5 Ways to Paint by Numbers


A big part of the appeal of paint by numbers is its simplicity. You apply the numbered paints to their corresponding numbered area on the canvas. Easy! Just because it’s simple, however, doesn’t mean you have to do it the way your neighbor or even your friends do.

People often discover different ways to paint their canvas within the basic framework. Here are just some ideas you can try on your next project. Don’t have one picked out yet? Go to
Paintingkits.net to order your next favorite canvas.

One Color at a Time
This is one of the most common ways to complete your paint by numbers. It’s a lot like a hidden object game. You start with paint number one and hunt for every area on the canvas labeled “1.”

When every spot with a ‘1” is covered, you move on to paint number two and so on.
The only potential hiccup in this method is that you could easily end up with your hand in wet paint.

Photo by russn_fckr on Unsplash

It’s a good idea to paint from the top down or from one side to the other to avoid this.

One Area at a Time
People who don’t use the one color at a time method usually use this one. The concept is to
start at one area of the canvas and paint all of the colors in that area before moving to the next area. You can break it into quadrants or just paint one item at a time.

Go Psychedelic
Just because the kit tells you to put paint number one in area number one, doesn’t mean you have to listen. In a painting like Colored Animal Closeup, it doesn’t matter which color you put where. Let go and have fun with it.

If you use this method, you may want to keep track of your new number scheme. If you decided to substitute color number five with color number seven, just jot down a note to yourself. This should help you avoid painting two neighboring areas the same color.


Paint by numbers is often considered a solitary hobby but it’s fun to involve children or significant others in the process. You can decide to take one side of the painting and let the other person paint the other half.

Then, you’ll be creating a memory as well as something pretty to hang on the wall. Is one
person better at following the lines? Whose style is more carefree? Let visitors try and guess which of you painted which side.

One thing people note about paint by numbers is that it’s usually pretty easy to tell that the
finished painting isn’t an original.

Because you paint within defined outlines, the resulting painting can often look like an illustration.

To avoid this, you can blend your edges. After painting two areas next to each other, you can use a dry brush to blur the border between the two. Clouds, waves, and soft surfaces are good places to use this technique.