How to Fix Dry Paint From Your Paint by Numbers Kit

How to Fix Dry Paint From Your Paint by Numbers Kit

In the following article, you’ll know how to fix dry paint from your paint by number kit. Also, you’ll find a simple remedy to all the different problems that your paint colors might have.

A lot of people use number kits painting as a way to unwind and relax from the daily stressors. The best part about it is that it doesn’t need special skills for it. All you have to do is paint the canvas with the corresponding number from the kit.

But have you ever opened your paint by numbers kit, only to find that the paint is dry or lumpy?

Read on, if you want to know how to fix this!

Acrylic Paint Properties and Common Issues

Acrylic paint

As you already know, most paintings by numbers kits come with their own painting colors. In most cases, these colors are made of acrylic paint.

Acrylic paints are known for their brilliant vibrancy and their abundance of color degrees and options.

When they’re finished, they give the same look as water coloring and oil painting. They’re also quite affordable, which made them super popular in the last few decades.

However, they also have many issues. One of the most common problems they have is that they dry up in almost no time.

Also, since they’re chemically an emulsion, they tend to separate inside their containers. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve gone bad and can’t be used again.

How to Tell That an Acrylic Paint has Gone Completely Bad

Before diving into the situations where you can fix the dry paint, let’s talk about the only one where you should throw it away.

In most cases, you can easily reuse the acrylic paint if it has undergone consistency changes, such as lumping or drying up. However, if the paint started growing mold, it shouldn’t be used anymore.

The mold infects the excess moisture that remains insides the paint container. This is something to consider if the paint is opened and left on the shelf for over 2 to 3 years.

However, if you’ve never opened the color container, you shouldn’t worry about that, as they last for over 10 years if they’re unopened.

It might not be easy to spot the mold visually. In that case, you’ll need to smell the acrylic paint. Unlike the normal odor of paint, it will have a pungent or sour smell.

How to Fix Lumpy and Dry Paint

As you already know, acrylic paint has a tendency to dry up pretty quickly when compared to other paints.

This can be more problematic with paint by number kits because they come in small sealed cups. When you open them up, they’re subjected to a lot of air which speeds up their drying up process.

The result is usually a lumpy and thick acrylic paint that loses the creamy consistency you’re used to.

You’ll also notice that the pain doesn’t come out of the cup and mix with the brush easily. Here are all the methods that you can use to fix dry and lumpy paint.

Using Warm Water

If you’re dealing with acrylic paints, water will be your savior in a lot of situations. This happens because acrylic polymers are chemically hydrophilic molecules, which is a fancy term to describe a material that dissolves well in water.

As the acrylic paint stays exposed to air, it starts losing the moisture stored inside it, which makes the pain a little lumpy and stiff. The best way to fix this is to replenish the lost moisture by adding some water.

However, this should be done with moderation. Too little water won’t be enough to fix the paint’s consistency.

On the other hand, too much water will dilute the color significantly. Moreover, the paint will easily lift off the canvas when it dries up once again.

To do the thinning out properly, you need to add clear water dropwise, ideally with a plastic pipette dropper.

Start with one or two drops of water and see how it goes. A pro tip here is to warm up the water before adding it.

Increasing the temperature helps in thinning out the acrylic paint without affecting the final concentration. In other words, the paint will be easy flowing without changing the original color.

Not only that, but warm water will also mix in quicker than cold water. After every drop of warm water, make sure that you mix it thoroughly with a small toothpick for 2 to 3 minutes.

It goes without saying that you should seal the paint cup tightly, as it will dry up again if you leave it exposed.

Using Flow Aid (Flow Improver)

Flow Improver

Another common remedy for lumpy paints is to use a flow improver. Originally, these additives help the paint glide smoother on a canvas. You add a few drops of them into a water cup and dip the brush in it as you paint.

However, when you use them to thin out the lumpy paint, you add them directly to your paint. As a rule of thumb, you squeeze out a very tiny amount and mix it thoroughly with the dry paint.

Keep in mind that flow aids are a bit wasteful in terms of paint on canvas. In other words, you’ll notice that you run out of colors quicker when you use them.

That’s why you need to be careful if you’re using numbers that cover a large area of the painting.

How to Fix Hard Dry Acrylic Paint

Hard dry paint is usually more difficult to deal with than lumpy and semi-solid acrylic paint. It’s the result of leaving it fully exposed for a much longer time. Ideally, it’s better that you avoid reaching this stage as it’s difficult to fix.

Fixing hard dried acrylic is similar to lumpy one. The only difference here is that the success of the process is variable.

Start with adding a drop or two of warm water, stirring it for a minute, then leave it overnight. If that wasn’t enough to fix the paint, it’s better for you to replace it with a new kit.

Luckily, there are many companies that will sell you replacement paint pods if the ones you own have dried out.

What to Do if Acrylic Paint Has Separated Inside the Container?

In some cases, you might find the paint cup with separated layers where one of them is clear. This happens as a failure of the emulsion, as the pigment and the binder separates.

Luckily this one is much easier to fix. All you need to do is mix the colors with a palette knife or any equivalent tool again.

Why Does Color Change When it Dries?

If your paint pods color changes when they dry up, this might be a manufacturer’s error. It’s more common in cheap paint by numbers kits. Also, this happens if you add too much flow aid to the paints.

Tips to Use Acrylic Paint Efficiently

As you now know, it’s better to prolong the acrylic drying time than fixing a rock-solid one. Here are some tips that you can use to slow down the drying factor of the paint.

1. Color One Number Only at a Time

By doing this you’ll minimize the time where you expose a color to air. Also, it’ll help finish the drawing in a much shorter time.

2. Keep a Cup of Water Next to Your Painting

Cup of water next to painting

By keeping a cup of water next to you, you’ll be able to clean the brush much quicker. This way you’ll avoid drying up your paint colors by excessive exposure.

3. Don’t Use Up all the Paint Before It’s Finished

Even if you’ve finished a specific color, don’t throw the rest of it away. You might eventually need it to add some final touch-ups to your painting.

4. Don’t Paint Next to a Window

To do that, you only need to reduce the factors that cause the colors to dry. This includes closing any fans, turning off the AC.

Not just a window, but also a fan. Acrylic paints are famous for drying quickly with any stream of fresh air flowing towards them.

Wrap Up

There you have it. A complete and thorough guide that walks you through all the possible remedies to fix dried acrylic paint.

As you can see, it’s always better to prevent the paint from drying up rather than fixing a completely dry one.

Remember to always check the paints for molds by smelling it, so you avoid using an expired paint on your canvas painting.



What Is Gesso And Do You Have To Use It For Acrylic Paint By Numbers Kits?

What Is Gesso And Do You Have To Use It For Acrylic Paint By Numbers Kits?

Do you know what you and medieval Italian have in common? It’s gesso. It’s safe to say that you might not be too familiar with it, which is why you’re here. I’m pretty sure that you’ve also got some questions about using gesso for acrylic paint.

If you’re a beginner, you might be a little hesitant using Gesso for Acrylic Paint. But this popular material is no great mystery. All you need to do is arm yourself with a couple of tips and tricks.

Luckily for you, we’re going to explore all of your questions. Buckle up!

Part One: Preparation

Step One: Understand Traditional Gesso

Binder joined by chalk, gypsum, and pigment: that’s what Gesso is made up of. Sometimes, this white paint mixture varies. It could consist of any combination of those three main ingredients.

Gesso’s purpose lies mainly in its performing as a paint’s adhesive. It serves as a base to prep for any number of mediums, including wood panels and canvas.

Historically, gesso was applied profusely in oil paintings. It was used to prime a surface, which helped it adhere to oil paint. When applied, it would protect the fibers of the canvas, providing a reliable surface. That way, the canvas wouldn’t crack if rolled.

For example, take a look at medieval and Renaissance tempera paintings. Artists initially coated the paintings’ surfaces with a film of rough gesso, which was made of coarse plaster.

Then, the surfaces were covered with a series of finishing gesso layers. Made of fine plaster, the finishing gesso left the paintings’ surface opaque and reflective.

Step Two: Understand Modern Acrylic Gesso

Acrylic Gesso

What about acrylic gesso? While historically used by oil painters, acrylic gesso is the gesso widely used today. Modern acrylic gesso is a mix of a binder, pigment, chalk, and some other chemicals. All of these components together guarantee paintings for a long lifetime.

Notice how the glue is absent from acrylic gesso. This is because acrylic paints are non-corrosive and durable, which means you don’t have to worry about canvas damage to the paint. This renders the addition of glue to gesso useless. (Remember, traditional ‘glue’ gesso oil soaks up in canvas fibers, and helps protect them over time from the corrosive nature of the oils.)

There’s an array of gesso containers in art stores nowadays. These modern containers contain what’s considered a particular variety of acrylic gesso. After all, acrylic gesso quickly became the most widely used painting ground for acrylics as well as oil paints.

It’s easy to understand why: it’s inexpensive, straightforward to apply, dries up very quickly, and is effortless to clean.

Gesso bottles can be a bit tricky. To make sure that what you’re holding in your hands is acrylic gesso, scan the ingredients of the container. Decent art supplies manufacturers often make their contents clear.

Step Three: Buy a Gesso Primer

Here’s a common question from acrylic painters: is it mandatory to use a gesso primer?

Technically, it’s not. But it certainly won’t harm your work. Gesso primers allow for nicer, more absorbent surfaces. Its features can yield excellent results if you’re working with board or raw canvas.

However, applying a gesso primer on a pre-primed canvas is unnecessary. Remember: your pre-primed canvas already has a layer of gesso on it from the art store.

Pre-Primed Gesso

When you purchase a pre-primed canvas or panel, you’ll find that it’s already been primed using acrylic gesso.

This isn’t a surprise. Like we said earlier, acrylic gesso has been the most commonly used painting base that artists use. Manufacturers often use up to three coats of gesso to get even coverage.

What that means is that you don’t have to do anything with store-bought, pre-printed canvases. They’ve already been armed with gesso.

Part Two: Working with a Canvas

Step One: Prepare Your Canvas

Many painters want to prepare their canvases themselves. It’s not hard to prime a canvas with acrylic gesso. However, you must remember to equip yourself with a wide stiff brush and take your time.

When working with gesso, you can always experiment with its different possible consistencies. There are various measures of thicknesses that you can whip gesso into. However, you’ll find that applying it in a dense cream consistency is best.

Some acrylic gesso types in the container are already available in thicker consistencies. Therefore, you’ll need to dilute them with water.

If you have the appropriate consistency, all you need is a stiff-bristled brush. Then, apply the gesso to your bare spread canvas.

It would help if you’d avoid using those extremely cheap brushes. Otherwise, you could seriously harm your painting surface.

Step Two: Prime Your Canvas

Canvas Priming

Wondering how to gesso a canvas? Here you go:

  1. Mix the gesso until it forms a proper consistency.
  2. Make sure to use water, and only when needed.
  3. While working quickly, smear a thin layer of gesso over your canvas.
  4. Keep working until the canvas is completely covered.
  5. Wipe the brush off.
  6. Brush back and forth over the surface.
  7. Pop any bubbles.
  8. Uniformly lay down the paint.
  9. The brush should be perpendicular to the canvas, barely reaching it.
  10. For optimal evenness, use a cross-hatching pattern.
  11. Once dry, sand-paper your surface slightly.
  12. Repeat steps 1-4 until the surface you prefer is obtained.

Step Three: Look After Your Canvas

It’s tempting to apply a lot of gesso all at once. However, if you paint it on thin layers with sanding in between, you’ll reach a much better finish. Consider thining the gesso with water, and layering on the canvas evenly and thinly.

You should repeat the priming/sanding process enough. This way, you’ll end up with an incredibly smooth surface. But if you want a completely smooth surface, you should only be operating on a plate.

Don’t sand the gesso to the touch once it’s dry. For optimal results, the gesso is best left to dry overnight. You’d notice that acrylic paints like acrylic gesso can feel dry to the touch. However, if you try to wash them, they will become gummy. Remember: stay patient.

Part Three: Working with a Panel

Step One: Prepare Your Panel

Acrylic gesso will enable you to paint in no time. One or two coats are all you’ll need to paint the board. However, you should remember that achieving a smooth surface is nearly impossible if you’re using a brush to apply gesso.

What you want to use is a paint roller. It’ll help you achieve the smoothest results. And if you spray your gesso, you’ll end up with even better results.

When shopping, you should think again before you catch one of those large paint rollers. They are more suitable for walls. People who tried them know that they’ll yield an orange peel texture on the stand. Instead, opt for a 6-inch foam roller that doesn’t have a nap at all for the smoothest result.

You may want to sand the panel gently to make sure that the gesso has ample teeth to hold on. This is especially the case in some Masonite boards and tempered hardboards with hard, super-smooth surfaces.

Step Two: Prime Your Panel

Get your panel ready. Is your gesso out yet?

  1. Sand the surface of the panel gently.
  2. Clean up the dust with damp, lint-free cloth off the surface.
  3. Mix the gesso until it reaches the right consistency.
  4. Roll the gesso on evenly, flat on a table.
  5. Once dry, sand-paper slightly.
  6. Repeat steps 1-4 for a shiny white surface once more.

Step Three: Look After Your Panel

It would be best if you’d wait until the first layer of gesso is removed. Then, you should try to smooth out any gritty patches with low-grade sandpaper.

To get a satisfactory result, apply a second coat of foam roller to gesso. After it dries, wash it over again. Apply a minimum of 2 coats of gesso and sand in between.

If you’re working with a basswood panel, don’t hesitate to follow the same set of instructions. The only extra thing you’d have to do is prime the back of the panel.

Using Gesso for Acrylic Paint, Is It Really Needed?

So, is gesso necessary? That depends on what type of paint you’re working with. For example, you’re not required to use gesso while working with acrylic paints.

Nonetheless, a raw canvas is very absorbent. It isn’t for most painters’ brushing styles. Raw canvas soaks up all of the paint’s liquid. It’s best suited for reaching a “staining” effect, rather than blending.

So acrylic painters don’t need to use gesso, but they’ll probably want to.

Why? When oil comes into contact with raw canvas, the canvas becomes brittle with time and eventually disintegrates. This is commonly called a “rotting canvas.” This is why oil painters should always include a barrier of sorts between the paint and the raw canvas.

When there’s no barrier, oil paints can rot a canvas. Many oil painters move past this problem by employing acrylic gesso to use. By priming their canvases with it, they create a barrier between the canvas material and the oil paints.


If you’re just getting started, don’t bother with complicated and costly oil painting primers. Instead, try to stick to something more accessible. It’s better to spend your efforts mastering the basics at first.

Using Gesso for Acrylic Paint may not be the same as the actual gesso used by medieval oil painters. Nevertheless, it provides an excellent base for any painting medium. There are even different colors: white gesso, black gesso, clear gesso, etc.

Good luck!

Top 17 Mistakes Most Beginners Make With Paint By Numbers Kits

Top 17 Mistakes Most Beginners Make With Paint By Numbers Kits

Keeping Brushes Clean and Other Paint by Numbers Tips: The Top 17 Mistakes Most Beginners Make with Paint by Numbers Kits

Keeping brushes clean as you paint by numbers is a no-brainer. So is cleaning the brushes before switching paints. Or starting with light colors and finishing with dark ones.

If you’ve been painting by numbers for a while, then all these points seem obvious. But if you’re just starting out, then you’ll probably need some sort of guide on the don’ts of painting by numbers. Let’s call them “the top 17 mistakes to avoid in paint by numbers”.

Mistake 1: Buying a cheap paint by numbers kit

Original paint by numbers kits blow the cheap stuff out of the water. In addition to creating awesome art, original kits are well packaged and come with good-quality tools.

Cheap kits, on the other hand, are synonymous with wrinkles on canvas, low-quality brushes, inadequate/missing paints, and poorly constructed paints. Those are all things that you want to avoid at all costs.

In other words, cheap paint by numbers kits are not worth it! The canvas is usually folded during shipping, which creates all sorts of wrinkles. No matter how many times you iron it, someone will still see creases in your final artwork. And, the low-quality brushes will fray and poke holes on your canvas.

Don’t even get me started on cheap paints. First of all, their poor construction means that numbers will show through the paint.

Pro tip: If you suspect that your paint is low-quality, cover the numbers using white out or a white pencil before painting.

Secondly, there’s every possibility that you’ll run out of paint before you finish the painting. Even worse, the kit might come with some paints missing. Therefore, it’s better to use original paint by numbers.

“Is my paint by numbers legit?”

If you bought it from Ledgebay then it’s legit.

Mistake 2: Ignoring your comfort

Paint by numbers is wonderfully indulging, hence you’ll often find yourself thinking about the painting more than your comfort. Ideally, your comfort should come first. It’s only when you’re feeling nice and cozy that you can produce great art.

Therefore, start by finding a comfortable, well-lit room in which to paint. You should be able to see every number and shape (on the canvas) clearly. Otherwise you might end up painting the wrong color on a shape.

In case the design is super-detailed, chances are it will feature tiny spaces to paint. In that case, you may need a lamp and magnifying glass. Better yet, you could get a magnifying headlamp.

As long as we’re talking about your comfort, make sure that you have a comfortable working surface. A desk, table or counter top will do the trick. You could also consider using an easel, especially if you have a framed paint by numbers kit. That way you’ll alternate between sitting and standing.

Mistake 3: Using a cluttered working area

Keeping your work area clean is just as important as keeping brushes clean. There are two reasons for that. First, you want to clear the space of anything that can get dirty or wet.

As many painters will tell you, paint has a way of finding its way onto everything but the canvas. For that reason, you may also want to cover the working area with some old newspapers to protect it.

Secondly, a cluttered space is distracting. Decluttering it will help you focus on your paint by numbers project more than anything else.

Mistake 4: Failing to take reference picture

Bring out your phone and take a few pics of the canvas before you start to paint. Why? Because you’ll need a permanent reference picture in case you spill paint and cover a number.

Besides, you can zoom the picture to see the really tiny shapes and numbers on the canvas. Some kits do come with a miniature version of the canvas for reference. But you can never have too many backup plans when painting by numbers.

Mistake 5: Failing to read the instruction booklet

All the best paint by numbers kits for adults and kids come with an instruction booklet among other things. Read it carefully before you start painting.

That’s where you’ll get all the important information. For example, the manufacturer will specify that if you see an unnumbered shape, then it means you shouldn’t paint it. Or if you have two numbers in one shape, that means you should mix the two paints that correspond to those numbers.

Mistake 6: Starting from the bottom

One rule of thumb when painting by numbers is to start from the top and finish at the bottom. More precisely, start from the top right corner if you’re left-handed or the top left corner if you’re right-handed. Why so?

Because that way you won’t smudge the canvas. Conversely, if you start from the bottom, your hand or sleeve might touch wet paint that’s already on the canvas as you reach for the top spots. And then it will smudge sections of the canvas, thus ruining your artwork.

Mistake 7: Starting with light colors

The conventional way of painting with oil or acrylic is to start with dark colors and move to light ones. Watercolor, in contrast, requires that you to do the opposite; i.e. move from light to dark.

However, in paint by numbers, there’s only one principle: start with dark colors and finish with light ones. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using oil, acrylic or watercolor paint.

That’s because dark colors are usually part of the background. Consequently, painting them first not only gives you an idea of how the painting will look, but it also teaches you a thing or two about color composition.

Mistake 8: Using clogged brushes (Keeping Brushes Clean)

The thing with painting by numbers is that the paint dries out very quickly, especially if it’s acrylic or watercolor. And when it does, it clogs your painting brushes. The solution? Clean your brushes.

Keeping brushes clean prevents them from clogging. Additionally, you won’t mistakenly mix paints as you switch the brush from one paint container to another.

Pro tip: if your brush clogs, use a thinner (like nail polish, for example) to remove the thick paint.

Mistake 9: Using paper towels to clean brushes

So, keeping brushes clean is an important part of the paint by numbers process. But how do you that? Definitely not with paper towels.

While they may do a decent job in keeping brushes clean, paper towels wear off quickly. In contrast, a piece of cloth will last longer and do an excellent job.

Simply dip the brush in water and then dry off thoroughly with the cloth towel. As you’ve probably already guessed, you’ll need a small bowl of water for this part of the exercise.

Alternatively, you can keep the cloth constantly wet so that you don’t dip the brush in water every time. That’s an easier way of keeping brushes clean without spending all your paper towels.

Mistake 10: Using one brush for big and small shapes

Your typical paint by numbers canvas will have big and small shapes to paint. For that reason, you may need a brush for big shapes and a different brush for small shapes.

That’s because big brushes (those designed for big shapes) often paint outside the borders of small shapes. As a result, they tend to compromise the look of your final artwork.

Rather than taking that (unnecessary) risk, consider using a small, medium and large brush for small, medium and large shapes, they’ll also give you crispness, sharpness and softness respectively.

Mistake 11: Not buying your own set of brushes

Even if you’re a beginner, you should always stock extra sets of paint by numbers brushes. For one, the brushes that come with the kit could be too bad for your liking.

Also, the kit may contain just one large brush. Remember mistake #10? You’ll need a second, smaller brush for small shapes. And that’s where your own-bought set of paint by numbers brushes comes in.

You’ll feel even better painting with your own brushes if you’ve ever used them before. That’s because you’re more familiar with them, which means better control.

Pro tip: use a toothpick for the extremely tiny spaces in case you can’t find a suitable brush.

Mistake 12: Leaving paint lids open

Closing the paint container when you’re not using it is probably the top two tip to remember alongside keeping brushes clean. Just like watercolor, acrylic paint dries out very quickly when the lid stays open. Oil may take some time but it too will dry.

Therefore, make sure that you close all the paint containers when you’re not using them. Once you’re done with the artwork, save any extra paint for the future by sealing the containers and storing them safely. You may need to do some touch ups to the painting or possibly use the paints for another project all together.

Pro tip: if your acrylic or watercolor paint dries out, add some warm water into the pod to restore it. Both are water-soluble. Use an oil thinner like turpentine for oil paint.

Mistake 13: Using too much paint

Do not use too much paint because the canvas may fail to absorb all the excess. Consequently, the paint will remain wet for longer, and you don’t want that.

When paint dries out, it not only prevents smudging, but you also get to finish the artwork faster. Therefore, use each paint as conservatively as possible.

Pro tip: moisten the tip of your brush with water before dipping it in paint. It will pick just enough paint; not excess.

Mistake 14: Not thinning thick paint

The problem with thick paint is that it takes too long to dry. As a result, the artwork will constantly be prone to smudging for as long as you’re working on it. Thin the paint to avoid that unpleasant scenario.

Thin paint dries out quicker. And the best part is that you can use water to thin acrylic and watercolor paints. If you’re using oil, then turpentine or white spirit will do.

Mistake 15: Crippling fear of making mistakes

You’re allowed to make mistakes when creating art. Sounds ironic considering our topic, doesn’t it?

Nonetheless, mistakes help you learn, experiment and figure out what works and what doesn’t. More importantly, mistakes are easy to correct when painting by numbers. And that’s why you shouldn’t panic when you make one.

Painted the wrong color on a shape? Wait for it to dry and then overlay that color with the correct one. if you can still see the underlying color, wait for the shape to dry completely and then add a second layer of the correct paint.

Mistake 16: Fear of experimenting

As long as we’re talking about fear, do not be afraid to experiment. Experimenting has the same good effect as mistakes; i.e. it helps you learn and grasp the key concepts of real painting.

You can get the gist of balance, contrast, harmony, proportion, scale and repetition – all of which are principles of real painting – just by playing around with your paint by numbers project.

For example, you can paint a thin outline of a darker color around a shape to give it a richer depth. If the shape is, say blue, you can outline it with a hue of black to give it more depth. Such subtle “lessons” are the reason why paint by numbers is among the best gateways to real painting.

Mistake 17: Burning out

Michelangelo took 4 years to complete the Sistine Chapel. Same as Leonardo da Vinci with the Mona Lisa – roughly 4 years. Van Gogh took 12 months to paint the Starry Night while Picasso spent 3 weeks working on the Guernica.

If history has taught us anything it’s that it takes time to create good art. So, if you feel tired, take a break, have some coffee, get some sleep, go out and then resume when you’re feeling fresh.

Most importantly, enjoy the process. All the 17 tips for painting by numbers are not nearly as important as having fun. You’ll love the final artwork a lot more if you delight in this amazing form of art.

Canvas Size and Difficulty Levels of Paint By Numbers Kits

Canvas Size and Difficulty Levels of Paint By Numbers Kits

Canvas Size Paint by Numbers Guide: Canvas Sizes and Difficulty Levels of Paint by Numbers Kits

What’s the best canvas size paint by numbers? Does it make sense to buy those big 40-inch canvases or should you stick to the smaller ones? Heck, does size even matter?

First of all, the size of art canvases matters. So, what are the dimensions of a canvas? The standard painting canvas sizes are 11 x 14, 16 x 20, 20 x 24, 30 x 40 and 36 x 48 inches. Check out this chart for all the most popular painting sizes.

paint by numbers canvases are not widely different. You’ll find them in various sizes, including all the standard ones listed above and custom sizes as well. Therefore, there’s no single canvas size paint by numbers.

Hence the best canvas size for you depends on what you want to do with the finished artwork. For example, if you’re creating a gallery wall, you’ll want a healthy mixture of large and small paintings. On the other hand, if you want to frame and place the artwork on your nightstand, you may want to shop in the small canvas section.

Here’s a better rundown of some painting canvas sizes and how to choose the best canvas size paint by numbers.

Standard Paint by Numbers Canvas Size: 16 x 20

When you’re talking about real paintings, the standard canvas size ranges from 11 x 14 inches all through 36 x 48 inches. However, the standard canvas size paint by numbers is strictly 16 x 20 inches. In fact, Ledgebay – one of the best paint by numbers brands – currently stocks 16 x 20 kits only.

Want to test your paint by numbers skills with this artwork? Get it here.

A 16 x 20 canvas is perfect for displaying medium-sized artwork, especially when it’s expansive in width. You can hang the final piece in your living room, office or game room. It will give the room some character and warmth without excessively drawing attention.

This canvas size paint by numbers is perfect all types of artists, but mostly beginners. That’s because it’s big enough to accommodate fairly detailed designs, yet it’s not intimidatingly large.

Besides, you can finish the entire painting in less than a day. Of course, the total time depends on how detailed it is. But it won’t require as much time and effort as the larger canvases.

For that reason, 16 x 20 paint by numbers canvases are ideal for beginners, juniors and senior painters. If you’re in the prime of your life and feel like taking on a painting challenge, consider going for a larger canvas.

Large Paint by Numbers Canvas Size: bigger than 16 x 20

What is the largest canvas size? That would be a 54 x 96 canvas. You can use it for high-resolution prints as well as real painting. Speaking of real painting, did you know that painting by numbers can help you learn how to paint? Now you know!

Notwithstanding, this page explains most of what you need to know about large painting canvases. When it comes to paint by numbers, anything above 16 x 20 is considered large. Nonetheless, you won’t find a canvas that measures 54 x 96.

In fact, you’ll barely find a paint by numbers canvas that measures more than 48 inches (height or width). They mostly range from 17 to 48 inches. Take this 18 x 22-inch canvas for example.

While it’s tall enough to create a lasting impression in any room, it can still work as a standalone artwork on a wall. It’s perfect for living rooms, bedrooms and studies.

If you want a larger painting, you can shop in the 35 x 17 canvas section.

The canvas is a lot longer than it is high, which makes it ideal for hallways or above the entertainment center. Furthermore, you can place a painting of this size in the bedroom just above the headboard.

A 20 x 40 canvas looks a bit odd, but in a good way. That shape opens up a ton of opportunities for experimenting. For example, you can choose a landscape artwork and hang it in the kitchen, fireplace mantle or long hallway.

At the same time, you can go with a portrait 20 x 40 paint by numbers canvas. It will fit perfectly where the wall is just wider than 20 inches but goes as high as the ceiling.

41 x 17 is probably the biggest canvas size paint by numbers that you can find.

It would look awesome on any size-able wall, preferably in the living room, bedroom or office. Additionally, you’ll probably want to hang it as the only photo. It will really impress and set a particular tone in the room.

That’s exactly what a large canvas for painting does – it makes an impact in a room. Needless to say, you’ll need some extra patience and energy to complete such paintings.

Usually, the larger the canvas the more detailed the design. And that means many shapes – large and small – to paint. Therefore, choose a large canvas size paint by numbers if you’re feeling sufficiently hyped to paint for several days.

Small Paint by Numbers Canvas Size: smaller than 16 x 20

Small canvases are excellent for small, desktop or tabletop paintings. Although you can find art canvases as small as 4 x 6 inches, paint by numbers canvases typically start at 9 x 12 inches.

Here’s one example of a 9 x 12 paint by numbers painting.

This is a perfect size for fill-in artwork in a gallery wall. Alternatively, you can frame it and place it on a desk, table, entertainment unit, bookshelf etc.

If you want to go one size up, you can consider a 12 x 16 paint by numbers canvas like the one below.

While not as large as a 16 x 20, this canvas size paint by numbers is just as good for living rooms, bedrooms, offices and entertainment rooms.

Of course small paintings are easier to complete. Consequently, they are more suitable for beginners and older folks who want to paint at a slow pace. On the other hand, the small size means that the design will have small shapes to paint. Therefore, consider budgeting for a magnifying lens and small lamp alongside the paint by numbers kit.

Square Paint by Numbers Canvases

Most paint by numbers canvases are rectangular in shape. However, every so often you’ll find one that’s square. Here’s a good example.

Everything about this 16 x 16 artwork is interesting. First, the canvas is square. Secondly, the artwork itself is round.

Such canvases are perfect for displaying side-by-side artworks on a wall. They can fit in the living room, bedroom, office or even kitchen.

Paint by Numbers Canvas Set

Occasionally you’ll find a paint by numbers kit that comes with two or more different-sized canvases.

The above set from Schipper features 5 different canvases (on cardboards). Two of them measure 10.3 x 23.5. The other two measure 10.3 x 18.7 inches while the largest is a whopping 10.3 x 28.3 inches.

“What’s the benefit of such a paint by numbers set?” you ask. It has an unmatched wow factor. Whether it’s on a gallery wall, living room, bedroom or office, it will spruce up the décor in ways that individual paintings can’t.

Is Paint by Numbers Hard? The Difficulty Levels of Paint by Numbers

So many people ask this question: is paint by numbers hard? No, it’s not. That’s because the paint by numbers canvas is pre-designed. It has shapes that reveal a nice artwork when you paint all of them.

Each shape is numbered and each number represents a particular color. For example, let’s say #1 is blue, #2 is red, #3 is green, #4 is yellow, and #5 is black. That means you’ll apply blue paint on every shape (on the canvas) numbered 1, red on all the shapes numbered 2, green on all the shapes numbered 3 and so on.

That’s the gist of painting by numbers. Check out this comprehensive guide on how to do paint by numbers in case you need some more info. The bottom line is that paint by numbers is not hard.

Now that we have that out of the way, what are the difficulty levels of paint by numbers? You’ll generally get beginner and advanced paint by numbers.

Beginner Paint by Numbers

Beginner kits are simpler to paint. They feature a less detailed canvas design, which means bigger and less intricate shapes. Therefore, you won’t struggle to paint within the lines.

Most paint by numbers kits for beginners come with acrylic paints, a set of brushes, a picture of the finished artwork, and, of course, the pre-designed canvas. Why acrylic paint? Because it’s more forgiving to painters, at least as far as paint by numbers.

That makes beginner paint by numbers kits excellent for kids, seniors and adults who are just starting out. By the way, head over here if you’re looking to buy a paint by numbers kit for kids. Likewise, if you want paint by numbers kits for seniors, you can find them here.


Many people assume that advanced paint by numbers kits are meant for adults only. Well, that’s not the case. Paint by numbers kits for adults are those whose artwork may be inappropriate for kids. Take this series for example.

Advisory: contains adult content

While the artistic aspect of the kits is great, it’s not appropriate for kids. Therefore, you probably shouldn’t be shopping there if you’re looking for paint by numbers kits for kids.

So, what makes a kit advanced? A super-detailed canvas design with intricate areas and small shapes. Advanced paint by numbers kits may require you to use small brushes and magnifying glasses to paint.

Although they may take longer to complete, advanced paint by numbers usually reveal detailed and eye-catchy artwork.

Top 11 Junior Paint By Numbers Kits – And How To Select Them

Top 11 Junior Paint By Numbers Kits – And How To Select Them

Junior Paint by Numbers Kits: The Top 11 Paint by Numbers Kits for Juniors and How to Select Them

Have you gotten a junior paint by numbers kit for your little one yet? You may want to.

There’s so much literature about the benefits of paint by numbers for adults. If you have kids, younger siblings or nieces and nephews, you’ll probably enjoy knowing that the same is true for junior painters.

When they complete a paint by numbers project, they get a sense of achievement, self-confidence, perseverance, patience and so much more. On the physical front, they gain hands-on ability, ocular motor control, and fine motor skills. To top it off, you can easily turn painting by numbers into an invaluable bonding experience if you help your little one along the way.

Luckily, all you have to do is purchase the best junior paint by numbers kits for them. At least two kits will keep them sufficiently busy, engaged and entertained. Don’t know which ones to buy? Here are our top 11 recommendations.

  1. Breyer 3D Paint by Number Pinto Horse Craft Activity Set


Recommended age: 4+ years

Breyer’s 3D set is arguably the best junior paint by numbers kit right now. And it’s all down to the 3D design of the horse. Your child’s final masterpiece will look as realistic as they come.

It’s the perfect kit for introducing your little one to animal painting. They’ll thoroughly enjoy matching numbers with paint color, especially if they’re horse lovers.

What’s included in the kit?
  • Canvas surface with a 3D horse design
  • 3 paint brushes
  • 6 paint colors
  • 16-page instruction booklet


  1. Schipper 609450774″ by The Torrent Painting by Number


Recommended age: 12+ years

You can never go wrong with a Schipper painting set. This particular kit is ideal for older kids who are 12 years and above. It’s therefore the perfect junior paint by numbers gift for teenagers.

The best part? They actually paint on specially designed boards which have canvas textures. And it’s not just one board, they are 5 in total. Moreover, the final piece is the closest thing you will see to a professional painter’s work.

What’s included in the kit?
  • 5 painting boards
  • 2 brushes
  • 40 plus extra acrylic paints
  • Instruction booklet and control sheet


  1. Norris Paint by Numbers: Paris Nostalgia (Tryptych)


Recommended age: 10+ years

This is not exactly a beginner paint by numbers kit because it’s a very detailed painting with small shapes to paint. As a result, it’s more suitable for a junior artist who has been painting by numbers for a few months or years and is looking to up his/her craft.

Nonetheless, the rich colors and super-wide canvas (canvas is placed on board) will make your young artist feel like he/she is in Paris painting the “City of Love”.

What’s included in the kit?
  • Canvas on board
  • 1 paint brush
  • Pre-mixed acrylic paints
  • Instructions booklet


  1. Creativity for Kids Faber-Castell Paint by Number Museum Series


Recommended age: 8+ years

Looks familiar? If you’re an artist or painting enthusiast, then you’ve probably noticed that the above painting is a recreation of Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh.

Your up-and-coming artist can paint a similar recreation with this junior paint by numbers kit. Although it won’t be a Van Gogh masterpiece, it will be just as nice.

The beauty of the painting is that it’s simple. For example, there are no overly intricate shapes. For that reason, it’s perfect for kids who are as young as 8 years old. Besides, it’s an easy design because of the fairly large shapes.

What’s included in the kit?
  • Canvas surface
  • Brushes (including extras)
  • Paints
  • Easel
  • Hang tabs


  1. Schipper 609340687 “Culinary Herbs Quattro Paint by Numbers Board


Recommended age: 12+ years

How about getting your young painter an artwork that will gussy up your kitchen’s decor when you hang it there? If you’re sold on that idea, then you’ll love this junior paint by numbers kit by Schipper.

It’s actually a set of 4 painting boards (with canvas), each with a nice green-white contrast. Moreover, they all don’t require painting excessively many colors. And that makes this kit perfect for young painters who are not ready to switch between 40 or more colors.

What’s included in the kit?
  • 4 boards with canvas texture
  • Pre-mixed acrylic paints
  • Painting brush
  • Instruction booklet and controlling sheet


  1. MindWare Color Counts: Travel The World


Recommended age: 8+ years

For its price, this paint by numbers kit for kids is an absolute steal. It has 24 pages, half of which have numbered designs for painting. When painted, the pages reveal cultural images from around the world.

The other half don’t have numbers. Therefore, your little painter can use his/her creativity to paint them however he/she wants.

Although the designs have many shapes to paint, they are pretty simple. So it might take your junior artist some time to complete but they’ll get it done eventually. It’s a perfect buy if you want a kit that will take fairly long to complete.

What’s included in the kit?
  • Paint by numbers booklet with 24 pages

Note: this kit requires coloring markers, not paint.


  1. ES Art DIY PBN-Paint by Numbers Romance 16-by-20 inches Frameless


Recommended age: 8+ years

It wouldn’t win an award for the most intricate design but this painting is fairly detailed. For that reason, your junior painter will require some extra care in order not to paint outside the lines.

Although it’s a challenge, it’s a good challenge because that’s how he/she will learn to paint precise lines even with freehand techniques.

Needless to say, the final painting looks awesome. It’s good enough to go on the living room wall.

What’s included in the kit?
  • Unframed canvas with design
  • 3 paint brushes
  • Acrylic paints
  • Instructions sheet


  1. DIY Digital Oil Painting,Yalatan Paint by Number Kits Sets


Recommended age: 12+ years

Does your kid enjoy painting plants and flowers? He/she just might be the next Franz Bauer (1758 – 1840). Often regarded as one of the greatest botanical painters, Bauer produced masterpieces of plants and flowers effortlessly.

Your little one can get a taste of the same with this junior paint by numbers kit. The finished artwork depicts a nice flower in a vase. Additionally, it has a book and mug to add to the aesthetic appeal.

What’s included in the kit?
  • Canvas with design
  • Oil paints
  • 3 brushes
  • Binding tools (2 sets)
  • Hooks (2 sets)
  • An instructional sheet


  1. Ledgebay October Paint by Numbers


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Recommended age: 12+ years

Although it’s designed for adults, this Ledgebay paint by numbers kit is just as good for junior painters. It combines some of the most vibrant colors to create a beautiful masterpiece. And yes, it’s another must-have for your up-and-coming botanical painter.

One of the best things about Ledgebay kits is that their proper packaging. In addition to a sturdy package, you get a rolled canvas, not a folded one. Because of that, every adult and junior paint by numbers canvas is wrinkle-free. You can frame, gift or even sell it.

What’s included in the kit?
  • 16 x 20-inch canvas
  • 4 paint brushes
  • Acrylic paints
  • Wall-mounting tools
  • Reference of painting
  • Miniature design of canvas


  1. Apple Harvest


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Recommended age: 12+ years

Yet another beautiful junior paint by numbers kit by Ledgebay.

If you’ve been having trouble getting your little one to eat fruits and vegetables, maybe you can inspire them towards that direction by introducing some fruit and vegetable painting projects. And there’s no better place to start than with this kit.

The design is not excessively detailed but it will take them some time to complete. When it’s done, the painting will turn any room into a cozy and bright dwelling spot.

What’s included in the kit?
  • 16 x 20-inch canvas
  • 4 paint brushes
  • Acrylic paints
  • Wall-mounting tools
  • Reference of painting
  • Miniature design of canvas


  1. Wolf


Recommended age: 8+ years
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There’s something about wolves that makes them look awesome in paintings. The snowy background in this particular design makes the final painting even more realistic.

You can let your little one to have fun recreating it on a pre-printed board. The board has a canvas texture that not only makes painting easier for juniors, but also guarantees an eye-catching artwork

What’s included in the kit?
  • Pre-printed painting board
  • 1 paint brush
  • 7 acrylic paints
  • 1 desk easel
  • 1 paint organizer


Paint by Numbers Buying Guide: How to Choose a Junior Paint By Numbers Kit

Are there differences between adult and junior paint by numbers kits? Yes, there are a few differences. The main one is that kits made for juniors are easier to paint. They have less intricate designs and simpler shapes so that the kid doesn’t find it hard to stay within the lines.

That’s one thing to look at when buying a kit for your junior – the design on the canvas. You can always tell by looking at the reference photo if the design is too complicated or not. Simple is better for kids, especially if they’re just starting to get a hang of this craft.

You can find more differences between adult and kids’ kits here. But for now, how about we look at other factors to keep in mind when buying a junior paint by numbers kit.


There are two main types of surfaces for painting by numbers: watercolor paper and canvas. The latter is more popular and often feature a linen or cotton material; both are equally good.

They are very durable and produce top-notch artwork. So if you want a surface that will last and look good over centuries, canvas is the way to go. And it goes well with acrylic and oil paints.

In case the kit comes with oil paint, you may have to prep the canvas before use. That process typically involves application of gesso. Check out this guide on how to prepare a paint by numbers canvas.

Watercolor paper, on the other hand, goes with watercolor paint. Therefore, if the surface is watercolor, then it only makes sense to choose its corresponding paint; i.e. watercolor paint.


Unless it’s a really cheap kit, your junior paint by numbers rig will include a set of paints.

Side note: stay away from suspiciously cheap paint by numbers kits. They’re not worth it.

There are usually three main types of paints: watercolor, acrylic and oil. The latter two are the most popular, with acrylic just edging oil in popularity. While watercolor is an excellent painting medium, it’s not the most ideal for juniors.

You should be looking at oil and acrylic paint by numbers kits for your little one. Although oil produces artwork that’s rich in color and texture, it’s very messy and hard to clean. You’ll need to use turpentine or white spirit, both of which are fire hazards.

That’s mostly what makes the case for acrylics. You only need water to clean and thin acrylic paint. And it produces art that’s just as good as oil paintings. Head over here for a more comprehensive comparison of these two paints.


Again, all the good paint by numbers kits come with brushes. If the maker doesn’t throw free brushes in the kit, then you have no business purchasing from them.

Ideally, you should get at least two brushes for simple paintings. That will leave your junior painter with one extra brush at any given time.

If the painting is too intricate (small shapes and many details), you will want a kit that has at least 3 brushes in increasing sizes. Your kid will use the smallest to paint small shapes and the largest brush for large-sized shapes.

If they have to use one brush for small and large shapes, they risk painting outside the lines. And that may compromise the look of the final art.


Look at the kit’s image before placing a purchase. It’s one of the most important considerations because that’s the photo that your young painter will reproduce. Make sure it is:

  • Appropriate
  • Close-up and clear enough
  • Not blurry

Check out this detailed guide on how to choose a paint by numbers image.

Additionally, check that there’s a miniature version of the photo in the kit. Your painter in the making will need it as a reference. Similarly, check that there’s a small duplicate of the canvas design.

It will come in handy when he/she covers the numbers with a wrong paint. He/she will need use that duplicate to know the covered number and correct its paint.

Additional Kit contents

–    Firstly, are there frames in the kit?

–    Secondly, will you get hooks?

–    Thirdly, is an easel included?

–    Is the canvas framed?

–    Finally, are you getting enough of everything?

That last question is very important because paint can run out before the child completes his/her painting project. Look at user reviews of the kit to ensure that they come with sufficient and possibly extra paints.

More often than not, kits that come with add-ons will cost slightly more. But in the end it’s always worth it. For example, spending too much time painting on a table can hurt your child’s neck, shoulders and arms. Therefore, it would be important to get a kit with an easel. As a result, he/she will switch between standing and sitting while painting.


Whatever you do, do not buy a kit with a folded canvas. Always choose the ones that have the canvas rolled (preferably on a tube).

Why? Because folding a canvas makes it crease and wrinkle. Some online guides like this one are very helpful when you need to remove wrinkles from a canvas. Unfortunately, the methods don’t work 100%. Therefore, someone will still see creases even in the final artwork.

To avoid all that, stay away from kits with folded canvases and stick to the rolled ones. Ledgebay uses this type of packaging perfectly.


Junior Paint By Numbers: To wrap it all up…

That’s about everything you need to know about buying junior paint by numbers kits. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when choosing (in case you are), hence this guide. But now you can go ahead and pick your most preferred kits from the 11 above.

Remember that you can always buy two, three, four or even more kits for your little one. In fact, the more kits they have, the more motivated they’ll feel about painting by numbers. And yes, it’s the perfect gateway into real painting.



Best Paint By Numbers Kits For Seniors To Buy In 2020

Best Paint By Numbers Kits For Seniors To Buy In 2020

Paint by Numbers Kits for Seniors: Best Paint by Numbers Kits for Seniors to Buy in 2020

Paint by numbers kits for seniors are growing in popularity, and rightfully so.

Painting by numbers is one of the easiest yet most fulfilling forms of art. And, art of any kind has a positive influence on the health of our older loved ones.

Of course as we grow older our preference for simpler tasks increases. While a young person can do real painting for hours on end, a senior might find it rather tricky. And that’s where paint by numbers comes in.

The perfect art for seniors

It’s a simple-to-do, guided task that features numbered shapes on a surface. All the painter has to do is place paint on each shape. Here’s where it gets more interesting: each number on the surface corresponds to a particular color of paint.

For example, #1 could be black, #2 red, #3 blue and so on. Therefore, every shape that’s numbered 1 will have the color black and every shape that’s #2 will have red. That’s the gist of painting by numbers.

Simple as it is, that process is very crucial to the mental health of our older folks. Matching colors, shapes and numbers not only helps them identify and organize visual information, but it also enhances their memory. That’s one way to beat dementia.

I’m not about to start discussing how fun paint by numbers is, not to mention the amazing art it produces. There’s a small catch, though. You must use only the best kit for the best results.

And with that in mind, here are the very best paint by numbers kits for seniors.

  1. Dimensions Hibiscus Hummingbird Paint by Numbers

The beauty of this painting is its simplicity. It doesn’t have unnecessarily many colors, which makes it perfect for seniors.

Besides, the shapes are large and easy to paint. That’s what you want in paint by numbers kits for seniors because at that age, small shapes are just a nuisance to the eyes.

What’s included in the kit?

  • 14 x 11 board with canvas texture
  • Set of acrylic paints
  • Instructions booklet
  • 1 paint brush


  1. YXQSED Birds in The Branches Paint by Numbers

This is one of the best paint by numbers kits for seniors simply because of its aesthetic beauty. We all love nature, and what better way to portray it than with birds “chilling” on trees.

The bright and blue colors make for a great contrast. Yet there are only few colors, which makes it one easy painting to pull off.

What’s included in the kit?

  • 16 x 20 canvas
  • Wooden frames
  • Acrylic paints
  • 3 paint brushes
  • Instructions booklet


  1. Kimily Tulip Paint by Numbers

You can never go wrong with a Kimily art set. These tulips are acrylic masterpieces on canvas, capturing nature at its finest.

Again, the whole painting requires very few paint colors to complete you can almost count all the colors just by looking at the painting. Additionally, it doesn’t have intricate shapes that may prove tricky for the experienced hands of a senior painter. And that’s precisely what puts it among the paint by numbers kits for seniors.

What’s included in the kit?

  • Unframed canvas
  • Acrylic paints
  • 3 paint brushes
  • 2 hooks


  1. Komking Colorful Giraffe Paint by Numbers

The giraffe painting from Komking is rich in colors, despite the simple (mostly straight) lines to paint. It’s the best gift for an elderly painter who needs any form of color therapy.

Be sure to remind them to carefully check the labels on the containers before dipping a brush. That way they won’t accidentally mix paints.

What’s included in the kit?

  • Unframed canvas
  • Acrylic paints
  • 3 brushes


  1. Kimily Disney Castle Paint by Numbers

Product Link:

Does the senior in your life enjoy giving gifts? Do they have young grandsons/daughters? You have the perfect kit for them right here.

A depiction of Disney Castle, this painting makes an excellent gift for the little ones. Once a senior has finished painting it, it will turn into a room décor for kids. Win-win-win for everyone!

What’s included in the kit?

  • Unframed canvas
  • Acrylic paints
  • 3 paint brushes
  • 2 hooks


  1. Ledgebay Day to Remember Paint by Numbers



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Ledgebay has some of the most eye-catchy paint by numbers kits for seniors. Granted, they are designed for adults; but hey, seniors are adults, right?

This particular painting might just take your elderly painter down memory lane. Specifically, to the years when they were young adults in love. It depicts two young people enjoying the scenic view of a river while rowing a boat.

It’s one of the most detailed paint by numbers kits on the list. Consequently, it may take some time to complete. And that makes it great for seniors who are not busy with other tasks.

What’s included in the kit?

  • 16 x 20-inch canvas
  • 4 paint brushes
  • Acrylic paints
  • Wall-mounting tools
  • Reference of painting
  • Miniature design of canvas


  1. Ledgebay Scenic Overlook Paint by Numbers


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Yet another masterpiece from Ledgebay. The many colors in the image make this one of the most detailed paint by numbers art pieces. But the results are more than rewarding.

If your senior painter doesn’t fall in love with the sight of tourist families, they’ll thoroughly enjoy the scenic view.


What’s included in the kit?

  • 16 x 20-inch canvas
  • 4 paint brushes
  • Acrylic paints
  • Wall-mounting tools
  • Reference of painting
  • Miniature design of canvas


Paint by Numbers Buying Guide: How to Choose a Paint by Numbers Kit for Seniors

Any one of the above kits can easily pass as the best paint by numbers kit for seniors. Therefore, feel free to pick one up and gift it to the elderly in your life.

But what exactly should you consider when buying a paint by numbers kit for seniors?



The surface is the material on which paint is placed. It’s basically what the painter looks at for the entire time that he/she is painting. For that reason, you don’t want to get it wrong. Here are the things to look at:

  1. Type of surface

There are lots of materials that are used for paint by numbers surfaces. However, the most common are watercolor paper and canvas.

Although it’s not so popular, watercolor paper makes an interesting surface for paint by numbers artwork. It has a nice texture and drag, which can result in unrivaled masterpieces. The downside is that it’s less durable than canvas.

Speaking of which, canvas is more popular because it’s easier to frame and can last for centuries. Besides, it generally looks awesome, whether it’s linen or cotton. So, if the artwork’s longevity is an important factor, you may want to go with canvas.


  1. Design

Paint by numbers surfaces are usually pre-designed with shapes. When the painter fills each shape with paint, it reveals one amazing artwork.

The design is always a mixture of various shapes in various sizes. However, a design that’s very detailed will generally feature very small shapes. That can prove tricky for seniors.

They do not have the most stable hands or perfect eyesight, which means that they’ll find it hard to paint small shapes without painting outside the borders. Hence, when buying a paint by numbers kit for seniors, opt for one that’s less detailed.


  1. Size of surface

Most paint by numbers kits for seniors often come with a 16 x 20-inch surface. Others are smaller than that; 14 x 11 or even smaller. Generally speaking, a small surface means that the shapes that need painting will also be very small.

Again, that may not be ideal for seniors. Because of their compromised eyesight, they will struggle to paint within the lines of small shapes. Therefore, choose a canvas that’s as big as possible. Preferably 16 x 20 or bigger.



All the best paint by numbers kits for seniors come with paint as part of the package. Only the cheap stuff will require you to buy your own paint.

Side note: DO NOT buy cheap paint by numbers kits. They are not worth it.

Anyway, how do you choose the best paint for an elderly painter? Consider two things:

  1. Type of paint

You have three main options here, namely, watercolor, acrylic and oil paints. While watercolor is a great medium for producing bright art, it’s prone to color shifting (colors change when the painting dries).

Besides, its quality of transparency makes it hard to conceal the numbers that are printed on the surface.

Acrylic and oil, on the other hand, cover the surface perfectly. They are both excellent at producing rich texture and depth. And they create magnificent paint by numbers artworks.

So, which of the two edges the other? Acrylic is slightly better than oil in this case. Why? Because it’s more durable and requires little to no maintenance. Besides, acrylic is water-based and therefore easier to clean.

You don’t want an elderly person spending many hours trying to clean up after painting.

Want to learn more about acrylic vs. oil paintings? Here’s a more detailed comparison.


  1. Colors of paints

Studies show that we gradually lose the ability to distinguish some colors as we grow older. For that reason, there’s a possibility that your loved one can’t differentiate between certain colors.

If that’s the case, you’ll want to choose a kit that doesn’t have colors that will confuse them. Otherwise they might apply the wrong paint and ruin the artwork.

Start by asking them if they are blind to any colors. And then carefully browse through the available paint by numbers kits for seniors. Narrow down your options to kits that don’t have those “confusing” colors.



Once again, the best paint by numbers kits for seniors should come with brushes included in the package. If you’re not getting brushes with the kit, then you have no business buying that kit. Now, these are the two things to consider as far as paint by numbers brushes for seniors:

  1. Sizes

If it’s a simple painting with large shapes, then a senior painter will require at least two brushes. One is often the primary brush and he/she will clean it before switching to a different paint. The second brush will be an extra just in case the first one frays or gets lost.

If the painting is very detailed with small shapes, your loved one will require at least three paintbrushes in different sizes. The smallest brush will come in handy when painting small shapes. Conversely, the larger ones will help with larger shapes.

  1. Quality

It’s hard to tell whether or not you’ll get good brushes in paint by numbers kits for seniors. You kinda have to open the kit to find out.

However, you can look at user reviews of the kit to find out if its brushes are good. More often than not, suspiciously cheap kits will have poorly-made brushes whose bristles fray as soon as they come into contact with the surface. Those are the kind of kits that you want to stay away from.



The photo that’s displayed alongside a paint by numbers kit is what the painter will reproduce. Seniors being older and all need a photo that’s large, clear, and has a high resolution. That way they won’t struggle to pick out small details when looking at the image for reference.

In addition to size, clarity and resolution, there are many things to consider when choosing a paint by numbers image. If you have the time, please feel free to read this guide on picking a good image.

Kit contents and packaging

Finally, consider the extras that come with the kit.

  • Will your loved get an easel? It may be necessary if he/she will paint while seated on a stool or something similar.
  • Is the surface framed or not? If not, do you get hooks for hanging the final painting? Or perhaps hang tabs? Any of those will come in handy when you need to hang the final artwork
  • Do you also get a miniature version of the surface? The best sellers include it, not to be painted, but as a reference. Your senior painter may need it as a reference in case they wrongfully paint over numbers on the actual surface.

Keep in mind that most of these items usually up the cost of the kit. Nonetheless, the eventual price won’t be significantly high. Therefore, if they can add some convenience to a senior painter, then why not?




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