Today I’m sharing how I created a Paint by Number Gallery Wall along with my tips and tricks for sourcing beautiful paint by numbers.
My Love of Paint by Numbers:
After finding a vintage paint by number on a trip to Texas about two years ago, I developed a love for the somewhat forgotten art form. (I hung this one above my sink in my apartment kitchen!) Since then, I collected more vintage paint by number pieces to style a gallery wall in my family room. Many loyal IBC readers will also remember that I hung a large modern paint by number in my dining room for the holidays. You can see that here in case you missed it.
And I used a framed paint by number as inspiration for the design of my master bedroom! Check that out here.
Why am I enamored of these paintings? There are many reasons. I love that each one is unique in some way. I love knowing that, even though the painter was following a pattern, a human being spent time creating this artwork. In general, I also just love the style and how the colors and patterns work together.
Recently, I added a couple more pieces to my wall, so I thought I’d share a quick update and talk more about how I created this unusual gallery wall.
Paint by Number Gallery Wall:
Here is how my Paint by Number Gallery Wall looks today:
I first hung these in the fall of last year and shared them as part of a tour of my family room for the season.
I kept them on the wall throughout the winter but replaced three of them with more seasonal paint by numbers. I was lucky enough to find ones that featured snowy scenes.
With spring on my mind, I switched them up again and decided to add two more paintings that I found last summer at a local flea market. They are the city scenes at the top and bottom of the grouping. I’d never seen paint by numbers like these, so I thought they were special finds.
As much as I liked how I had originally hung the grouping, the addition of two pieces gave this gallery wall more impact and made it feel complete.
I am smitten with this particular collection. I passed on many paint by numbers that didn’t quite suit my style or fit with what I was looking for. I realize that this is all highly subjective. You may dislike my choices, but that’s okay. It’s all about collecting what YOU love.
How To Arrange a Gallery Wall:
I didn’t take photos of the process I followed in determining the gallery wall arrangement. I simply laid out the paintings on the floor to figure out the placement and spacing.
This worked well for the most part. I did have to adjust a nail or two because I wasn’t ultra-precise in my measurements, but that doesn’t bother me too much. (Just don’t go looking behind the artwork. Ha!)
I also want to encourage you (if you are designing a gallery wall) to hang the art higher and lower than you normally would. As you can see, some of my pieces are hung rather high, while others are close to the floor. This won’t work in every instance, but I think it creates a dynamic look in this location.
Where to Find Paint by Numbers?
Whenever I share a picture of my collection, one of the most frequently asked questions is where do I find paint by numbers. Since most of the paintings I buy are vintage, here are my go-to sources:
I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they remember their parents or grandparents doing these paintings or having paintings like these. That’s why I recommend asking older family members if they have things like this. If they’re forgetful, ask them if you can rummage through their attic, basement, and closets.
Vintage pieces are even more special if the artist is a family member.
Antique Stores / Flea Markets:
I also recommend visiting local antique stores and flea markets. You can find paint by number pieces online (We’ll talk about that below.), but I prefer seeing them in person. The colors and quality of the artwork (Some are better than others.) are important to me, and those details aren’t always visible online. Trust me. I’ve been burned.
When you’re looking for something in particular, it pays to visit antique shops and thrift stores regularly rather than sporadically. The more you go, the better your chances are of finding what you’re searching for, especially when something becomes more popular (as is the case with paint by number). I also follow my favorite antique stores on Instagram and Facebook since they typically post when new inventory is available.
Sidenote: If you are local to Pittsburgh and want to check out my favorite antique stores, I have a list with all of my recommendations HERE.
The above principles also apply to thrift stores. I don’t love thrift stores as much, although I do visit them from time to time. If you’re looking for the best prices, thrift stores are the way to go. Just know that your hunt may take longer and be more tedious.
Etsy / eBay:
If you want to shop from home, Etsy and eBay are your new best friends. Again, I find it hard to accurately assess quality and color in some of the online photos, so there are risks. I also think the prices are a bit higher, and in most cases, you have to pay for shipping. (A couple of my pieces are from eBay.)
Resale Apps (Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Chairish, LetGo, etc.):
Last but not least, there are plenty of local online resources and apps for you to check for paint by numbers or other vintage pieces. At this point, there are almost too many. It can easily get overwhelming. I stick to Facebook Marketplace and a local resale group on Facebook. I’m a fan of Facebook Marketplace because it allows me to save items and set up notifications in case a new item with the specified search terms is posted. I recommend doing what works best for you and your search. If you’re desperately seeking something, check them all.
Phew! That’s a lot of information. I hope it was helpful and that you enjoyed the updated and close-up look at my paint by number gallery wall.
I tried my best to anticipate your questions. However, if there’s something else I might be able to tell you about paint by numbers, please let me know in the comments below. I’m always happy to help.