What Does Painting by Numbers Mean?

What does Paint by numbers mean?

What Does Painting by Numbers Mean?

Unleash Your Inner Artist

Have you ever wished you could become an artist? Experienced a secret desire to unleash your inner artist, to create something beautiful and uniquely yours? Well, it’s time to dust off that dream and make it a reality with the latest craze sweeping across all age groups. A trend with vintage roots making a modern comeback.

Grab a brush, and let’s dive into the world of painting by numbers. This isn’t just an activity, it’s your gateway to artistry, a method that breaks down stunning artworks into manageable, numbered shapes for you to fill with colour. Whether you’re a seasoned painter or someone who’s never held a brush before, painting by numbers offers you a structured yet creative pathway to being more creative.

When was paint by numbers invented?

The birth of paint by numbers can be traced back to the 1950s, when it was invented by Max S. Klein, an engineer and owner of the Palmer Company in Michigan. Klein developed the concept of paint by numbers as a way to make art more accessible to the general public. The invention was initially inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s technique of numbering sections of his canvases to guide his apprentices in the artistic process. Klein took this idea and transformed it into a commercial product that would allow anyone, regardless of their artistic skill, to create a beautiful piece of art.

The invention of paint by numbers kits revolutionised the art world. Suddenly, people who had never picked up a paintbrush before could experience the joy of painting and produce impressive works of art. The kits typically included a pre-drawn picture with shapes marked by numbers, corresponding pots of paint, and a set of brushes. The concept quickly gained popularity and became a cultural phenomenon, with millions being sold and completed by eager enthusiasts.

During the 1950s, paint by numbers experienced a significant commercial success, becoming a staple in households across the United States and beyond. The kits were not only a source of entertainment and creativity but also a form of relaxation and stress relief for many individuals. However, as the novelty began to wear off, paint by numbers gradually declined in popularity and fell out of favor in the art world.

In recent years, paint by numbers has experienced a remarkable comeback, thanks in part to its therapeutic benefits and the growing interest in mindfulness and self-care. The hobby has evolved from a simple pastime to a recognised tool for promoting mental well-being and artistic expression.

The Psychology Behind Paint by Numbers

The therapeutic benefits of taking up this hobby extend beyond the act of creating a beautiful artwork. Engaging in this activity has been shown to promote mindfulness and relaxation, allowing individuals to focus their attention on the present moment and immerse themselves in the creative process. The repetitive nature of filling in numbered areas with paint can have a calming effect on the mind, making it an ideal form of stress reduction.

Moreover, completing a project can have a positive psychological impact, instilling a sense of accomplishment and pride in the finished artwork. The process of following the numbered guide and witnessing the progress can boost self-esteem and confidence.

In essence, paint by numbers serves as a therapeutic tool that not only nurtures artistic skills but also promotes mental well-being. It offers individuals a chance to unwind, de-stress, and engage in a meaningful and rewarding activity that stimulates both the mind and the senses. Whether used as a form of relaxation, a creative outlet, or a means of self-expression, paint by numbers has the potential to positively impact one’s overall well-being.

What is the best way to paint by numbers?

Painting by numbers makes it possible for individuals of all skill levels and ages to create beautiful artwork through a guided process. By matching the colours to numbered areas on a canvas, you can bring a stunning image to life with ease and precision. Here’s how to get started:

Your kit should include a canvas with the artwork outlined and divided into small sections, each marked with a number. It will also come with paints, each corresponding to the numbers on the canvas, and one or more brushes.

Choose a well-lit, comfortable spot. Cover your working surface with newspaper or a tablecloth to protect it from spills. Have a cup of water handy for rinsing your brushes and some paper towels or a rag for drying them.

Take a moment to look over the contents. Each paint pot should be numbered, matching the numbers on the canvas. Sometimes, there’s a reference guide included in the kit to help you keep track of materials.

If you’re right-handed, start from the top left corner; if left-handed, start from the top right. This helps prevent smudging the paint with your hand as you work

Work with one colour at a time, starting with the darkest. complete all areas marked with that number before moving on to the next colour.

Focus on small areas. This keeps you organised and prevents the paint from drying out. Use the right size brush for each area. Smaller brushes work well for tiny shapes, while larger brushes are good for bigger areas.

Take Your Time

Don’t rush. Enjoy the process of seeing your creation come to life, one section at a time. If you make a mistake, wait for the paint to dry before painting over it with the correct shade. Rinse your brushes thoroughly in water when switching colours or when you’re done for the day. This keeps your brushes in good condition and prevents mixing colours.

Once you’ve finished, let your work dry completely. This might take several hours or overnight, depending on the thickness of the paint. Once dry, your masterpiece is ready to be displayed. You can frame it or simply hang it as is.

TIPS for the Perfect Finish

  • Patience is Key: Some sections are very small and require a steady hand. Take breaks if you feel cramped or frustrated.
  • Mixing Colours: Some kits require you to mix colours to get the right shade. Use a palette or a piece of cardboard for mixing, and follow the guide provided.
  • Layering: For better coverage or to correct mistakes, wait for the first layer to dry before applying more layers.

Painting by numbers can be incredibly rewarding, producing beautiful results even if you’ve never painted before. Enjoy the process and the satisfaction of creating something beautiful.

Are paint by numbers hard?

Paint by numbers is designed to be accessible and enjoyable for people of all skill levels, with kits for all skill levels. While it requires patience and attention to detail, the guided nature of paint by numbers helps eliminate the guesswork involved in deciding colours and shapes, making it easier than traditional painting. Challenges might arise from working on very detailed or small areas, but with practice and a steady hand, these can be managed effectively, making the experience rewarding rather than difficult.

The Kits available are wonderfully versatile, catering to a wide range of ages and skill levels, with specific options available for both adults and children. For children, these kits are designed with simpler, larger shapes and more vivid colours to engage their interest and accommodate their developing fine motor skills.

They often feature fun and familiar subjects like animals, cartoons, and landscapes. Adult kits, on the other hand, tend to offer more complex and detailed images that require a finer degree of precision.

These can include intricate landscapes, portraits, and abstract designs, offering a satisfying challenge to those looking to unwind or hone their skills. With a variety of themes and difficulty levels, paint by numbers kits provide an accessible entry point into the world of art for enthusiasts of all ages.

Which paint by numbers company is the best?

There are many companies out there, each offering unique and creative kits. We’ve selected our top 3 favourites to help you find the best option for you.

These companies are known for their quality, variety, and great customer reviews. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced painter, our list has something for everyone to enjoy and get inspired by. Here is a list of some of the best companies I have found here in the UK, to help you get Creative.

Painting by Numbers UK launched in 2017 in Oxford by art enthusiasts. They are on a mission to bring art to everyone and help emerging artists get noticed by reproducing their work.

The company prioritise high-quality, eco-friendly production and support local jobs. They’re committed to treating our artists fairly, offering them recognition and financial support by paying for the rights to use their images.

You can also order custom kits from your own images, making excellent gifts for family and friends.

Masterpiece by Numbers also work with local artists, and use artist’s grade linen canvases and high-quality paint. They also provide paint brushes and a paper reference sheet.

Everything is included in your Masterpiece by Numbers kit so you can create  a true Masterpiece. You can also order customer kits from your own images.

PaintByNumbers.co has some of the best paint-by-number painting kits for those adults just starting their painting journey. They can create custom kits and are very well priced.


Whether you’re looking to unwind after a long day, seeking a new hobby, or aiming to refine your artistic skills, this activity offers something for everyone. And remember, your creations don’t have to stay confined within the pages of your sketchbook or the walls of your home.

For those artists ready to share their work with a broader audience, consider getting licensed with one of the UK companies we’ve recommended. This could be your stepping stone to gaining recognition, connecting with fellow artists, and even turning your passion into a thriving career. Don’t let your art go unnoticed; explore these opportunities to showcase your talent to the world.

So, why wait? Grab your paintbrush, choose your favourite kit, and let your creativity flow. Who knows? This might just be the beginning of an exciting artistic journey.

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