What is Diamond Painting? [With 16 Most Common Questions]

What is Diamond Painting - 5D Diamond Painting Kits | Pretty Neat Creative

1. What is diamond painting?

In case you haven’t come across it, diamond painting is one of the fastest trending crafts out there! If you enjoy detail work and bling, this craft might be for you. Similar to paint-by-numbers, diamond painting (or 5D, as it is sometimes called) uses tiny round or square rhinestones on adhesive to create a glittering picture.

2. Where does diamond painting come from?

This precise craft originated in Asia, but is spreading across the world!

3. What makes the gems stick?

The adhesive, which is similar to a layer of strong double-stick tape, is already applied to the preprinted canvas, so all that’s left to do is apply the stones using the tools provided:

  • A setting tool
  • Gum adhesive
  • Drill tray

What is Diamond Painting


The gum adhesive is picked up on the end of the setting tool, and used to pick up the gems one at a time. Since the adhesive on the canvas is stronger, it pops off the gum easily.

what is diamond painting

4. How long does it take to finish a diamond painting?

It depends on how big it is! And of course, how quick you are. I completed a small 3×3” canvas in about an hour, completely focused. Mid-sized kits can take about 10 hours, and large pieces can take upwards of 20 hours! 

5. Does the size matter?

Diamond painting kits can range in size from tiny at 3”x3”, to 8”x10” to huge at over 30”! The larger the picture, the more of a blend of colors there can in the picture, enhancing the effect. This allows for more details! For people familiar with computer images, this is similar to pixelization. It’s the same concept!

 What is Diamond Painting


6. What are drills?

Drills are the tiny gems that make up a diamond painting. There are two kinds:

 What is Diamond Painting 

6.1 Round Drills:

Round drills have a more scattered, glimmery look to them, and tend to be more abstract in their design since the printed picture might show through a little. These are easiest for beginners since there is a bit of room to not have straight lines!

  What is Diamond Painting

6.2 Square Drills

Square drills require a lot of skill as they are lined up perfectly, and almost no printed background shows through. Precise lines are necessary to get the proper effect. However, the finished product is incredibly rewarding and resembles a beautiful mosaic.

7. How big are the diamonds?

Tiny! Roughly 2.5×2.5mm. That’s about the size of the head of a glass ball pin. Here’s a hand for scale. 

8. What are the drills made out of?

They’re made from a high-sheen resin, which is highly pigmented, and colored all the way through for depth. 

9. What is Full Drill/Partial Drill?

There are two kinds of canvases in diamond painting, which determine how much of the image is actually made with the gem drills. 

What is diamond painting 

9.1 Full Drill

This is a canvas in which every bit of color and detail is made with a rhinestone dot. These are my favorite! Each space for a “drill”, or rhinestone, is marked with a coordinating symbol. In this one, all of the spaces are marked. 

9.2 Partial Drill

In a partial drill project, the canvas has been printed with only certain highlights in stone. For example, in this one, only the glass is drilled.

10. What color goes where?

Each drill space on the canvas is marked with a symbol, letter, or other marking. There is a guide along the side to show the corresponding color for each. In some designs with very similar numbers, it can be tricky to tell the difference between them, so take care! Typically diamond painters do one color code at a time for this. 

11. How many gems are in each picture? Do I have to count them?

In most kits, no. The guide on how many gems per color is printed along the side of the canvas. If you add them together you can get the total, just for the satisfaction of knowing, but each kit includes more than enough gems in each color if a few go missing.

12. Can I buy extra drills?

Yes! Occasionally one will go missing, or perhaps you want to create your own pattern. Just contact us with the number of the color you need. Here’s where you can find a whole set of 477 colors on Pretty Neat Creative

$15.88 $11.12

13. What kind of images are made into diamond paintings?

Anything and everything! Animals, landscapes, portraits, the sky’s the limit. There are cute illustrations, and your favorite characters, too. There’s something for everyone! You can even have custom diamond paintings made with your own photographs!

$38.88-$248.88 $23.33-$149.33

14. How do I pick?

That’s up to you! But we do recommend a smaller piece for your first try at diamond painting, just so you can see what the buzz is about!

15. What is the difference between 3D and 5D drills?

3D drills have 3 facets on each side– 9 in total. 5D have 5 facets on each side, 15 in total. The more facets, the more ‘sparkle’ there is on the gem. This is usually used to give depth to the image, and make some parts stand out more or simply to add a bit of interest in large sections of the same color.

What is Diamond Painting 

16. Where can you best work on a diamond painting?

Everyone has their own unique set-up. We offer a few desks and tools for you to try to match your style and comfort. I personally work at my desk, but some people actually take theirs with them as they travel! Since the medium of diamond painting is dry, all that needs to be looked after is the diamonds themselves, which can be easily tamed with small sealable bags.


There’s still a lot to learn about such a new craft like diamond painting, and you have brought us such wonderful questions for this FAQ! We hope we’ve answered them all. If you have any other questions you’d like answered, just leave a comment below!

Take a look at our huge collection of diamond painting and pick what you like!

8 thoughts on “What is Diamond Painting? [With 16 Most Common Questions]

  1. yvonne harveyshea says:

    First time I am doing an squire drill canvas , size 30×40, when I have to insert a drill in between other colors, the row about 3 or 4 pop up and I really have to push them back in place, is this normal?

    • Lyna says:

      Hi Yvonne,
      Thank you for your question. Square drills are harder to do than Round drills a bit but your problem is normal with square drills. Please go to our blogs: “How To Keep Your Square Drills Stay Straight?” and “How to avoid popping issue while diamond painting?” to get more useful tips for you.
      Feel free to ask us if you have any further questions. xx

    • Lyna says:

      Dear Luciana,

      I’m sorry that do you mean you can sell the completed diamond painting or not? Sure, you can sell any completed/ finished picture you’ve done. Many diamond painters bought and completed their projects then sell them. Of course, you can laminate diamond painting when completed.

      Furthermore, we don’t sell finished diamond paintings. We just sell the kit which includes everything that you need to complete a picture (tool/pen/beads/canvas).
      Feel free to ask us if you have more concerns.

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