasn’t been done, unroll your canvas and iron it to remove any creases or wrinkles. Then tape it to your workspace to keep it firmly in place as you work.
Normal acrylic paints are perfectly safe for your canvas, but some people prefer to prepare their canvas using gesso. This acts as a first layer protecting your canvas. It also prevents your canvas from absorbing paint too quickly, and creates a smoother canvas surface.
The choice is yours on where you’d like to start. You could follow the numbers in either ascending or descending order. Alternatively, you could focus on one colour at a time. If you’ve read our blog post on the top 10 tips to get started with painting by numbers, you’ll know that we’re partial to starting in descending order.
Carefully pick the brush best suitable to the area you’re going to paint. A large area requires a large brush, and the same applies to smaller areas.
If you begin painting the largest areas of the picture first, you’ll work your way through the numbers in no time. Some people prefer starting with the smaller details, or painting with darkest colours first. It’s completely up to you. Whichever area you choose to start with, ensure you’ve got the correct matching colour.
After you’ve found the corresponding numbered section on your canvas, start painting in that spot. Open your paint pot and dip in your paint brush tip. Start with a small amount of paint—you’ll be surprised by how far it goes!
After filling your first section on your canvas, search for the next section with the same numbers. Work your way through the whole canvas until all the same numbers have been filled.
Next, wait 10 minutes for the first layer to dry. While you wait you can start painting a different number. Just be sure it’s not near the painted areas that are drying. Before you open a new colour pot, rinse your brush in water first.
Apply a second coat to the same areas you’ve just painted. This creates a smoother, more opaque layer and hides your numbers. Don’t use too much paint or it’ll run into other sections. Repeat this painting process until all numbers have been completed in their matching colours.
Optional extra: to protect your finished artwork, brush on one or two layers of acrylic paint compatible paint sealant. Ensure each layer dries properly.
The last fun part? Frame your canvas to display and remember all the time & effort you put into creating your own masterpiece!
So, there you have it! You’re now all set to start your first-ever paint by numbers project. Apart from the rewarding satisfaction of completing this project, you’ll also benefit from the stress relief painting provides. You can focus your mind on other things instead of the busyness of life and work, plus enjoy relaxing & unwinding as you create something beautiful.