Paint nights have become a popular pastime over the last several years. It’s easy to see why: just grab your favorite bottle of booze and a few good friends with whom you can spend the next two to three hours creating a masterpiece (via the assistance of a trained artist). It doesn’t matter if you’ve never graduated past fingerpainting in kindergarten — at paint night, everyone is a skilled artist. Great, right?

If you’re more of a homebody, however, that may not sound like much fun for you. Fortunately, it’s easy to recreate a paint night in the confines of your own home. You can invite whoever you want (even if that’s nobody), work at your own pace without fear of shutting the studio down, and have refreshments on hand in your kitchen already.

Below are three things you’ll need to set up the ultimate at-home paint night experience:

Paint night necessity 1: The tools

An artist can’t create without tools. If you’re a total newbie or haven’t painted much in the past, the highly rated Royal Brush Acrylic Painting Set for Beginners is a good place to start. It includes 10 tubes of paint, two canvas boards, six brushes, and various other tools to help you create your work of art. Everything is included in a convenient wooden storage box.

If you’re beyond that stage, then look to the larger Darice 27-Piece Acrylic Painting Set. It also comes with a handy wooden storage box, but instead has 16 tubes of paint, three brushes, and a Bob Ross-style palette.

Should you need a canvas on which to impress your work (or if beginner boards are too basic), you can buy a pair of Darice Stretched Canvases. They’re available in a range of sizes to accommodate as much or as little real estate as you desire.

canvas painting

Once you have a canvas you’ll have to prop it on something stable. Old hardback encyclopedias won’t really cut it, so instead go for something like the best-selling Ohuhu Aluminum Field Easel. It can extend from 25” to 73” in height so you can either place it on a table or the floor. In case you ever want to take it on the go, a carry bag is included.

Oh, and don’t forget to invest in a decent apron. Alternatively, you can wear old clothes you don’t care about potentially staining with paint.

Paint night necessity 2: The instruction

acrylic revolution nancy reyner

If you opt to have a paint night at home, you’ll be forfeiting realtime instruction from a trained artist. (Unless, you know, you happen to already be one.) However, that doesn’t mean you’ll be totally helpless.

Books are still a popular method for learning new skills or honing existing ones. Plenty of guides for acrylic painting exist. A favorite among Amazon shoppers is Nancy Reyner’s Acrylic Revolution, which highlights over 100 ways artists can harness the power of this versatile medium. Reviews laud its easy-to-understand format, which is what you’d want from an instruction guide.

Are books not interactive enough for you? Try video. We live in an age where you can find almost any how-to-do on YouTube. It’s especially flush with paint tutorials, and best of all, YouTube is free to access, but you’ll possibly be subjected to ads. Bonus points if you’re able to stream YouTube and other content through your large screen HDTV, as that’ll mean not having to hover around a smaller laptop, tablet, or :gasp: smartphone to watch.

Paint night necessity 3: The refreshments

Many times, paint nights are paint and sip nights. The sip refers to an alcoholic beverage, usually wine. Whether you prefer red or white or something totally different, make sure you have the right glassware available…even if it happens to be plastic. For the efficient among us, a drink helmet will keep your hands free so you can focus on what’s important.

wine glasses

What about food? That’s perfectly acceptable. You’ll want fare that is easy to eat while you fixate on those perfect strokes. Stick to finger foods like baked chips, fruits and veggies, or tea sandwiches if you’re feeling particularly fancy.

Remember to have the right wares to prepare and serve your treats; we recommend this set of 4 pastel-colored bowls for optimum at-easel snacking.

Paint night is over…what next?

What do you do with the painting you spent hours toiling over? Ideally you wouldn’t shove it to the back of your bedroom closet. You’ll want to show that hard work off! Clear a space on the wall of your favorite room and hang it up, or gift it to someone special. Find the perfect frame to complement your canvas, and don’t forget the proper hardware required to support it.

Paint nights are a chance for even self-professed non-artists to let their worries go for a few hours and create something that’s unique and meaningful. As famed TV artist Bob Ross once said, “The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it.” Whether you go to a designated studio or settle in the comfort of your own living room, the finished product of whatever you paint will serve as a reminder that when you set your mind to it, you can do anything you want.

Now over to you…

Do you enjoy a good paint night? Would you ever host your own at home? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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