How Long to Complete a Paint by Numbers?

Never done a Paint by Numbers kit before and wondering how long it will take? 

You have come to the right place. Here is everything you need to know about long it takes to complete a Paint by Numbers Kit!

BUT... before we tell you how long it takes to complete a Paint by Numbers Kit, we feel obliged to say - don’t worry about being a slow painter and don’t be intimidated by the time it takes. At Journey of Something, we actually believe that the longer it takes to complete a project, the better. It means you have taken more time out of your day to do something relaxing and the sense of achievement at the end will be even greater! 

paint by Numbers Kit Contents

At Journey of Something the canvases of all our adult Paint by Numbers kits are 40 x 50cm. We think this is the perfect size; both because of the amount of time it takes and it's the best size for framing and displaying. So our timing is based on a 40 x 50cm Paint By Numbers canvas. 

Butterfly paint by Numbers Kit - Kip&Co

So, we know you are all waiting for an exact answer as to how long a Paint by Numbers takes, but there are heaps of variables. As mentioned, the main variable will be the size of your Paint by Numbers canvas, but the other things you need to take into account are: 

  • How many layers of paint will you do? If you want to achieve a really opaque finish, you may want to do 2 coats of paint. You then need to almost double your completion time. Some people decide to only do one coat or only do double coats of paint on lighter colours. 
  • You may decide to use whiteout to remove the numbers in each section before you paint over them. This may negate the need for a second coat, especially for lighter colours, but will add a little more time. 
  • How detailed the image is and how many different colours there are will greatly affect completion time. Obviously, a really detailed image with lots of different, little sections of different colours, is going to take longer. This is because you will have to use a small brush to carefully paint small sections within the lies. And you will have to stop and change colours frequently. In comparison, an image with a lot of big sections of one colour will be quicker as you don’t need to go slowly (to avoid going out of the lines) and you don’t need to change colours as often. You can also use a bigger brush. The bigger the brush the faster!
  • Simply how fast you are at painting. An experienced painter will be able to paint fast while staying in the lines, whilst someone who is new to painting may have to take their time a little more. 
  • Does the whole canvas require painting or are there printed sections or background areas that don’t require painting. 

So drumroll please, based on our experiences, we report that a 40 x 50cm Paint by Number’s Kit can take anywhere from 20 - 35 hours to complete. Obviously, the much more detailed canvases that require 2 coats will be more around the 35 hour mark and less detailed canvases, that only need one coat will be at the 20 hour end. 

A good example of a less detailed, 20 hour canvas is our “Embrace” paint by numbers kit.

How Long Does it Take to Complete a Paint by Numbers Kit

For a longer one, around the 25 - 30 hour mark try Cactus Valley. 

Take it takes to complete a Paint by Numbers Kit

If you are looking at canvases of different sizes, we suggest that a good way of estimating the time to complete it, is to allocate approximately 1 minute for every 1cm squared. So based on that calculation, a 40 x 50cm canvas would take 2000 minutes (33.5 hours) to complete. This would be for a fairly detailed canvas, so if the canvas is less detailed you can allocate 30 seconds for each 1cm squared and so on.

Drying time is only around 10 - 15 minutes so that won’t make a big difference to the completion time of your paint by numbers. If you decide to apply a gloss that is also pretty quick - maybe add another 10 minutes. 

And finally, it goes without saying, that you don’t do a Paint by Number Kit in one sitting! It is a project that you can chip away at over days, weeks or even months. There is no rush! Try to do just one hour a day and make it your daily mindfulness practice! That’s what we do!

Journey of Something directors, Nicola and Lauren, with Paint By Numbers they each completed. 

Nicola says she completed hers within 2 weeks and did anywhere from 1 - 2 hours a day. Nicola did Paint by Numbers Kit - Fun and Friendship

Completed Paint by Numbers Kit Hours

Lauren did hers over 3 weeks and said she also did 1 - 2 hours a day but skipped days here and there. Lauren did Paint by Numbers Kit - Two Proteas. 

How Long does it take to do numeral Paint Kits?

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