One of the most frequently asked questions I get are "Where did you get that...?!", so I have decided to compile a complete list of the products I use for the most successful outcome of my paint by number art. I don't mean to say you have to purchase EVERY SINGLE ITEM on this list, but I can tell you that I use them all frequently or every time I paint. They have saved me time & money...which during the pandemic is a welcome change!
I am also going to add a video links to some of these products, so you can see how to use them and get the most out of your purchases! (*NOTE: anything in bold orange below is an active link, so you can go directly to the shopping site.)
"MY BRUSHES ARE FRAYING! PLEASE HELP!"
When a member of my Facebook group mentioned that she used cosmetic wipes instead of baby wipes to clean off her brushes, I was skeptical. Since I sell Farmasi beauty products as a Beauty Influencer, I grabbed a pack of my Sensi-Wipes and gave it a GO! All I can say is WOW! My new brushes stayed "like new", and I was able to restore some of my older ones that had gotten frayed.
COSMETIC WIPES FOR CLEANING BRUSHES:
Farmasi SensiWipes Cosmetic Wipes $4.90 for a pack of 20
Here is the video where I demonstrate with these wipes.
"DO I REALLY NEED TO GESSO MY CANVAS FIRST?!"
CANVAS PREP: If you watch my YouTube videos, you probably already know that I am a HUGE believer in using clear gesso to prime my canvas before I start to paint. I will be doing a video on gesso FAQ's soon, but in the meantime, here is the link for my favorite clear gesso. I have included links for two different sizes, because you will use more than you think, and the 32 ounce bottle will be worth it if you decide you love this hobby and continue to paint.
"WHY DO I NEED THESE PAINT ADDITIVES?"
Flow-Aid is a MUST-HAVE item in my painting "arsenal". I absolutely use it EVERY TIME I PAINT to make the paints more creamy and helps them to move on my canvas without diluting them with water, which makes them too thin and transparent. Here is a video on the difference in all of these additives and when and how to use them.
"WHICH PAINT BRUSHES SHOULD I USE?"
I think paint brush recommendations are the next most popular question. I have done extensive "research" and trials by purchasing paint brush sets (with my own money, of course) and testing them while I am painting. (If only I could get all of the money back for the brushes I've bought...I'd be able to have a nice beach getaway with my hubby right now.) Here are the brushes that have been tried and tested and that I recommend for "budget conscience" artists.
INDIVIDUAL PAINT BRUSHES:
Artist Loft Roma all sizes available at Michaels
"HOW DO I CLEAN MY BRUSHES?"
As I am painting, I am rinsing my brush in a cup of clean water using a Paint Puck in the bottom on the cup. Then I wipe my brush off with the Farmasi SensiWipes Cosmetic Wipes that I listed above. Here are the other items I use to restore or condition my brushes:
BRUSH CLEANING, CONDITIONING AND RESTORING
"I HAVE A TRANSPARENT PAINT & THE NUMBER SHOWS THROUGH! WHAT DO I DO?!"
This is a very common question, and my answer is to white out your number first before painting with a Sharpie White WATER-BASED Paint Pen. It must be Water-Based, or it will repel the acrylic paint that goes over it.
Liquitex White Heavy Body Acrylic Paint (if you have the Arteza set below, you won't need this)
"MY PAINTS WON'T COVER, OR THEY ARE DRIED OUT! WHAT DO I DO?"
I don't know what I ever did before I found the Arteza Acrylic Paint Set of 60! These have been a lifesaver...or a painting saver...or something like that. We have all gotten "crap" paints in our kits. Even the best kit will have a color or two that just refuses to cover well. That's where my Arteza Acrylic Paint Set comes in handy.
ARTEZA Premium Acrylic Paint Set of 60 (this link will take you to their main site and you can purchase any of the Acrylic paint sets, and I will get credit.)
OR ARTEZA Premium Acrylic Paint Set of 60 (Amazon link)
"I'M STRUGGLING TO SEE THE NUMBERS. WHAT DO I NEED TO HELP ME SEE BETTER?"
There are so many tools on the market for magnifying and lighting for art. When you select a light, be sure to get one that uses "white light" or "daytime light". That just means that it gives you the best brightness and clarity. You don't want a light that casts a warm tone, because it can cause you to strain your eyes. I personally use OTT Lites. There are lots to choose from, and my bulbs have lasted over 15 years now. If you need magnification, there are several OTT Lites that also include a magnifier.
"WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE, "MUST-HAVE" TOOLS?"
These little tools make life so much easier and more efficient while I am painting! Somany tools, too little time!
PAINT BY NUMBER TOOLS:
"HOW DO I ORGANIZE MY PAINT KITS AND CANVASES?"
I have recently done a video on this subject, and it is in the process of being uploaded to YouTube. There are so many wonderful storage solutions out there, but I will focus on my favorites, which are also very affordable!.
PBN KIT & CANVAS STORAGE:
""I'VE COMPLETED MY PAINTING! DO I NEED TO SEAL IT?"
I get asked if I seal my paintings. Well, as of today, I haven't sealed any paintings. I have read mixed reviews about whether it is necessary to seal them. Acrylic paint is a hearty type of paint, and therefore, it doesn't need as much protection as other mediums, such as, watercolors or pastels, etc. If you are going to seal your paintings, be sure to use a NON-YELLOWING sealant, or your painting may start to yellow over time. One of the group members recommended this one I have listed, but I have personally not used it.
"HOW DO I FRAME IT?"
Since I am a huge believer in DIY projects, and since I was a Custom Framing Department Manager for Michael's Arts & Crafts for almost 2 years, I have quite a few opinions on this subject. You can 1) stretch your painted canvas on a canvas stretcher bar like I did in this video; 2) you can have your artwork custom framed (which may be my favorite method) and add a UV protective glass or acrylic with spacers or multiple mats; 3) you can frame it yourself with a frame off the shelf (you won't use the glass, because glass should not be up against the acrylic paint); 4) you can use the magnetic poster frame to display your artwork, which is a temporary solution but it quick, easy and affordable method!
Magnetic Poster Frame in various sizes
I hope this information has been helpful in order for you to find everything you need for your paint by number paintings! Be sure to join the Facebook group, where you can share your work-in-progress, completed projects or simply ask questions of other members. Diamond paintings are also welcome there :)!