Paint by Numbers Home

Post a Reminiscence


My sister and I both got a set for Christmas when we were young. I remember taking great pains to get it perfect. My Dad framed each one. They hung in my parents home for many years. When we broke up Mother's home, I took mine. My son is a painter, living in Florence, Italy, so his paintings take precedence over mine. Mine now hangs in the basement!

Kay Beel
Westlake, Ohio
March 3, 2002


I have enjoyed pbn sets since I was a child . . . still do . . . my latest are the ones by Kincaid . . . can't afford his paintings, so these are great. I like to do these while the kids are settled down and things are winding down for the day. Helps me to relax and get ready for a good night sleep. Thanks for showing the exhibit

April 15, 2002


I painted the Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane (1955). My daddy was so impressed, he took it to a professional framer, had it framed and it hung in an honored spot in our living room in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Wow this was fun to remember. I still have the painting.

BJ McCauley
April 17, 2002


Let me first tell you, I am now a middle school Art/Science teacher. I, too had paint-by-number experiences--however, they were never finished works. Because I had such a love for making art, my mom would buy the kits for me. I would always begin with good intentions, but would soon get bored. So, I had a way to get around that. I turned the picture board over and painted, with the paints on the back. It game me many hours of pleasurable painting experiences. Scientifically, I learned that oil paints did not mix with water, they were hard to wash off, and if you ran out of the paint thinner supplied with the kit, the fun was over! Artistically, I learned to create and self-express.

None of my works have survived, but the wonderful learning experiences and memories have lived on with me and have been recanted to my own two children and my students

Fran Pietri
April 21, 2002


I remember my brother painstakingly painting pictures. I was much younger and would try, but my impatience would win out. I remember being bored with painting with one color in one area and I would never fail to reach across a freshly painted area and smear what I had just attempted to paint.

My mother would not be happy with the paint all over my clothing and skin and I would be so frustrated with my efforts. I am so glad I discovered acrylic paints as an adult!

Steve & Bettie
April 21, 2002


I can remember paint by number kits. We lived in the country when I was younger. We were poor and the kits were fairly cheap. My mom still has one that I painted in the early 70s. I look at it now and remember all the fun my 2 brothers, my sister and I had painting them. It was our family time activity on the weekend. Oh the memories, I can still smell the cheap paint and feel the paint brushes in my fingers. I wish that I could go back to the simple time that represents.

Thank you for your article and happy remembering. Sincerely,

Kathie P.
Central MO
April 22, 2002


I remember coming home from the hospital at age 8 after a two-week stay with pneumonia and receiving a paint-by-number kit. I felt very special, as "adults" did these, and I was being trusted with one. Coming from a lower middle class immigrant family, I probably would never have been exposed to "real" paintings, or even just the wonderful smell of the oil paint as one snapped open the lids. I remember the toothpicks I used as stirrers neatly lined up on newspaper, each with its own color coat . . .

April 22, 2002


In the late 50s our family spent our summer vacations at Lake Sunapee in NH. We always shared these vacations with friends. To wile away the rainy and cool days at the lake we would gather around the kitchen table and paint by number. Fall pictures which reminded us of New England were our favorite subjects. When I no longer wanted to have them in my home I gave them to my mother who had them on her walls until recently. It seems so weird that they have become so popular as to be on display in museums.

Patsy Clark
South Lancaster, MA
April 29, 2002


While I helped my mother clean out her home after my father died we found a few of these old kits. Some partially finished, some not even started. She took them with her. When I asked her why these ugly paintings were so popular she said it was just a new fad at the time and everyone wanted them. She went on to say how difficult they were to paint and how little time as a housewife she had to work on them when we kids weren't around to smear them. I do remember going to people's homes and seeing the same pictures on the wall. Whatever made people think these were pretty is beyond me.

May 15, 2002


I worked for the most wonderful man in the world, Max Klein for 4 1/2 years, and he was fascinating when he told his stories about the first Air Shipment to London and when he was introduced at a University as Dr. Klein and had to give a speech on what makes the mind go around when making a painting. The students and faculty were overwhelmed about the knowledge Dr. Klein had and he was invited to Universities all over the world to give his speech. Max spend most of his time in the office or on the road, but he a wonderful wife and 2 good kids, one who is now a real doctor.


Jorge von Holstein
May 15, 2002


Hanging right above me is the painting that my mother did with paint by numbers. It has always hung in our house. My mother painted the snowy scene before she was married. This was in the 50s. As a young girl she would tell me how much she liked paint by number. I was wondering if you know of a way to clean the picture. Someone suggested vinegar and water but I don't want to ruin it. I hung the picture up in my house after my mother passed away in 1999. It gives me peace of mind and a great remembrance of my mother.

Patricia MacLeod
Halifax, Nova Scotia
May 28, 2002

Editor's note: Click here to find guidelines for care of paintings and other heirlooms.



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