- Arts and Design
★ The Best Paint-By-Numbers Kits | Modern Designs | Tips on How to Complete Them ★
My Favorite Acrylic Painting Kits for Adults
There are plenty of paint-by-numbers kits available to buy online and in shops, and I have made this page to list my favorites. This type of kit has been around for many, many years, and I wasn't interested when I first saw them because they are often quite old-fashioned designs. However, I have since found more modern kits that are much more my cup of tea, so I have become much more enthusiastic about them!
I personally got into using the kits because I wanted to learn to paint and I thought following a template would help me enter into the world of painting. After all, how else could someone paint a famous artwork by Van Gogh as their first project?!
Although there are plenty of kits for kids, there is also a brilliant range of grown-up designs for adults, and it is a fun and satisfying hobby to partake in whilst watching the TV. And if you enjoy being artistic, this is an inexpensive way to produce a work of art for your home too :)
The Kit I Chose To Buy
This acrylic paint kit by KSG is of Moscow and I chose it because it is more modern and dramatic than a lot of the other kits on the market. There are also other city kits (like London and Sydney) available, and you will probably have the best chance of finding the same kit on Ebay if you would like to buy it too.
What The Kit Consisted Of
As you can see, the packaging doubles up as the instructions and printed pattern. The paints, printed canvas and a paintbrush are included inside.
A Rainy Road in Autumn
This is the first kit I have chosen to feature on this page because I think it would look beautiful on any wall, and I love the Fall colors.
The Glowing Night
Another beautiful rainy scene to paint here, from the same company who supply the one above (plus many other lovely designs).
Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh
Wouldn't it be fun to recreate a famous artwork?! Well you can with this kit which helps you to paint the famous Sunflowers image.
Impress your friends by painting an icon of art in acrylic paints, simply by following the template!
I really like the psychedelic style of this painting, with a lady surrounded by colorful swirls and circles. It would look very cool in a teenager's room or amongst trendy decor.
Cute Rabbit Canvas
I love the simplicity of this canvas and the cheerful contrasting colors. It would be suitable for painting by kids or adults, and it would look lovely in a child's bedroom.
More detailing is required in this painting compared to many others, so it's perfect for someone wanting more of a challenge - with a more impressive result.
Good quality acrylic paints are included.
Wolf Among Birches
The image of a wolf is often a popular subject for painting, and this is no different. You will see a high number of favorable reviews for this kit, so you can buy in confidence.
Starry Night by Van Gogh
This is one of my favorite classic artworks anyway, so the chance to paint it myself is very alluring, and I think it is definitely the next kit on my wish list. I just really love the dreamy surreal style and the vivid colors.
Another wonderful Van Gogh artwork; this time the image depicts delicate and beautiful blossoms which would fit in very well with the decor in many homes. The kit comes with an unstretched canvas, so for best results you would need to stretch it yourself.
Poppies by Van Gogh
Another quality kit based on a famous floral image. Judging by the photo of the finished painting, this kit does a great job of disguising the fact that it's a paint-by-numbers kit too.
Cafe Terrace at Night
'Cafe Terrace at Night' is my personal favorite Van Gogh masterpiece because it's moody and atmospheric; it really captures a romantic French coffee house.
Golden Flower & Moon
This painting is quite a different style to the rest in this roundup, and I think the mix of gold with the dramatic black background looks very elegant and luxurious.
This acrylic paint kit is bright and modern, which is unusual for the painting-by-numbers style of image, and the abstract tree design really catches the eye!
My First Tip: Number Your Paints
In my kit the paints weren't individually numbered and instead the corresponding numbers were printed next to where each paint pot sits. Unfortunately, when I opened up my kit, I took all of the paints out first and then realised my mistake and tried to match them up to their numbers again, which was actually quite hard because the colors on the packaging weren't that accurate!
So, if you have a kit that is similarly packaged, my top tip is to use a permanent marker to write the reference numbers on each paint pot before you remove them from their positions.
More Tips & Advice
- I would recommend buying a very fine paintbrush in addition to the one you will receive in your kit, as often there are very small areas you need to paint and you can't accurately keep within the lines if you don't have a fine enough brush.
- A plastic palette is necessary if you need to mix your own paint colors. You can pick basic palettes up for only a couple of dollars.
- Keep the printed pattern in front of you as you work so that you can refer to it easily.
- I like to start with the darker paints and those that cover the largest areas on the canvas. I leave the mixes until last.
- If you are making paint mixes, make sure you paint all of the areas with that color in one go, because mixing up exactly the same color again at a later date is very difficult.
- Add a drop of clean water to your paint if it's not flowing well enough - but not too much otherwise it will be too thin and won't hide the template lines.
- Always keep some kitchen towel and a pot of water next to you as you work.
Paintbrushes for Detail Work
If your kit is like the ones I have bought in the past, you will receive a paintbrush with quite a small tip, but not small and fine enough to perfectly recreate the details and thin lines marked out on the pattern.
There is a range of 5 fine brushes in this set, so you are sure to find the one you need. The very smallest brushes are perfect for creating thin lines and sharp angles.
The Printed Canvas
This is the type of layout you will find on your artboard/canvas. As you can see there are numbers all over: some are written next to a line which points to the area it is referring to. This means that numbers will often be painted over and hidden before you have filled in the gap it is referring to. That's why it is very important to keep the copy of the pattern (which will be contained within your kit) in front of you, so that you can refer to it when you need to know what color an area needs to be.
You may also see a few 'fractions' on your canvas, where there are two numbers separated by a forward slash e.g. 4/9. This means that you mix those two paints together in equal measure to get the color you require. Some kits don't require you to mix your own paints and some do, so be sure to check the instructions.
This is how I set up my work space to complete my kit;
A newspaper underneath the canvas to protect the table, paints all laid out, a bottle of water to clean my paintbrush in, the printed pattern propped up in front of me, and a plastic palette to mix paints in.
The First Few Colors
I start with the colors that cover the larger areas.
Another Couple of Colors
I then moved onto lighter colors like light blue and purple.
I only used the paintbrush supplied in the kit so I couldn't get sharp corners or fine details accurately, but don't worry about wobbly lines - it will look fine at the end I promise! And if not, you can always tidy up the lines as the very last step.
Acrylic Paint Palette
If your kit requires you to mix up paint colors yourself, then a palette like this one will help you do this most efficiently.
This palette is clear and therefore you can see the exact color you have mixed, plus the plastic is stain-resistant and super easy to clean.