Below are some of the most common questions we have with Diamond Dot Paintings. If you can't find the answer to your question please contact us.

Questions about diamond painting

What is a Diamond Painting Kit?

Kits come with everything you need to make the painting. You will receive all the dots you need for your kit, a tray, wax, a basic pen. Sometimes you may receive small ziplock bags or tweezers.

What is a drill?

A drill is the small plastic or resin diamonds which we attach to our canvas. Just to make life confusing, they are also known as: gems, gemstones, beads, crystals, rhinestones, 5D rhinestones, 5D diamond painting rhinestones, drills, diamond drills, 5D diamond drills, 3D diamond drills diamond painting tiles, diamond embroidery beads, diamond dots, resin gemstones, acrylic drills, resin drills, special drills.

What is a “sparkly drill” diamond painting kit?

Not every space has a dot. The dots are sparkly like rhinestones

What is a “full drill” diamond painting kit?

Every space has a dot. Dots have a glitz but dots are not like rhinestones.

What is a “partial drill” diamond painting kit?

Some spaces have a dot. Usually the background will not have dots, sometimes the eye of the animal will not have dots. Dots have a glitz but dots are not like rhinestones.

What types of drills are there?

There are mainly two types of drills – the special sparkly drills which look a bit like rhinestones, and the resin acrylic drills which you will find in the full drill and partial drill kits.

The special sparkly drills which look a bit like rhinestones are my personal favourite and you will tend to see a lot of these in my store. Some of them have an Aurora Borealis coating which gives a pearly effect that changes colour as you move it.

These drills are usually supplied with the kit you order – it is difficult to get spares of these kinds of drills. For this reason I suggest you always keep any leftovers – you might want to use them in another kit in place of another colour, you might run out of that colour with another kit and need a few more, you might want to drizzle a few through a full drill just to give it a bit more zing.

The resin acrylic drills have a glitz to them but they are not like rhinestones. They will shimmer in the light. They are available in 445 different colour shades in colour codes known as DMC numbers.

Plus there are resin acrylic drills which which have a pearlescent coating on them. These are known as "pearly" or
"AB" drills. (AB for Aurora Borealis)

What is a DMC number?

DMC (Dollfus-Mieg and Company) is a French company that started in the year 1746. They created the cross stitch thread numbering system.

In fact many of the first diamond painting kits were cross stitch designs converted to diamond painting kits. I can order spare drill sets in the 445 colours for anyone who wants them, you can have two bags per colour or five bags per colour, check with me for pricing on that.

What are Diamond Dotz?

Diamond Dotz is a specific brand of Diamond Dots – they use their own numbering system which is not DMC codes.

We do stock some of the Diamond Dotz kits in the store and the selection changes over time.

What’s the difference between square and round drills?

It is simply the shape of the diamond you apply to your kit. Square drills seem to be something people either love working with or hate working with. I recommend everyone tries a square drill kit and see whether or not you like doing them. It is a personal choice.

Round drill kits are a lot easier because you don’t have to line all the drills up exactly, it generally doesn’t matter so much where you put your dots with a round drill kit.

Most of my dotters prefer round drill kits so that is what I specialise in. Our family factory also specialise in round drills – and sparkly drills – so that works out well for us. I can source square drill kits from a different factory and will do that for you if you prefer square drills.

What’s the difference between partial and full drill?

With a partial drill kit most of the design will have dots but there will be places where the design is painted onto the canvas and is not intended to have dots in that area. This might be because the design in that area is too small or too detailed to look good with dots on it, or it might be like a white background where it would be a lot of white dots. Some people prefer not to have to do a lot of one colour.

With a full drill kit every space on the kit will have a dot. This can sometimes mean you get 11,000 black dots like The Radan Owl kit we have!

What is a “wip”?

WIP stands for “Work In Progress” – there will be many abbreviations in diamond dotting that you might not know what they are. Just ask us if you are not sure, we will add them to our FAQ 🙂

What do you use to store the drills?

I personally use the 56 compartment containers to store my personal drills. Most of my personal drills are sparkly drills. Most of my customers love the rainbow container set but I love the clear ones. As with everything, to each their own. 🙂

For the business, I have six of the 60 compartment storage container draws available from Spotlight. I printed labels with two or four colours per drawer. I can order spare drill sets in the 445 colours for anyone who wants them, you can have two bags per colour or five bags per colour, check with me for pricing on that.

Diamond painting & troubleshooting

What is the best size painting to do?

Some paintings only come in the one size – this particularly applies to the sparkly drill kits. But with most full drill kits, our factory is able to make them larger for you.

We can print kits right up to 75×120 size. If the painting is very detailed bigger is always going to be the best option. If you are not sure what size kit to order talk to us and we’ll figure it out together.

How to store drills while you are working on a project?

Some people use the IKEA bag sealing clips to reseal the original bags the dots come in while they are working on a kit – we usually have some of these spare in the studio if you need them.

Some folks “kit up” their kit which is put all the dots into containers with either the number or the symbol or both all ready to go. I like to use the containers from the 56 compartment container as they are divided into lots of 4 so they are easy to take with me to markets etc.

Where do you start? Do you do sections or one colour all over then next colour?

This is another to each their own question. 🙂 Some people prefer to start in the top corner and work their way across or down and they will change colours regularly to do sections. Also if you are doing a very large kit like our Geisha kit it will be easier to work in sections.

Others prefer to pick one colour and apply that one colour to the entire kit, then work on the next colour. If you are going to work this way make sure to keep track of your leftover dots because usually when you get to the end of the kit you will find you missed some dots and have to go back and fill them in.

We have a special spotter in our studio named Sarah who can look at any kit – sparkly or full drill – and see any dots you have missed when you think you have finished. She always finds at least one!

How do I get the drills to line up straight and right side up in the tray?

You can give the tray a shake from side to side to make them line up better in the tray. I do find this slightly easier with the tray holder as the g-forces seem to work better for me with it.

What can I do if I don’t have enough of some of the dots?

If you got the kit from us let us know and we will get you more dots. Usually I have plenty of spares here. If it is a DMC code and we are out of stock of that number it may take some time for us to get them shipped over.

How can I make the canvas sticky again?

The more important question is how did the canvas become not sticky in the first place. There is only one thing that should ever touch the glue on your canvas and that is the diamond dot you are sticking to it. If you touch the glue with your hands oil from your hands will make the glue less sticky. It is important to never touch the canvas.

Should the canvas become less sticky you can try using baby wipes to clean it, sometimes this will solve the problem.

Having said that there are occasions where the kit has been sitting in the factory for a while and the glue becomes less sticky. If that ever happens to one of our canvas return it to us and we will swap it for a new one if we have it in stock or give you a store credit if we do not have it.

We can fix it here in house – and you can fix it on a kit you did not get from us – by using the Selleys Kwik Grip spray but this is not something we would want to give to a customer once we’ve fixed it as it does become harder to work with the canvas afterwards. Those kits tend to become display kits for us.

How do you clean a white background made dirty by your hand?

Baby wipes are a magical tool for diamond painters – having seen what they can do there is no way I would let them near the delicate parts of my baby if I had one lol! 😉 You can use them to wipe the canvas clean – if you get paper stuck to your canvas it will remove that, too.

How can I remove paper stuck to my canvas ?

Baby wipes are a magical tool for diamond painters. If you get paper stuck to your canvas it will remove it. The glue may feel not sticky for a short time, but the sticky will return.

What is the best way to stop dots tipping over when you bump the green tray?

We created a tray holder to place your tray into which protects it from tipping. You can find them under Tray Holders.

How to straighten beads up when rows go on crooked .

You can get a correction tool – we have two versions – one we print ourselves in the mancave.

Should I take the plastic off my diamond painting before I start?

You should only ever expose the area of the kit you are working on. Some kits will have cellophane plastic, others will have wax backed paper.

Is there a wrong way to put the paper or plastic on?

YES there is – if you put the cellophane the wrong side up you will absolutely know about it when you try to take it back off again. To prevent this happening we stick our price label onto the cellophane so you can know which is the right way up.

If you put the paper up the wrong way it will stick to the glue and you will need to use a baby wipe to clean it off.

How do you stop pet hair sticking to your diamond dot kit?

Unfortunately there is no good answer to this question. The glue is sticky and anything in the area that might attach to it probably will attach to it. Fibres, pet hair, I have even had small flying bugs land in my glue on a hot summer night and there is no way to remove them and keep them alive sadly – it is like a glue trap for them.

The best thing you can do is keep as much of the kit covered other than the area you are working on. On the edges of a full drill kit you might like to use Washi tape to protect the glue edges there.

If you get hair, dust, fur, or flying creatures on an area you have not dotted yet you can use a baby wipe to remove it – the kit will lose stickiness for a short time after you do this but the sticky will return.

If you get hair in areas that you have dotted, a pair of tweezers might help you to remove the hairs.

What do people use leftover beads/dots for?

There are a wide variety of uses for leftover beads and dots. Here are just a few –

  • save your leftover dots in case you run out of them when doing another kit in the future
  • use them to decorate your tray holder that you buy from us – you can use superglue or glue dots to stick them on easily
  • order a custom name tag from us with your name on it, it comes with circles showing you where to put your dots and also double sided tape already applied to attach your dots to.
  • use them in card making or other arts and crafts
  • glue them to wooden things you can buy at Spotlight or Bunnings
  • glue them to coasters

How to find extra hours in the day when diamond painting addiction takes over everything else ??

There are several options to find more time. You can build your own Delorean time machine, you can find a sparkly vampire to change you so that you don’t need to sleep anymore.. 🙂

What tools of the trade do I need

This is going to differ for each person and how they like to work. Here is a basic list of things you might find useful to have on hand –

Tray holder – well we invented this and find it very useful in the studio but I recommend it because it is not until you spill your dots all over your uncovered canvas that you truly know the pain of making that mistake. And it can still happen with a tray holder – my cat knocked a tray holder off a studio table last week and I spent 20 minutes on the carpet picking up those dots. it was my fault, the tray holder was too close to the edge of the table.

Pen – everyone likes to use their own favourite pen. Some people collect pens. We do have a small range of pens available but that range by no means is even a tiny amount of all the kinds of pens available out there in the world!

Faulty drill pot – Here in the studio we use small bowls from IKEA to put faulty drills into. I like the IKEA KALAS bowls for this purpose – they are microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and very handy to have omn hand for all manner of things including to use as a faulty dot pot.

Rubbish Bowl – We also like to use the KALAS as a rubbish bowl but I prefer to keep the rubbish separate from the drills as much of the rubbish is plastic and can be recycled with your normal recycling.

Light – Light is important – it all comes down to what works best for you. Light boards are great to use under a kit – we do sometimes have them in stock. Lighting in the room is quite important too.

Straightening tool – some folks use an old credit card, we have two different designs of the correction tool in our store – one is printed in house by us, the other comes from the factory in China. You can use these in two ways – you can use it as a ruler while dotting where you hold it on the line and place your dots straight up against it, or you can use it to push the dots once you have placed them – sometimes depending on the kind of glue the ruler option is the most effective choice.

Tweezers – Always handy when you have to remove a dot but also very handy for the sparkly drill kits as some of those drills are harder to pick up with the pen.

Baby Wipes – essential for cleaning dust, dirt, hair etc from the glue and can also be used to remove paper from the canvas if you accidentally stick it to the glue.

How to display your works of art

Do you put anything on pictures once they are finished to “seal” them?

This question is one of those touchy subjects among diamond painters. Everyone has their own process and their own way of doing things – there is no wrong answer. I can only answer with my opinion which is – No I do not put anything on to seal a picture. I’ve never had a dot fall off yet and I’ve got pictures that are several years old.

I did once try sealing a notebook with mod podge spray – it did not go very well, it dulled the sparkle of my dots. But that might entirely be due to my skill level or the mod podge I used or the weather or a zillion other things that could affect the outcome. So I don’t do sealing.

I put my kits in a cellophane bag to protect them from the elements and dust as my kits often go to markets as display kits or are on display in the studio. You can get cellophane bags from most art stores or “dollar stores” in Australia.

How can you frame them?

What I do is block mount my kits onto the same white melamine coated MDF we use to make our tray holders. We have a video course in how to do block mounting online for those who are extra crafty. We do offer a block mounting service for kits here done by the mancave guru about once a month, but there are limited spaces for this service (contact us for pricing). For block mounted canvas we glue a small catch on the back to allow for easy hanging.
An alternative is to use those larger frames that have the cardboard inner frame, this cardboard can be cut to fit your canvas and then use some spray glue to fix the canvas to the backboard behind the cardboard frame. Done right this does work well.

Do I need glass in my frames?

You can leave the glass in the frames if there is enough space – try to find a frame with a large enough gap for the size drills you have.

IKEA makes a decent range of frames with at least a centimetre between where the kit sits and the front of the frame which is perspex.

Kmart have some decent frames as well but they do not tend to have that extra space for the larger drills. Definitely a normal full drill kit will go fine into their frames.

What is block mounting?

Block mounting is the process of mounting or sticking any print or poster to a solid backing board which allows you to hang your artwork or stand it on a shelf with a frame-free finish. This is an affordable alternative to framing your picture.

Posters can be block mounted on a number of mediums including MDF (medium density fibreboard), foam board or a variety of polyurethane boards. Here we use White Line MDF – white melamine coated MDF – which you can source at your local Bunnings.

We do have an online video course in how to block mount – this is a valuable skill you can learn and once you know how to do it, it is like riding a bike, you will always be able to do it.

Can I frame my works of art?

You can also put them in a frame but you may find some of the special drills a bit more difficult as they often have taller drills than a frame will allow for.

IKEA makes a decent range of frames with at least a centimetre between where the kit sits and the front of the frame which is perspex. Kmart have some decent frames as well but they do not tend to have that extra space for the larger drills. Definitely a normal full drill kit will go fine into their frames.

We have mounted kits into frames for people and we can do that if you are local – bit more tricky if you are some distance away and we need to post it if the frame is glass and it might get scratched in transit so we would not risk that – better to go with block mounting for postage.

What glue do you use to stick the dot painting to the melamine?

We use Selleys Kwik Grip spray to stick our canvas to the melamine – you can find this at Bunnings or Supercheap Auto or most hardware stores. We find this to be the most effective glue – we have tried most of them.

What thickness is the melamine?

The melamine thickness tends to range between 3mm to 3.2mm.