paint-by-number tips

Here you will learn our tips for preparing your painting workspace, the best ways to approach your paint-by-number kit, paintbrush basics, tips on how to correct mistakes, and tips for children working on our paint-by-number kits for kids!

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painting tips

  • Take your time while painting, enjoy the process and remember to take breaks when needed.
  • Acrylic paint dries quickly! Use one color at a time and close the paint pot lids tightly when not in use so the paint doesn’t dry out.
  • Don’t forget to rotate your painting surface! This will help not only avoid smearing paint, but also makes it easier to paint small spaces or straight lines.
  • For small spaces or detailed shapes make sure to pick up only a small amount of paint on the very tip of your paintbrush. A smaller amount of paint is easier to control and helps fill in those small areas.
  • For the best coverage on larger shapes use the larger brush and try keeping your brush strokes in one direction.
  • Paint slightly over the lines of each shape to ensure there is no gap between areas of the painting.
  • Give each color a second or third coat as needed to get the best result.

brush basics

  • Before dipping your brush in the first color, pre-wet the paintbrush, leaving the brush damp but not dripping wet. This will help the paint transfer better to the surface and make it easier to apply.
  • While painting try to avoid leaving your brush resting brush side down in your water dish, which causes the brush tip to flatten.
  • Always keep your brush clean, acrylic paint is made of latex and will harden brush fibers when dried.
  • After cleaning your brush, give it a gentle pinch with your fingers to reshape the brush tip as it dries.


  • To clean up paint smudges use a lightly dampened q-tip. Dip q-tip into your water dish and then dab it on a paper towel or rag to absorb any excess water, then use it to clean any unwanted paint.
  • To remove paint in a detailed area use the technique called “scrub painting” which is the act of removing paint using a clean wet paint brush. Dip the clean paint brush into water and then lightly dab on a paper towel or rag to absorb any excess water and then use as a tool to clean unwanted paint.
  • If you fill in a number with the wrong color, you don't have to worry. You can wait for the paint to dry and cover the surface with a couple coats of the correct color.

fine tuning your painting

  • If there are any lines or numbers still visible after your second coat of paint, apply a bit more paint to cover them.
  • Clean up the areas where color zones meet by painting along the lines of the zones to smooth out any rough edges or to increase precision. It doesn't matter if you veer outside the original lines on the canvas. It's more important that the lines look nice and smooth and intentional.
  • If your kit has extra instructions about applying dots of paint with the opposite end of your paintbrush - the tip, rather than the bristle end - make sure you've applied both coats of paint first in addition to any clean up before dabbing the dots of paint as instructed.
  • Add your signature to your painting if you like!
  • You've got several options for displaying your finished canvas. You can use any standard 8x10 frame - preferably with the glass removed. You can also use 8-9" magnetic hanger frames or a clipboard!

painting tips for kids

  • Learn brush pressure by allowing the child to paint the back of their hand with a clean paintbrush, demonstrating how to be gentle with the brush.
  • To learn how to hold a paintbrush, place a pom-pom or piece of clay/play dough the size of a marble in the palm of their hand, wrapping the pinky, ring, and middle finger around it. This helps teach the child to grasp the brush with only their index and thumb.
  • Set up for success! Set up a clean and clear workspace. Always helpful to place the water dish and paint on the same side as the dominant hand to avoid drips and spills.
  • We highly recommend painting along with kids, the best way to learn is by demonstrating and painting together.
  • Don’t forget to keep painting sessions short! Studies have shown that a child’s attention span on average is about two to three times their current age in minutes.
  • Fun tip: research has shown that chewing gum helps children and adults focus. Researchers say that chewing gum increases the flow of oxygen to regions of the brain responsible for attention. More oxygen can keep people alert and improve their reflexes.