What is acrylic paint and why did we choose it for our paint by numbers kits?

What is acrylic paint and why did we choose it for our paint by numbers kits?

In the colourful and captivating world of Painting By Numbers, the choice of acrylic paint is not trivial. Renowned for its versatility, ease of use and quick drying, acrylic paint is the ideal companion for transforming your kits into true works of art. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, acrylic painting on canvas is always an enjoyable experience with results worthy of an art maestro. In this article, we dive into the heart of why we favoured acrylic paint for our paint by numbers kits, and how it differs from other types of paint, in terms of quality, durability and affordability.

What exactly is Acrylic Painting?

Acrylic painting is a must-have in the world of creative arts.

It is made from water and coloured pigments bound with an acrylic resin. This resin (technically, it is a synthetic polymer which gives it remarkable qualities) is distinguished by its ability to form a film once dry, encapsulating the colour pigments for a lasting and vibrant result.

What makes it particularly attractive is its ease of application on different supports, and particularly on our paint by numbers canvases. In addition, it offers a richness of colours and texture that can be modulated according to the needs of the artist, making it an ally of choice for all creatives.

Explore the Different Types of Painting

In the art world, each type of paint has its own personality and ideal uses. Understanding these differences can help you better appreciate why acrylic paint was our choice for paint by numbers.

Oil Painting

Oil paint is renowned for its richness and depth of colour. It is characterised by a thick consistency and very slow drying, ideal for works requiring touch-ups and subtle gradients.

Comparison with acrylic: Although oil paint offers a longer working time, acrylic dries faster, which is perfect for paint by numbers projects that require multiple coats.


Known for its transparency and lightness, watercolour allows you to create unique layering and blending effects. It is ideal for bright, flowing works with a natural appearance.

Comparison with acrylic: Watercolour is less adaptable than acrylic. Mistakes with watercolour are more difficult to correct, while acrylic offers more flexibility.


Gouache, a water-based paint, is appreciated for its opaque and matte colours. It is often chosen for vibrant designs and illustrations.

Comparison with acrylic: Although gouache is excellent for its coverage, acrylic paint offers greater versatility and durability, especially on canvas.

Tempera Painting

Less common and more specialised, tempera paint (often egg-based), offers a unique matte and velvety finish. It is perfect for historical works and traditional techniques.

Comparison with acrylic: Tempera painting requires some experience and mastery of advanced painting techniques, while acrylic is more accessible and easier to use for artists of all skill-levels.

* Comparison of paint types

Type of Paint

Drying time

Color Vibrance

Ideal Use

Acrylic Fast (minutes to an hour) High vibrancy, retains colour intensity Projects requiring quick finishing, lively and daring works
Oil Slow (days to weeks) Rich, deep colours with a natural shine Works requiring prolonged mixing, depth and tonal variation
Watercolour Moderate (minutes to hours) Translucent quality, varies with water use Subtle paintings, luminous and delicate effects

In summary, each type of paint has its advantages, but acrylic paint stands out for its ease of use in all circumstances and is suitable for artists of all skill-levels

The Benefits of Acrylic Paint in Paint by Numbers Kits

We have narrowed this down to a few essential criteria:

  1. Ease of Use: Acrylic paint is an excellent choice for paint-by-numbers enthusiasts of all skill-levels, especially for beginners , and painting in general. Its consistency, neither too liquid nor too thick, facilitates application to the canvas, allowing precise control of the brush. This makes the painting process less intimidating for those taking their first steps into the art world. Additionally, mistakes are easily rectified with acrylic, providing a pleasant learning environment conducive to experimentation.
  2. Fast Drying: One of the major advantages of acrylic paint is its rapid drying time. This feature is particularly beneficial in paint-by-numbers projects, where it allows layers of paint to be applied without long waits. It is ideal for maintaining pace and interest, especially for artists who prefer to see their results quickly, making the overall experience more dynamic and rewarding.
  3. Versatility: Whether you want to create textural effects or smooth finishes, acrylic paint accommodates all your creative desires. For example, you can dilute it to create watercolour effects or apply it in thick layers for an impasto effect.
  4. Quality and Longevity of Acrylic Paint: Acrylic is valued for its ability to maintain colour vibrancy over time. Its resistance to fading and the elements ensures that the works produced retain their vibrancy and quality, even years after their completion. This durability makes it a preferred choice for creations intended to be displayed or kept for a long time.
  5. Acrylic Painting on Canvas: Specifically on canvas, acrylic offers notable advantages. It adheres well to the surface of canvas, allowing you to create works with a wide variety of textures and techniques. Whether you opt for thin layers or thicker effects, acrylic delivers, making it a versatile choice for artists exploring different styles on canvas.
  6. Safety and Non-Toxic Nature of Acrylic Paint:

A crucial aspect of acrylic paint is its non-toxic composition, which makes it safe for users of all ages, including children. It is free of the harmful fumes found in some other types of paint: perfect for use in domestic and educational environments.

  1. Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance: Relatively low demanding, acrylic paint cleans easily with soap and water, making the clean-up process after painting quick and easy. It is recommended to clean brushes immediately after use to preserve their quality and performance over the long term.

And these are all the reasons that convinced us to choose acrylic paint for our kits. Thus allowing the world to benefit from this incredible versatility at whatever their skill level may be.

Creative Techniques with Acrylic Painting

Acrylic paint offers a vast playground for Paint By Numbers artists, allowing a multitude of creative techniques to enrich your artistic experience. Here are some methods you can explore to give your artwork a personal touch.

Watercolour Effect

Although acrylic is generally opaque, it can be diluted with water to create a watercolour effect. This technique is perfect for adding layers of transparency or for softening transitions between colours, giving extra dimension to your canvas.

Sgraffito Technique

Sgraffito involves scraping away the top layer of wet paint to reveal the layers beneath. Use a pointed tool or the handle of a brush to draw patterns or fine details, adding depth and texture to your work.

Impasto Texture

Acrylic lends itself beautifully to the impasto technique, where paint is applied in thick layers to create relief. With a palette knife or even the back of a spoon, you can add volume and movement to certain elements of your PBN canvas.

Glaze for Depth

Glazing consists of applying a very thin, transparent layer of colour to a dry paint. This method can enrich the colour palette of your canvas and add incredible depth, especially to landscapes or natural scenes.

Dabbing Techniques

Use a sponge or cloth to dab the paint onto the canvas. This technique is ideal for creating varied textures, such as the effect of foliage on trees or a starry sky.

Dry Brush for Luminous Effects

The dry brush, or dry brushing technique, consists of using a brush almost devoid of paint to create light and airy effects. Perfect for adding light reflections or to give the impression of movement.

These techniques are just the beginning of what you can accomplish with acrylic paint in your painting by numbers works. Experimentation is key: don't be afraid to try different methods to see what works best for your style and project. Have fun, be bold and let your creativity take the lead!

BONUS: DIY Tips and Techniques to enhance your paint by numbers works with Acrylic Paint

Some tips shared by the experts in our community, to give an even more personal touch to your paintings!

Combine different methods for an artistic effect:

  • Collage and paint: Integrate collage elements onto your canvas before painting to add a mixed media dimension.
  • Stencils: Use stencils to apply precise patterns or texts, thus adding a graphic element to your painting.

For fine details, take these approaches:

  • Pointillist Painting: Use the tip of a fine brush to add precise details or highlights.
  • Fine Lines: With a very fine brush or paint pen, draw delicate lines for details like hair or twigs.

Dare to mix colours for unique results:

  • Colour Mix: Test different colour mixtures directly on a palette to discover new shades.
  • Gradients: Practice gradients by blending two colours together on the canvas while the paint is still wet.

Do you want to get started and don't know where to start? Discover our convivial guide for choosing your first work

To conclude, art is within everyone's reach with acrylic paint

Whether you're drawn to rich colour, ease of application, or quick drying, acrylic paint meets these needs while providing an enjoyable, stress-free painting experience. With the tips and tricks presented, even novices can feel confident and free to explore their creativity.

We hope this guide has inspired you to grab your paintbrushes and embark on the colourful paint-by-numbers adventure. Remember, each canvas is a new opportunity to express your imagination and create something unique. So, open your kit, unroll your canvas, and let the magic of acrylic paint guide you on your artistic journey.