Paint by Number Paintings DIY Murals

Paint by Number Paintings - Vintage and DIY

Paint by number (PBN) paintings are  paint kits with a printed board of the "scene" you are painting. It has little numbers inside areas to designate paint colors - these numbers correspond to tiny "pots" of paint. If it is painted exactly by the directions you will have a lovely painting.

I had one of these PBNs when I was a kid. I think it was a horse. I'm pretty sure I never finished it. I remember thinking how hard it was to do... all the little lines and then filling in the little lines with paint.


I was at a tag sale and I found TWO old paint by number paintings. I'm SO THRILLED with them. I had to share them with you. They cost me $8. for the two of them. How cheap is that?

Ocean view violent waves painting

paint by number vintage painting of a mountain and bridge

A bit of history about "paint-by-number" paintings according to Wikipedia:  "In 1951 Palmer Paint introduced the Craft Master brand which sold over 12 million kits. This public response induced other companies to produce their own versions of paint by number. The Craft Master paint-kit box tops proclaimed, "A BEAUTIFUL OIL PAINTING THE FIRST TIME YOU TRY." Following the death of Max Klein in 1993, his daughter, Jacquelyn Schiffman, donated the Palmer Paint Co. archives to the Smithsonian Museum of American History.[2]"

Then my sister, Carol, found a few also at a local antique/furniture store. Here are the ones she has. I love them so much!!

vintage paint by number church and tree

I might have brightened this one up a bit too much. Oops.

paint by number painting of a barn with a horse

paint by number vintage painting of barn and out buildings


As I was researching PBN painting I came across tutorials for how to make your OWN paint by number paintings. I was thinking, 'why do another tutorial when there are some already out there?'

Here they are:

Jamie at Infarrantly Creative did a fabulous tutorial on DIY paint by number paintings. I love it and it looks fairly easy.  You first have to take a picture and then manipulate it in a picture program. I used PicMonkey and it worked great. You could hop over to Jamie's and take a look. It's very easy to follow.

Nikki, at Ambitious Procrastinator, also did a tutorial on how to do Paint by number paintings. She did kitty cats. Cute.

Here is a picture I took and then "posterized" it in Picmonkey.

bright pink impatiens

Once posterized you can clearly see the different colors. 

posterized picture for paint by number painting

Then you would print out the posterized picture and go to the store and buy little acrylic paints close to the colors on the picture as you could get. You could mix your own paint colors also which would probably be better but acrylics dry up so FAST.

The pattern does have to be somehow transferred to a canvas board (this is the tedious part, people). Jamie or Nikki have that covered so get on over there if you think you'd like to make your OWN paint by number paintings. 

OR how about putting one of these vintage PBN paintings on your wall as a MURAL??? I want one. I want to do everything (have I mentioned that?). Seriously, this is cool.

MURALS of Vintage Paint by Number Paintings

After doing a search on Google I found a girl who reproduced a vintage PBN painting as a mural on her son's wall. Katie's Pencil Box. See how she put the numbers on the wall to tell her which color went where?

DIY paint by number wall mural

Tutorial for painting a paint-by-number mural  on the wall. HERE

Vintage PBN turned into a mural..another tutorial.. HERE.


Ebay and Etsy are loaded with PBN to buy -  
search Paint by number vintage.


If you want to buy some kits to actually paint Amazon has some for sale. They have kid's paint by number kits also. (I will not get any reimbursement for this).... zero... zip... zilch.. dang...

Here are some of the PBNs offered on Amazon. 

Does anyone remember doing paint-by-number paintings? Does anyone still have them?

Aren't they pretty to look at? So nostalgic for me..

Best wishes, everyone,



So happy that you came by to visit. I’m Linda (on the right in the picture). I’m the blogger. 
Carol and me
My sister, Carol (left) and I love learning new things to make and do and I blog about it right here on 
Crafts a la mode.

We have a great big family that likes to do these things, too.
From time to time you will see the fruits of their labor.

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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Wow! Love the paint by numbers look! and LOVE the idea to put it on a wall!

  3. Linda, this so cool! Love the idea and I will do a bit of research myself. Love those paintings but hard to find in Northern VA!

  4. Hi Linda!!!

    I didn't know they still had them around!! The ones on Amazon are so beautiful!! Great idea
    for a baby room or your child's room. LOVE IT!!!

    Thank you!!


  5. They are beautiful, I have to admit I am unsteady with a paint brush but I would love to do portraits of the kids.

  6. I did a couple of paint by number pictures, but can't even remember what the picture was. I do remember they took forEVER to dry!

    Crafty Journal

    1. They must have been oil paint, then. Acrylics dry super fast. Thanks for joining the conversation! Linda

  7. Your PBN's turned out so beautiful! And I had no idea they were being turned into murals. How creative.

  8. I had never thought about doing this before, but what a great idea!! Pinning!

  9. Those wall murals are really neat! I have a paint by number {in process} of a pair of chickadees. Hope to finish it someday! They are not as easy as they look! Thanks for sharing!

  10. I've been thinking of starting a paint by number collection, and I didn't know you could create one from a photo! What a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing the information!

  11. Linda, They are beautiful! I love the mural in the nursery. What a great tip to make your own! Thanks for sharing with us!


So happy you came to visit today. Everyone is so busy but if you would like to leave a note for me, I would love it!!


I am the crafter extraordinaire (on this blog anyway.) I live with my husband, my son, David, in a cozy cape cod style house in Connecticut.

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