Challenges and solutions in painting by numbers

Table of Contents

Painting by numbers is a popular and therapeutic hobby that attracts people of all ages. It enables even those without any previous painting experience to create beautiful works of art. While the process seems simple and structured, there are often unexpected challenges that can crop up, especially for beginners. One of the most common problems that painters face is dried-out paint, a frustration that can reduce the enjoyment of painting. In this guide, we dive deeper into the causes of this problem and offer practical solutions to help painters keep their paint in optimal condition and get the most out of their painting experience.

Dried-out paint:

When painters start painting by numbers, they may face the frustrating problem of dried-out paint. This can complicate the painting process and can result in a less-than-optimal final result.


  • Old paint set: If a painter’s number set is left unused for a long time, the paint in the tubes may dry out. This is especially common with sets that have been on the shelf for a while before being used.
  • Long exposure to air: If the paint tubes are not sealed properly or if they are left open for long periods of time, the paint may dry out due to exposure to air.
  • Too much pressure on the paint tube: Squeezing too hard can cause air to enter the tube, which can lead to the paint drying out.


  • Add a few drops of water and mix well: This can help re-liquefy the dried-out paint. Add only a little water at a time and mix well until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Storing in a cool and dark place: Storing the paint in a cool and dark place will help extend its life and prevent it from drying out.
  • Replace with new paint: If the paint has dried out too far or if adding water does not help, it may be best to replace the old paint with a new tube.

It is essential to recognise these problems and know how to solve them to get the most out of your painting number experience.

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How to correct and prevent mistakes

Painting by numbers offers an orderly process, but as with any creative endeavour, mistakes can occur. Fortunately, there are ways to correct and avoid these mistakes so that your artwork looks its best.


  • Damp cloth or cotton swab: If you notice you have made a mistake while the paint is still wet, quickly grab a damp cloth or cotton swab. Gently dab on the wrong area to remove the excess paint without disturbing the surrounding area.
  • Repaint: Should you discover a mistake after the paint has already dried, don’t panic. Simply choose the right colour and carefully paint over the faulty area. You may need to apply several coats to completely cover the mistake, but with patience, the end result will be just as beautiful.


  • Good lighting: One of the keys to accurate painting is having enough light. A well-lit room helps you see the numbers clearly and ensures you apply the right colours in the right places.
  • One colour at a time: To minimise confusion, it can be useful to work with one colour at a time. This helps you focus on specific areas and reduces the likelihood of mistakes.
  • Magnifying glass: For finer details, where numbers and areas can be small and close together, a magnifying glass can be a valuable tool. This allows you to work more accurately and ensure you get every detail perfect.

By applying these techniques, both novice and experienced painters will be able to minimise their mistakes and take their artworks to the next level.

Tips for dealing with difficult areas in a design

Each painter-on-number design comes with its own set of challenges. Some areas can be particularly difficult because of their detail or complexity. Here are some tips to overcome these challenges:

  • Work from the outside in: By starting with the larger, less complicated areas and working your way in, you can get a better overview of the design and approach the smaller, more detailed parts more easily.
  • Use finer brushes: For detailed or compact areas, using a finer brush can help you work more accurately and avoid stepping outside the lines.
  • Take your time: Painting is a process and not a race. Take your time to approach each area carefully and patiently. Hurrying can lead to mistakes that are difficult to correct later.
  • Start with certain areas: If you are unsure about a particular area, it can help to paint the surrounding, more certain areas first. This gives you a better feel for the design and can give you more confidence when approaching the more difficult parts.

The importance of patience and practice in the process

Painting by numbers is more than just following instructions; it is a journey of self-discovery and skill development.

  • Mistakes are learning moments: Understand that making mistakes is a normal part of the learning process. Instead of getting discouraged, you can see them as opportunities to grow and improve your technique.
  • Perseverance: Every painter, whether you are a beginner or have years of experience, will encounter moments of frustration and doubt. What is important is to persevere and keep painting even when the going gets tough.
  • Practice makes perfect: As with any skill, you will find that you get better with each completed painting. Your hand becomes steadier, your eye sharpens and your technique becomes more refined.
  • Enjoy the journey: While the finished artwork is a reward in itself, the process of painting is equally valuable. It provides an opportunity for meditation, self-reflection and rest. So instead of rushing towards the end result, try to enjoy every moment of the painting process.

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