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Helpful Paint By Number Supplies

September 15, 2021

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Paint by numbers kits for adults have made a comeback.
Most come with all you need, but here's a list of my few essential supplies for the best results.

Paint By Numbers Kits For Adults picture of painting on canvas

So I'm painting again.

Yup, this weekend, I decided to roll out the canvas and start my tea shop.

It's a hobby I fell in love with a few summers ago and have continued to enjoy ever since.

Although, over the past few months, I've taken a step back and let my daughter enjoy the joy of painting instead.

Now that she's done with her own masterpiece and it's hanging in our covered porch, it's my turn to dive in.

If you recall, it all started with ballerinas back in the summer of 2019.

Then, I co-painted a bouquet of flowers with my daughter, which started her on her own paint by numbers journey, and ended the year with a charming Christmas scene painted by the entire family.

Fun experiences, great keepsakes.

Ballerina Paint on wall

Well, today, I'm back to painting on my own.

In the kitchen, with my rolled up canvas and all my essential paint by number supplies.

And trust me, after two years of painting, I've collected quite a few of them.

Helpful Paint By Numbers Supplies

Back when I started, I shared my best tips and tricks. It's definitely worth a read if you're planning to dig into this hobby yourself.

Since then though, I've had a bit more experience with these kits and have learned to lean on a few items for the best results.

While they're not totally necessary, they definitely help me achieve the professional results I'm always after.

And make the experience a lot more enjoyable.

1. The Best Paint By Number Kits For Adults

Paint By Numbers Canvas rolled up on table

Ok, so before we get started with accessories, let's talk about the kits. They are not all created equal.

You want to make sure that your kit contains a rolled canvas,  folded ones will never release the wrinkles fully and certainly not without a lot of work.

And if you plan to frame your paint by number canvas or display it, wrinkles will not do.

You also want to make sure they come with enough paint, a good brush kit and a reference sheet. 

Two of my favorites kit companies are Winnie's Picks, which offers pretty patterns and custom kits, and Opalberry on Amazon. 

2. A Strong Light Source

Light is essential, especially when you're working with those tiny numbers and paint hues that are very close to one another.

Day or night, and even with great natural lighting, sometimes I need more.

That's when this little book lamp comes in handy

Book Light For Paint By Numbers Clipped on canvas

Since I don't have tons of room in this cottage to either set up or store an OttLite crafting lamp, I went small and it more than does the job.

The book lamp just clips right on, illuminating my canvas, not taking up too much space and it's lightweight and portable. Oh...and it's cheap. Love that.

Lightweight Book Light For painting clipped onto paint by number canvas

3. Storage For Your Painting Supplies

Speaking of my lovely little cottage, it's just that. Little. 

I don't actually have a designated area to paint in. No craft room or art studio. 

In my dream world, I'd have a space like my friend Penny, complete with a huge window and tropical view. 

But such is cottage life. So I paint on the fly...wherever the mood strikes me.

Inside, outside upstairs or down and this colorful tote is the ideal travel companion. It organizes my craft  supplies, holding my paint pots, brushes, paper towels and water cups.

Of course, if you're lucky enough to have a stable space, you can use crates, baskets or jars to organize your painting tools.

Paint Brushes In Supply Tote

4. Magnifying Glass 

Another fabulous little helper is a magnifying glass for paint by numbers.

Let's face it, some of these spaces can be very, very small and I've found that a magnifying glass can make all the difference.

I'm not straining my eyes, I don't need to refer to my guide sheet as often and I only pick it up when I need it. I have a huge collection of them.

Magnifying  Glass For Paint By Numbers

Some kits, like the Opalberry ones, come with a lightweight bookmark style magnifier. 

If your kit doesn't come with one, you can grab something similar like this online.

5. A Standing or Tabletop Easel

Now, I know I've mentioned my tabletop easel before, but seriously, it's been indispensable.

Small Wooden Tabletop Easel on a table with a canvas on it

I can't imagine painting without it. 

The angle makes all the difference.

The light hits the canvas properly, I can apply paint in the position that I'll be viewing the finished product, which helps me to make decisions about brush strokes.

And since I'm not leaning over a flat surface for hours at a time, it saves my back. I can sit to paint or put it on a counter and stand.

If you have room for a larger one, this is an inexpensive standing easel.

6. Blue Painter's Tape 

Of course, if you use the easel, you need a stretched canvas - or a large board - to tape your rolled canvases to, in order to paint them.

And blue painter's tape to affix it to the stretched canvas.

7. A Large Stretched Canvas

I purchased an 18 x 24 inch canvas. It works well with the size of the paintings I've ordered.

Unfortunately, I only bought one, which meant either my daughter or I were able to paint.

But not both at the same time.

Blue Painters Tape for Paint By Numbers

I should've purchased a multi-pack (which I will do now), because then we could each mount our paintings and I could even mount two of my own if I wanted to paint more than one at a time.

8. Extra Brushes

Most kits come with a decent set of brushes.

However, only you know what you're comfortable painting with. So if you find that the selection you've been given isn't up to par there are some great brush sets online that will give you greater control.

Like this brush set that includes an arched handle.

9. A White Out Paint Pen

Now, I've never used one, but in many forums white out paint pens are a popular topic. If you make a mistake, you can just cover it up and start again.

I usually just go over my error spots in the proper color...or leave it, since the spaces are so tiny no one would ever notice. 

But...if you're a perfectionist painter, this is a handy little tool to have.

And now that I'm done sharing my list, I need to get back to painting my tea shop.

It's been patiently waiting in the wings for far too long.

And it's just way too lovely for that.

Paint By Numbers Essential Supplies Pin photo of magnifying glass on canvas

What are your favorite painting tips?
Kim Signature

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  1. I can't wait to see this finished.

    Great Light fix. My girlfriend has the little houses that hang.

    1. Thanks!! The light really makes a huge difference.

  2. i am fairly new reader so i may be asking a dumb question. Does your painting include Tole Painting

    1. Hi Brenda!! Welcome! So glad you're here and from a former teacher I can tell you there are no dumb questions! I haven't done any Tole Painting in a looong's been years and it was a Christmas project. However, now that you've brought it into the forefront of my brain again, I think I may dive in again. I love the style and it definitely fits in my cottage style. Are you a Tole Painter? I'd love some tips!!

  3. Hi Kim, your tea shop is going to be lovely. Nice that you are painting again. And very fun that you are doing some as a family.

    1. Thanks so much, Lorri! We've been having fun and fall is a good time to sink back into it.

  4. I can't wait to see this one completed, Kim! Sharing the compact clip on reading lights and the magnifying glass couldn't be more timely. I could use them for so many crafting purposes. Like the other day when I was struggling to see intricate details when weeding vinyl with my Cricut Maker.

    1. Glad it was helpful, Marie! I have to say the right supplies really do make all the difference.

  5. I still have not tried this....I have such a long list of crafty things I want to try!

    Which by the way, have you done any DIY plant stands? I need some tall narrow indoor plant stands for my luscious houseplants before freezing weather in a few weeks. I went yard saling last week & missed one at three different sales! Walking up as someone else was carrying them away. I hope I'm not too brazen to just give you a topic for a post if you haven't done this before. I love how you repurpose things.

    1. Thanks for the confidence in my skills, Jenny! I am not good with plants so I actually don't have any plant stands. However, Hometalk is a great website with a lot of super upcycles and DIYs. I've seen people use tomato cages to make stands and my favorite ones are when they take small step stools and place plants on the steps. I'll see if I can find some links!

  6. The Tea Shop is a great choice and I just know it will be beautiful! Good light is crucial with all crafting and I'm feeling the lack of it in this new space. My husband bought me a work light last year for Christmas. It's small, portable, and very all I need to do is find it! LOL

    1. Hahaha!! It's probably in a box on the bottom of the pile!! I've seen those lights in craft stores and I would love to have one. Lucky girl!!

  7. Love the Cotswold Tea Shop. It will fit perfectly in your cottage decor. Have fun creating! Hugs.

    1. Thanks Nancy!! I'm really excited for this one. Hugs!!

  8. Yay I could get in so all is good. Must of been something on my end lol! The picture is going to be beautiful. I loved the ballerina's and this one will be so sweet too. You have such great patience and it will pay off. Have a great rest of the night. xoxo Kris

    1. Thanks Kris!! I have to say, it’s a relaxing hobby, but I don’t make enough time for it. I decided now is the time. Glad you were able to see the post…and thanks for trying again! Enjoy your evening! xxoo

  9. I fall is the perfect time for painting and I love the picture you chose to paint. All of these are great tips for painting by number. Have fun and I can't wait to see your finished painting Kim.

    1. Thanks Julie! Fall is a great time to paint. If I can't be outside, it's a fun way to spend time inside.

  10. I have thought about doing this. I have so many artists in my family that I have always been a bit embarrassed for them to know I have to paint by numbers, but as nothing embarrases me anymore I may take the plunge. Looks like fun. xo Laura

    1. I totally get it. I used to paint in high school and college. I actually went to college for fashion design and was supposed to attend FIT in NYC before I switched majors. I was a skeptic at first, too. However, I have to say these kits are so relaxing and the results are perfect every time. I enjoy them so much. xo

  11. Hi, I was just thinking about ordering my first paint set.. thank you for sharing about the sale!

    1. Happy to share, Carla! You'll have to let me know if you start to paint.

  12. I cannot wait to see it when you are done. My Mother-in-law loved doing those and I did too. My eyesight is too bad to start them again though. I also love the British shows.

    1. British shows are the best, Betty!! Do you have any favorites? We're always looking for new ones.

  13. I love those. Amazing how far paint by number has come. They are beautiful now and look like a masterpiece. Great job.

    1. Thanks Pam. I have to say I was blown away by how far they've come. They really are very pretty.

  14. Hey, Kim! Awesome info if I ever want to do another paint-by-number! My hubby got these magnifying glasses with light to work on intricate details and it might be better than having to hold a magnifying glass while you work.

    Have a lovely day, my friend!

  15. Kim, I love the new painting. I have been watching a lot of British movies on Acorn and am in the mood to see anything connected to that subject. I have at least 3 paintings in the wings that I am so anxious to get started on again. I don't dare start one on the dining room table as hubby has fits because I am messy when I paint. I have to get the library work table cleared and then I will start..Happy Weekend..xxoJudy

    1. I love British shows, Judy. We recently watched The Holiday and it was so good we had to watch it several times in a row. Leve that charming London cottage and everything sounds better with an accent. Enjoy your painting! I'm making my way through mine. xxoo

  16. Well I wouldn't mind enjoying a cup of tea in a Cotswold Tea Shop, the Cotswolds is a beautiful area of the UK :)

    I do like this painting, have fun and enjoy.

    All the best Jan

    1. I've never been, Jan, but if it's as pretty in real life as it looks in the picture, I'm sure I'd love it!

  17. Sounds like a great hobby! Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

    1. Thanks Amy! I have to say it's very relaxing.

  18. Kim, this is something that I loved doing in my much younger years!! BUT my hands are not steady and not with carpal tunnel and arthritis, i can not hold a paint brush long before I get cramping so this is unfortunately out of the question for me now but I wish it wasn't!! I will just have to enjoy yours!! LOVE the tea cottage!! So pretty!! Thanks too for dropping by!!
    Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

    1. I hear you, Debbie! I really enjoy painting, but I can see how it could get rough if my hands weren't in tip top shape. There are a lot of small spaces on this one though, I'll let you know how it goes!!