Rediscover Your Inner Artist: The Appeal of Paint by Numbers for Adults

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Paint by numbers offers a unique and accessible way for adults to rediscover their inner artist.


In the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding a creative outlet can be a therapeutic escape. For many adults, paint by numbers has become an unexpected haven of creativity and relaxation. This nostalgic pastime, once relegated to children's kits, has made a significant comeback, captivating a new generation of adults seeking a blend of artistic expression and stress relief. In this blog, we will delve into the resurgence of paint by numbers among adults, exploring its history, its appeal, and the myriad benefits it offers.

The Origins of Paint by Numbers

Paint by numbers was created in the early 1950s by Dan Robbins, an artist working for the Palmer Show Card Paint Company in Detroit. Robbins was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s teaching technique, where the master artist used numbered patterns to teach his students. Robbins adapted this concept into a commercial product, creating kits that allowed anyone to produce beautiful paintings by simply following a numbered system. Each number corresponded to a specific color, guiding the user through the painting process.

The concept took off, and paint by numbers became a cultural phenomenon. Millions of kits were sold, making it a popular hobby across the United States and beyond. While the craze saw fluctuations in popularity over the decades, it never entirely disappeared. In recent years, it has experienced a revival, particularly among adults seeking new ways to relax and express themselves creatively.

The Appeal of Paint by Numbers for Adults

One of the main reasons paint by numbers has found a new audience among adults is its accessibility. Traditional painting can be intimidating for those without formal training, but paint by numbers removes the pressure of creating something from scratch. The numbered system provides a clear, step-by-step guide, making it easy for anyone to produce a stunning piece of art.

1. Stress Relief and Relaxation: Engaging in paint by numbers can be incredibly soothing. The repetitive nature of filling in spaces with color can induce a state of mindfulness, helping to calm the mind and reduce stress. In a world where we are constantly bombarded with information and demands, taking the time to focus on a simple, creative task can provide much-needed mental relief.

2. Boosting Creativity: While paint by numbers kits provide a structured approach to art, they also allow for personal expression. Many adults find joy in experimenting with colors and techniques, deviating from the prescribed palette to add their own unique touches. This blend of guidance and freedom can help reignite a creative spark and encourage further artistic exploration.

3. A Sense of Accomplishment: Completing a paint by numbers project offers a tangible sense of achievement. The satisfaction of transforming a blank canvas into a finished piece of art can boost self-esteem and provide a lasting reminder of one's creative abilities. This feeling of accomplishment is particularly rewarding for those who may not consider themselves naturally artistic.


4. Social Connection: The resurgence of paint by numbers has also fostered a sense of community. Online groups and social media platforms are filled with enthusiasts sharing their works, tips, and experiences. Participating in these communities can provide additional motivation and inspiration, as well as opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals.

The Therapeutic Benefits of Paint by Numbers

Beyond its appeal as a hobby, paint by numbers offers numerous therapeutic benefits that contribute to its popularity among adults. Here are some of the key advantages:

1. Mindfulness and Meditation: The process of focusing on each numbered section and carefully applying the appropriate color can promote mindfulness. This practice of being fully present in the moment has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve mental well-being. For many adults, paint by numbers becomes a form of active meditation, providing a break from the constant distractions of everyday life.

2. Cognitive Stimulation: Engaging in paint by numbers requires concentration, memory, and problem-solving skills. These cognitive functions are exercised as you match colors to numbers and fill in the intricate details of the design. This mental workout can be particularly beneficial for older adults, helping to keep the mind sharp and engaged.

3. Fine Motor Skills: Painting by numbers involves precise brushwork, which can improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This aspect of the activity can be especially beneficial for individuals recovering from injuries or those with conditions that affect motor function.

4. Emotional Expression: Art has long been recognized as a powerful tool for emotional expression. Through paint by numbers, adults can explore and express their emotions in a non-verbal way. The act of creating something beautiful can provide a sense of release and satisfaction, helping to process and manage emotions.

The Popularity of Paint by Numbers Kits

The resurgence of paint by numbers among adults can be attributed in part to the availability of high-quality kits. Unlike the simple designs of the past, today's kits come in a wide variety of themes and levels of complexity. From intricate landscapes and famous artworks to abstract designs and portraits, there is something to suit every taste and skill level

Online retailers and specialized stores offer a vast selection of kits, often including everything needed to complete the project: pre-printed canvases, high-quality paints, brushes, and even framing options. This convenience has made it easier than ever for adults to get started with paint by numbers and enjoy the process from start to finish.

Additionally, the rise of e-commerce and social media has played a significant role in popularizing paint by numbers. Enthusiasts share their completed works and progress photos online, creating a vibrant community that inspires and motivates others to join in. The sense of camaraderie and shared passion has helped to establish paint by numbers as a trendy and enjoyable activity.

Getting Started with Paint by Numbers

If you are interested in trying paint by numbers, here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Choose the Right Kit: Select a design that appeals to you and matches your skill level. Beginners may want to start with simpler designs, while those with more experience can opt for more intricate and detailed kits.

2. Set Up Your Workspace: Find a comfortable, well-lit area where you can work on your project. Lay down some newspaper or a plastic sheet to protect your surface from paint spills. Make sure you have all your supplies within easy reach.

3. Follow the Instructions: Carefully read the instructions provided in the kit. Start with the larger areas and work your way to the smaller details. Take your time and enjoy the process, allowing yourself to relax and unwind.

4. Experiment and Personalize: While following the numbered guide, don't be afraid to experiment with colors and techniques. Add your own personal touches to make the artwork truly unique.

5. Share Your Progress: Join online communities or share your work on social media to connect with other paint by numbers enthusiasts. This can provide additional motivation and inspiration as you complete your project.


Paint by numbers offers a unique and accessible way for adults to rediscover their inner artist. Its combination of structure and freedom makes it an appealing activity for those seeking relaxation, creativity, and a sense of accomplishment. Whether you are a seasoned artist or a complete beginner, paint by numbers provides a therapeutic escape from the stresses of everyday life, allowing you to create beautiful works of art one brushstroke at a time. So why not pick up a brush and start your journey into the world of paint by numbers today? You may find that this simple activity has the power to transform your stress into serenity and reignite your creative spirit.