Paint Your Numbers

How long do paint-by-numbers take?

Completing a paint-by-numbers kit takes up to a month, depending on the time you dedicate to painting, your canvas size, and the amount of detail to paint. You can choose from a variety of sizes and detail while uploading your custom photo. 

Paint by number is an art form developed in 1950. Since then, many people have used it as a therapy tool and as a way to practice their painting techniques. It is an outlet for emotions and a great way to achieve a sense of accomplishment. 

Some painters focus on the goal, while others focus on the process. For example, some paintings used to take up to several years to finish, while others took mere days. The Monalisa painting took Leonardo de Vinci 4 years to complete. 

Paint by numbers is a blank picture marked with printed numbers. Each printed number has a corresponding color that comes in a paint pot. This fun activity is available to beginners and expert artists. 

This article will teach you how long it takes to complete paint by number kits. We will also explain the factors influencing this timeframe and tips you can use to finish yours faster. 

Let’s begin!

How long does it take to complete a regular-size paint by numbers?

How long does it take to complete a regular-size paint by numbers

A regular size paint by number takes anywhere from 25 hours to 25 days to complete depending on the time you set aside to work on it each day. It will take approximately 25 hours if you’re painting for an hour and about 25 days if you’re painting for ten minutes a day. 

This timeframe is just an approximation and should not make you rush through the painting process. Instead, paint by numbers is a personalized journey to learn techniques and nurture your hobby. 

Factors that determine how fast you can finish your paint by numbers kit

Several factors influence how fast you can finish your paint-by-numbers project. The timeframe relies on your canvas size, number of coats, detail level, and expertise. 

Canvas size

The canvas size will determine the surface area to cover at a time. The larger canvas may require more paint to achieve full coverage. A large canvas also needs precision to fill in the smaller regions. 

If you intend to frame your whole canvas as wall art, a bigger paint-by-numbers canvas is perfect, and the extended timeframe is worth it. 

If the project is to help you practice your skills, a smaller canvas may suit you better because it will take shorter, thus allowing you to handle more. 

We offer varying canvas sizes at Paint Your Numbers, with options 12x16in (30x40cm), 12x20in (30x50cm), 16x16in (40x40cm), 16x20in (40x50cm), and 20x20in (50x50cm). 

Number of paint layers 

To achieve full opacity and cover the printed number on your canvas, you should apply two coats of acrylic paint. However, doing so influences the time it takes to get a finished painting. 

Using one coat means you’ll finish the paint by number faster, and vice versa. 

Acrylic paint is water-based, meaning its drying process involves evaporating water molecules. Typically, a thin coat of high-quality paint takes half an hour to dry before painting another coat. 

More paint will take three hours to dry to the touch, but it’ll still have moisture inside. 

After applying both coats, you must wait at least a week before applying a sealant. This timeframe allows the paint to adhere fully to the canvas; otherwise, it will lift. 

Image details

A more detailed painting by number will take longer to finish than a less detailed one. However, canvases with more printed numbers mean smaller regions that require more focus to keep the linework clean and blend the edges. 

Despite the longer timeframe, more colors on your paint by number translate into better highlights, shadows, and contrast. These details are essential when aiming to create a masterpiece. 

At Paint Your Numbers, we offer three options for detailed canvases. These are standard (24 colors), extra detailed (36 colors), and premium (48 colors)

Your expertise 

Your knowledge of will dictate how long you take to finish a paint-by-numbers kit. If you are a beginner, you’ll need to repeatedly use the reference guide and the internet to learn skills such as mixing colors, blending, and applying sealants. Consequently, you will take longer to finish your painting. 

A self-taught artist already knows these techniques and will refer less to the guide, so it’ll take them a shorter time to complete a painting by number. 

If you’re a beginner, don’t be discouraged. The extended timeframe and research will teach you how to paint like a pro in no time. 

Can I finish a paint-by-numbers kit in one sitting?

You can finish a DIY paint by numbers in a sitting, but don’t hyper-focus on the goal of finishing the painting; instead, enjoy the painting experience.

Paint by numbers is a relaxing, meditative practice that teaches you painting techniques along the way. It helps you stay mindful, relieve stress and get a sense of accomplishment. 

If you’re using paint by numbers as wedding or housewarming gifts, taking your time will create beautiful, thoughtful pieces that your friends and loved ones will appreciate.

What is the fastest way to finish a paint by number?

In addition to dedicating more time to painting, there are several ways to fasten the process. First, frame your canvas, start with large regions, and fill in all darker areas. 

Next, start painting from the top of your canvas, use a hair dryer to dry the paint faster, and work in a warm, dry place. 

Frame your canvas

Frame your canvas

The best way to ensure you finish a paint-by-numbers kit fast is by framing the canvas before you begin. This step is crucial because unframed canvases often warp, smudge, and wrinkle. 

If this happens, you’ll have to fix mistakes and straighten your canvas to continue painting, wasting your time and frustrating yourself.

We want to help you lay your foundation with our pre-cut DIY wooden frame ready for assembly. You can also craft a frame on your own from scratch. 

If neither of these options works, tape your canvas to a desk to secure it. 

Invest in an easel to make your canvas sturdier as you paint. Our aluminum folding easels with rubber feet are stable and compact so that you can work on your paintings anytime and anywhere. 

Start with large regions

Painting all the big printed numbers allows you to map out your picture quickly and focus most of your time filling in the more minor details. For example, you can see the color layout and use that to determine how you can mix colors to create new blends. 

Completing the more significant regions will give you a sense of accomplishment, motivating you to continue working on the smaller numbers. 

Start with darker colors

Start with darker colors

Beginning with darker colors lets you lay the base to build upon with lighter colors. 

Using dark colors as your painting’s foundation saves you time because it prevents you from accidentally painting over the lighter colors and using more paint to fix it. 

Start painting from the top

To prevent streaks as you paint, begin from the top left corner of your canvas if you’re right-handed. Or start from the top right corner if you're left-handed. 

Smudges guarantee that you will spend more time fixing errors and repainting, thus taking you forever to finish your painting. This trick will keep your canvas clean and your hand away from the paintings as they dry. 

Dilute your paint

Diluting your acrylic paint is an excellent way to make its consistency thinner and harder to smudge. In addition, diluted high-quality paint also dries faster on the paint brushes. 

Thick acrylic paint can take up to two hours to dry instead of the half-hour it would take thin paint to dry.

Use a hairdryer or fan

The air from a hairdryer or fan will fasten the evaporation of water molecules in the acrylic paint, thus drying it faster. 

When using a hair dryer, blast air at the paint for very short periods at the lowest hairdryer setting. Overdoing this trick will crack and flake the acrylic paint. 

Refer to your guide often

Using your reference guide is the most obvious but overlooked way to paint faster. These simple instructions are included in our paint-by-numbers kits and show you where to use dark and light colors. 

If you aim to fasten the painting process, the reference guide minimizes mistakes and helps you quickly match your paintings to the expected result. 

Paint in a warm, dry space

Humidity and temperature significantly affect how long your paint takes to dry; hence the time it’ll take to finish your painting. 

High-quality paint dries fast in well-ventilated spaces with 40 to 50 percent humidity levels and temperatures between 18ºC and 24ºC

Create your paint-by-number with a custom photo today!

Regardless of your canvas size or skill level, you decide how long you want to take to finish your paint by number. It can take 25 hours, 25 days, or more to complete paint by numbers from a photo. 

However, focus on the painting experience without setting a deadline, and the result will hold more meaning. 

For beginners, we offer varying canvas sizes and detail options in our paint-by-numbers kits to ensure you’re not overwhelmed as you nurture your artistic talent. 

We also provide pre-mixed paint pots, quality paint brushes, and a reference guide in every kit to help you finish your painting as soon as possible. 

Upload your photo and order your custom paint-by-number kit today!