Diamond Art Painting is a relatively new craft but fast exploding in popularity. There are sellers from all over the world offering diamond art kits — which can make it hard to know where to buy.
Choosing the right kit isn’t only a matter of money well spent. Completing a diamond painting takes several hours, depending on the size and whether it’s full or partial drill (as we explain below). You don’t want to spend that time only to be disappointed.
Take it from this customer, who discovered Diamond Art Club (DAC) after other, less than satisfying experiences:
“... too many people are spoiled by AliExpress and the lower quality canvases that sell cheaply. Once I started doing the canvases from DAC I questioned why I should waste time, and money, buying these canvases from some of these other AliExpress stores and being disappointed 90% of the time. You most definitely get what you pay for, both good and bad.”
Let’s explore exactly what it means to get what you pay for in diamond art.
The Top Problems with Diamond Art Kits
What do you get when you buy low quality diamond art kits? There are a handful of consistent problems with cheap diamond painting brands.
- Partial-drill disappointments: Customers often don’t realize that a low-priced diamond art painting is only partial drill, a much cheaper form of diamond art.
- Poor quality diamonds: Cheap diamond art kits are typically low cost because the rhinestones are low quality. The diamond colors don’t match the picture, aren’t vibrant or tasteful. Sometimes the kit is missing diamonds, or the diamonds are defective.
- Cheap-looking canvas: Diamond art kit sellers often cut costs in producing the canvas. This is a real problem in a partial drill kit when the exposed canvas looks cheap/low-resolution. Even in a full drill kit, canvas quality matters because a cheap fabric won’t smooth out. And without a smooth canvas, the diamonds won’t stay in place. Not to mention, no one wants a wrinkled canvas on their wall!
- Glue that doesn’t stick: Low-end diamond art kits come with glue sometimes described as “oily”. It’s frustrating to use because the diamonds don’t easily adhere to the canvas or stay put.
- Poor instructions: Buyers of cheap diamond art kits often say the instructions are missing, poor or not in readable English. Sometimes the legend with color codes is inaccurate, so you can’t match the diamonds to the canvas.
- The canvas size isn’t as advertised: Many buyers are surprised that the canvas they receive isn’t as large as what’s depicted online. Amazing, but common with cheaper diamond art kits!
Because of these issues, cheap diamond art kits can be frustrating or impossible to complete. Worse, the finished product can look nothing like the advertised image!
Let’s look more closely at each of these problems by going straight to Amazon.com to get the unfiltered scoop from real buyers.
Why Amazon? While AliExpress is another mass seller, often the reviews there are international and even with Google translation, hard to understand. If you can’t judge a diamond art kit by its reviews, buyer beware!
Partial Drill Diamond Art — Less Expensive, but Far Less Beautiful
Full drill diamond art paintings are designed to be covered with diamonds from edge to edge. Partial drill paintings use diamonds as accents on parts of the printed canvas.
If you know you’re buying a partial drill painting, you may not be disappointed. The problem is that many buyers seem unaware. They don’t realize the kit advertised at a lower cost is cheaper because they’re getting a fraction of the diamonds.
Take this buyer, for example, who says the diamond kit purchased was advertised as having gems that cover the whole picture.
These partial drill disappointments are all-too-common!
And yes, you do get what you pay for in diamond art.
Cheap Diamond Art Often Means Poor Quality Diamonds
The whole point of 5D diamond art is the diamonds! Are we right?
You want the rhinestones to enhance the painting — to make it sparkle and shine with color. But if the diamonds are cheap, the whole effect will be wrong.
Sometimes the resin diamond colors just don’t look natural, as in this buyer’s experience.
And what if your “diamonds” have no facets to sparkle? With some kits, it’s an all-too-common issue.
Cheap diamond art sellers also get a lot of complaints for misleading descriptions, as in this case where the diamonds were advertised as square but came as round.
Just as disappointing, some kits don’t arrive with the full range of diamond colors advertised. Here we learn that the diamond colors don’t match the code and instead of being vibrant, are all greys and browns.
This poor reviewer not only got a kit with diamonds that don’t match the painting — they were also mislabelled, and some colors were missing. (Plus, a mostly blue deer?)
Kits with missing diamonds are a frequent complaint on Amazon. Once you start reading reviews, it’s one of the biggest issues with cheaper diamond art.
But it gets worse! In the case of this review, the diamond drills were visibly pockmarked!
And here we learn that the “resins” (aka diamonds) came stuck together and deformed — not useable!
Yet again, gems stuck in clumps make diamond art painting impossible!
This reviewer had multiple problems with her diamond painting purchase! Notice the instructions led her to apply the wrong diamond colors. That’s not an easy problem to fix and her whole project went to waste.
Clearly, the quality of the diamonds makes all the difference! You aren’t getting a deal on a diamond art kit if the diamonds don’t enhance the painting.
If Your Diamond Art Kit is Cheap, the Canvas May Look It!
Just like low quality diamonds, low quality canvases can lead to a lot of frustration.
Cheap canvases are stiff instead of soft, and that means creasing! It’s extremely difficult to work on a craft as precise as diamond art when there are folds in the canvas. The flat underside of a resin diamond just won’t adhere unless the canvas is smooth.
And who wants to wait weeks to flatten their canvas and start their project? Not us!
Just look at the end result of this finished diamond painting on the left! Among other issues, the canvas folds are so deep it looks rippled!
The quality of the printed background (or painting) really matters. If the design isn’t printed in high-res, it can end up looking like a blur. This is particularly apparent with partial drill paintings in which most of the art is canvas without diamond mosaic.
We think the reviewer’s advice above speaks volumes: “low-res image = don’t buy”. Enough said.
Cheap Glue Ruins Diamond Art Paintings
Without getting too technical, many diamond art kit makers use an inexpensive, simple technique for adding glue to the canvas. It’s called “pasting” and the process results in a weak adhesive.
How does cheap glue affect the crafting experience and finished result?
This reviewer complains that the “crystals” keep popping off or sliding out of place. Imagine the frustration!
If your glue is more oily than sticky, you know you have a cheap diamond art kit. No one should have to weigh down the drills to keep them in place.
Diamonds that don’t stick will never make a diamond art painting!
You shouldn’t have to worry that your finished diamond painting will fall apart once hung. But it’s a real issue with cheap kits!
In short? If your diamonds don’t stick, the kit wasn’t really a deal.
Cheap Diamond Art Instructions Are Often Frustrating
Along with poor printing of canvases can come poor printing of the legend.
The legend is the chart with codes (symbols or letters) that correspond to the diamonds sent in your kit. It lets you know where to place diamonds by color.
If the legend can’t be read, your diamond painting won’t look as intended!
It shouldn’t be this hard to figure out the diamond color codes!
We’re not sure what went wrong with these diamond art instructions!
When the symbols on the canvas don’t match the symbols on the legend, it’s a cheap diamond art kit!
Diamond painting is a time investment. If you save a few dollars on a cheaper kit but end up wasting hours because of poor instructions, it’s just not worth it!
Low Quality Diamond Paintings Aren’t Always the Size Advertised
This common complaint seems too bad to be true. Even if the quality is poor, the dimensions should be accurate, right? Well, not always.
In many reviews of diamond art kits on Amazon, we find that buyers received paintings that were either smaller than described or smaller than made to appear in the images.
For example, 11x11 is quite a bit smaller than 14x14!
In this case, we can only imagine the advertised art (now removed) was pictured with a sofa. This buyer thought her diamond art would be huge, but it’s far too small to hang where she imagined.
Whether it’s really false advertising, we can’t be sure. But buyers of these cheap diamond art kits certainly feel that way!
How can diamond painting sellers get away with this?
It could be a difference in the definition of canvas size. Your diamond art canvas always has a printed canvas pasting area (the part that you’ll cover with diamonds and ultimately display) and a white surrounding border, sometimes with the color legend. .So, there’s a larger area and a smaller area.
At Diamond Art Club, we list the smaller pasting area as the painting size.
Other diamond painting sellers essentially cheat by advertising the entire canvas size, even though you’ll never see the outer area.
In one case, we read the fine print on another seller’s Amazon listing and noticed a suspicious disclaimer. It said that the actual canvas dimensions may vary due to “manual measurement”. Hmmmmmm.
That’s just not fair. At the very least, you should get the size you pay for!
Cheap Diamond Art Kits Just Don’t Look Like the Picture
Diamond art kits can fail because of false advertising, poor quality or a sad combination.
Whether the canvas is partial drill when you expected full drill, small when you expected large… whether it’s creased, the glue doesn’t hold, the instructions are bad, or the diamonds poorly made, there’s only one thing that matters: your finished work won’t resemble what you thought you were buying.
We feel for these unhappy diamond art painters!
“Not even close to the pics” is saying something!
A “4th grade art project” is not what this diamond painter hoped for!
And you certainly don’t want a diamond painting that “looks as if a 5 year old colored it with markers”!
Diamond art should never look “like pixels”... and you should always be able to tell what it’s supposed to look like.
Get the Quality Diamond Art You Pay For — At Diamond Art Club
Now that you’ve seen and heard just how bad diamond art kits can get, we have good news! You don’t have to gamble when you buy from Diamond Art Club.
When we created our kits, we set a new standard in quality for the diamond art hobby: softer, crease-free canvases, higher-quality color printing, more sparkly diamonds and glue that holds fast!
We’ve also made our instructions and legends ultra-clear and easy-to-follow, so your diamond art painting experience is fun — not frustrating!
The result? Diamond art paintings that look even more gorgeous than you envisioned.
And we stand behind our quality. You can reach out anytime with questions, comments or suggestions. Our aim is to make you a long-term diamond art painter who falls more in love with the craft with each painting!
Discover your next masterpiece from our huge selection of top-quality diamond art kits.