Outside The Lines

Fun readings about Color, Art and Segmation!

Fall in Love with Paint-by-Number All Over Again, or For the Very First Time

September 26, 2017 Jessica 0 Comments

Are you one of those people who used to love to paint-by-numbers on a rainy day (or any day)? Do you remember when paint-by-number was all the rage? Are you currently obsessed with paint-by-number? Or, have you heard of paint-by-number but really aren’t sure what it is? If so, keep reading!

What Is Paint-by-Number?

paint by number image of jesus the good shepherd

Image via Flickr (Waiting For the Word)

It is the rare person who has never heard of paint-by-number. This activity was invented in 1950 by Max S. Klein, an engineer and the owner of Detroit’s Palmer Paint Company. Wikipedia provides a good technical definition: “Paint-by-number (or painting-by-numbers) describes kits having a board on which light blue or gray lines indicate areas to paint, each area having a number and a corresponding numbered paint to use.

Just one year after paint-by-number kits were released to the public, 12 million kits were sold. Wikipedia stated, “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.’

People really did get a beautiful oil painting every time they tried paint-by-number; that’s why they bought kit after kit.

Michelangelo Inspired the Invention of Paint-by-Number

Contrary to popular belief, the world doesn’t only have the Palmer Paint Company to thank for the paint-by-number concept; it also is indebted to Michelangelo. Apparently, Klein was inspired to invent paint-by-number when he read “that da Vinci taught his apprentices the basics of painting by using numbered patterns on a canvas…(Klein) suspected the idea might have wider appeal. So he worked to put out a new product that would delight aspiring artists of all ages,” stated Zac Bissonette, contributor to Mental Floss.

Paint-by-number was not merely a fun invention, but it was and is also lucrative and inspiring to others. Millions of paint-by-number kits have been sold over the years. Also, the concept of paint-by-numbers has spurred art lovers to open wine-and-paint studios where customers can drink while they copy an art instructor. What they end up going home with (besides a buzz) is a nice-looking piece of art that they feel proud to have made. Businesses like these have made some company owners serious money.

Fall in Love with Computer-based Paint-by-Number

Fall is the perfect time to fall in love with paint-by-number all over again, or for the very first time. Do this by checking out SegPlay PC, our paint-by-number game created for Windows PC.

SegPlay PC was designed for the old-fashioned-art enthusiast who also enjoys technology. This program is compatible with hundreds of digital paint-by-number patterns and allows you to print your artwork once it’s complete. Download a FREE trial of SegPlay PC today!

What is your most-loved memory about paint-by-numbers?

Read the newest Segmation blog posts today: 

3 of the Oldest Pieces of Art in the History of the World

2 Historical art themed Novels to Read This Fall

Interview with Karen Nobel, Founder and Director of “Kids Need More Art” in South Florida

Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)


SegPlay® Mobile available for Amazon Fire, iPhone, iPad, Android


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