Many hours of activity
Frame worthy upon completion
Paints and brushes seem low quality
We purchased the Colour Talk DIY Oil Painting Kit so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
Kids usually can sneak in time to run and play throughout the day, but adults get fewer chances to be creative and take a break. Craft kits for adults like the DIY Oil Paint by Number Kit from Colour Talk have become an affordable option to pass the time. The finished product appears to be an original painting, but it’s color-coded so that anyone can get it right on the first try (in theory). While it wasn’t our favorite of the kits we tested, it grew on us over time and will likely appeal to buyers with some prior painting experience.
Ease of Use: Tedious at first
We found the first few hours of using the Colour Talk DIY Paint by Number kit exceedingly tedious. Some of the canvas areas are extremely small, and without a steady hand or any experience painting, it wasn't easy to stay within such tiny lines. It didn’t help that the instructions are fairly unclear and missing basic information. It was difficult for someone with zero experience to understand. For example, we didn't understand what “paint in sequence” meant. Since we hadn’t done paint by number before, we were sure what "the sequence" was. Should we start with the first number? The lightest color? The largest section? We weren’t sure, so we just randomly picked a number and dove right in.
The first thought we had once we started painting was that this painting would take way too long. Using the brushes given, it was nearly impossible to stay within the lines. The process was exceedingly slow. At about the second-hour mark, we gave up on trying to stay inside the lines. Fortunately, the painting is impressionist-style, so straying from the lines didn't impact the final product much. Once we stopped trying to be precise, the stress melted away, and the painting process became more enjoyable. The activity grew on us as we continued. As beginners, we probably wouldn’t order this kit again, but we’d probably try another easy painting project.
Quality of Materials: Borderline unusable at times
The first noticeable disappointment was the quality of materials included in the Colour Talk Paint by Number kit. The design is printed on a canvas, not a hard surface, so you’ll need your own hard surface to work on (we used a piece of matte board from a large picture frame.) Unfortunately, our canvas arrived so wrinkled with folds in that we couldn't paint on it. We had to lay it under heavy coffee table books for two days to flatten it.
Once we were ready to paint, we ran into two other issues: Many of the 23 paint colors were somewhat dry and chunky, and two of the three brushes had uneven bristles. These both caused significant problems in terms of staying inside the lines, especially as some of the paint colors were too chunky to spread smoothly. The paint texture gave it a bumpy texture and there’s overlap between all colors as we weren't able to make clean edges. As a result, our painting looks better from afar. Up close, the technique looks sloppy.
To counter the cons, there were a few positive aspects. For starters, not all of our paint was chunky. It was only about one-quarter of the paint that was difficult to use. And once we trimmed some of the uneven bristles on the brushes, the brushes became much easier to use. You may find using your own brush set works better than the three brushes that come with the kit. The included paints are acrylic paint—and not oil as the title suggests—so acrylic brushes are recommended.
Trial and error taught us to spread the paint as thin as possible. Even when going light on the paint, we ran out of certain colors like dark brown and used another color instead. We think it looks fine, but it may be an annoyance to more detailed-oriented artists. The exception to the "spreading the paint thin" rule is that we couldn't do that with the white and yellow shades. Despite doing multiple layers, the numbers are still easy to see under the paint.
Entertainment Value: This kit scores points on entertainment
In terms of bang for your buck, of the craft kits we tested, by far, this one took the longest to complete. We went fast, loosely following along with the color suggestions, and it still took us about 10 hours. We’d guess that someone closely paying attention to the colors, wanting to complete the design skillfully, would need to budget closer to 20 hours. The paints dry quickly, so we recommend tightly closing the paint jars and washing the brushes immediately after each painting session.
The kit grew on us over time and will likely appeal to buyers with some prior experience painting.
Price: Worth a shot
Though this kit wasn’t our favorite, we thought paint by number was fun. We’d recommend it to anyone with any background or interest in painting. At around $15 (or $20 if you want a frame as well,) it’s worth a try. Colour Talk makes several other paint-by-number images at the same price if sunflowers clash with your room’s decor.
Competition: Several crafting options for beginners
“Enjoy the Ride” Cross Stitch: We enjoyed the cross-stitch kit a lot more. It was easy to work on in small spurts. It was also more suited for a beginner. The paint by number kit was far more advanced. However, if you have a knack for painting, you may find that the extra hours of painting by number are worth the few extra dollars for the painting kit. The cross-stitch kit was about half the price, averaging about $8.
Nature’s Blossom Soy Candle Making Kit: Making soy candles is very different from doing cross-stitch or painting. The Soy Candle Making Kit is a quick and clean process. You only need about an hour to make the candles. The nice part is after you're done, you’ve got three large, fragrant candles to show for it. The paint by number kit is better for a hobby project, requiring 10 to 20 hours to complete. Meanwhile, the Soy Candle Kit is significantly more expensive at around $50.
It's worth it.
The Colour Talk Paint by Number kit was frustrating due to problems like a wrinkly canvas and poor quality brushes. But after we had been painting for an hour or so and figured out how to work around some of those issues, we started to enjoy it a bit more. It’s hard to stay in the lines on this somewhat advanced kit, but if you approach it with the realization that it’s probably not going to be perfect, it’ll be far more enjoyable. Considering how affordable it is, it’s worth a try for anyone who likes painting.
- Product Name DIY Oil Painting Kit (Warm Sunflower)
- Product Brand Colour Talk
- MPN 2SP4159252
- Price $14.86
- Product Dimensions 16 x 20 in.
- Paint type Acrylic (not oil)