Paint-by-Number Paris Street Scene – DIY

First of all, I want to thank everyone who made a comment on my Flower Garden Quilt Quandary. After reading all the comments (most of which politely suggested that I am crazy to take this quilt apart), and looking over the quilt again, I have decided to keep the set the way the quilter intended. I evened up the edges, and will add the flowers I removed, together with about 20 I’ll need to sew from vintage fabric, to make the quilt two rows wider.  Thank you so much for your great advice.

Now to the paint-by-number I’ve been working on all this week.

Paint-by-number kits were very popular when I was young, and I really wanted one, being someone who liked coloring books and was generally a “stay-in-the-lines” type of colorer. Unfortunately, I was a little too young, and it was my older sister who got the cool oil paint set in the real wood case, as well as a paint-by-number kit. Neither of us remember what the picture was, but I definitely remember being envious.

So, last week on Etsy there was this great paint-by-number picture from a kit produced in 1953, but I didn’t want to buy it — I wanted to paint it.  And I figured out a way to do it.

Paint-by-Number Reproduction
Palmer Paints, Inc., 1953
Suburb De Paris
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2013

Here’s what I did:

  • Enlarged and straightened the picture in Photoshop (mine is about 18″ x 20″)
  • Saved it as a Photoshop pdf and tile printed it in Acrobat on a color laser printer
  • Trimmed the pages and carefully Mod-Podged them to a piece of foam board – let dry
  • Brushed several more layers of Mod-Podge on top of the picture – let dry
  • Lightly sanded the Mod-Podge which made the paint stick better
  • Used acrylic paints and small to medium brushes to paint in the colors
  • Brushed another layer of Mod-Podge over the finished painting
  • Went to Goodwill and got a cheap frame which I cut down and spray painted
  • Hung up my new picture

Of course, there are no numbers in my technique — I just tried to match the colors on the image.  Seriously, this was a lot of fun, and I found a photo of a companion painting that is just as cute, but has the Eiffel Tower in it.

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