Paint-by-number is one of the most popular painting activities among painting hobbyists, and the projects can be purchased at many locations as well as ordered from websites. Paint-by-number projects are available for all age ranges and painting abilities. Many come with paint sets, while other projects allow artists to select their own paints following a general guideline on the colors necessary.
The largest selections of paint-by-number projects from any single retailer can typically be found online. Because these retailers are not forced to house their projects in a single location, they can offer many more options. Online retailers include Paint by Number Kits and Hobbymasters. Do not forget to calculate shipping the kits into your cost, however. Online auctions on websites such as eBay also often offer paint-by-number projects. Sometimes you can purchase the sets as a lot, which means buying in bulk.
Hobby Supply Stores
Hobby supply stores often carry a wide selection of paint-by-number sets, and usually cover a wide age range for the projects they stock. They can often special order specific sets or themes for you, as well. You can buy entire kits at most hobby stores, in addition to buying just the panel or canvas and purchasing paint separately. The paints are also sold at most stores. Hobby supply stores that carry paint-by-number kits include Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's Fabric and Michael's.
Art Supply Stores
Large art supply stores typically carry some paint-by-number projects, but do not typically have the selection of a hobby supply store. They usually carry some sets in their children's art section, and may have a few advanced panels and numbered canvases for adults. Art supply stores can, however, sometimes special order the projects and kits for you. Some smaller and independent art supply stores may not carry paint-by-number sets.
Discount Department Stores
Big box discount department stores such as Target and Wal-Mart have craft departments, and most carry paint-by-number sets. These sets are usually designed for children and novice painters, and typically include strips of connected plastic cups filled with water-based paint. Some may offer the option of sets that include oil paints. Because they do not specialize in hobbies or art, department stores may only carry 5 to 10 designs, and most are painted on cardboard panel.
Leah Newman has been a professional writer since 1999, writing about fine arts both in print and online. She specializes in how-to articles covering DIY projects. Newman holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Georgia and a Graduate Certificate in Children's Literature from Pennsylvania State University.