Paint.NET for Windows

  • Free
  • In English
  • Version: 4.2.12

A free painting tool for beginners

Paint.NET is a free drawing and painting software built for personal use and provides a few extra features compared to Microsoft’s Paint 3D. This digital illustration software is ideal for artists that are starting out or still considering if this path is worth taking. Once you’ve used this tool to learn the basics, there are more powerful applications available.

A great way to learn

Paint.NET is a free art software that is ideal for any newcomer who wants to learn about creating digital drawings or paintings and illustrating the ideas they have. Without using dazzling designs or interfaces, you’ll quickly pick up on the basics of computer art.

The software is still being updated despite its old school appearance. It has been adapted to offer support for touchscreen devices and is working towards slowly implementing support for pressure sensitivity, which is a backbone of professionally made art.

While the software is not majorly resource-heavy, it doesn’t have many of the tools that professional programs offer which cause them to use a lot of your computer’s resources. The interface is designed to be learnt quickly without the need for assistance. However, the basics of drawing are not taught within this application.

Pressure sensitivity

If you’re using a graphics tablet or drawing pad for creating art on your computer, you likely realize how important pressure sensitivity is. Without this the lines you create on Paint net lack direction and form, which is acceptable in some forms of art but takes away from the necessary detail that completes it.

Fortunately, the developers are working to implement the feature. Once this option is available, the software becomes more usable by artists of all skill levels.

Layering art

While the program is simple, can support layering on your projects. This tool is useful in avoiding mistakes, tracing already-created pieces, and adding color or transparency to an image.

The layer you’re working on can be deleted or copied without affecting the levels below or above it. Most often this is essential in moving from a sketch into a finished product.

The interface

The Paint.NET Interface is easy to navigate and learn. The design behind the UI is that you can learn it and navigate it without needing to look up a tutorial or guide. If you’re working on multiple images, the interface won’t be any hassle to navigate.

Each tab you open displays a live thumbnail of the image on which you are working. However, the theme of it is outdated and resembles an old Windows program.


Art software doesn’t always work on your computer as the number of details used adds to the need for more resources. However, Paint.NET works on any desktop from a lightweight Notebook to a fully-fledged high-end desktop computer.


When considering an art program, brushes are a major concern. The brushes are simple but when used correctly can deliver great results. However, as mentioned before the lack of pressure sensitivity limits the use of these.


Along with brushes there are several other tools that can be used in your recent Paint.NET download. One of your toolbars on screen contains the most used in its selection.

Among the many tools you have are your painting cursor, two fill tools known as the gradient and paint bucket, magic select, two brush options and an eraser. Along with the other tools, using and becoming familiar with these can aid your creation of digital art.

Undoing mistakes

You’ll often make mistakes when creating art. Fortunately Paint.NET’s undo button has no limitations on how often you can press it. This differs from Krita’s undo history which requires you to manually set the stack limit or use the small handful you’re provided with by default.

Updating process

The developers of this software have set up a Paint.NET automatic updater that will activate whenever a new version has recently been released. All you’re required to do is accept the process with a few clicks of your mouse.


Paint.Net may not be your first choice when deciding which art studio to pick for creating images on your computer. Fortunately, there are many alternatives that cater to every need you have.

Krita is currently one of the best free digital art alternatives available. This software is powerful, supports multiple layers and effects, offers an in-depth color wheel, and has the option to import or export pictures while working on a project. This is also one of the few free programs that can be used professionally.

ArtRage is a beautifully designed tool that offers a lot of customization for its canvas and brushes. It is also one of the most life-like painting software available currently with brushes for painting with oil, rollers, pencils, crayons, and many more.

Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard for computer-generated art and photo editing. As it’s oriented for professional use, newcomers may have a learning curve, but as it is one of the most recognized there are benefits to learning it early on.

Affinity Designer is a remarkable tool that’s known for its precision. The software is highly intuitive and can transform the way you work. It is however not recommended for someone that is only trying out digital art for the first time.

Creating a masterpiece

This software is far from being an industry standard, but for basic home use or aspiring digital artists, it’s a great place to start. The interface is well designed, there are enough essential tools to get you started, and there is support for using multiple layers on a single file.

The developers are continually improving the tools available and are working towards adding support for pressure-sensitive graphics tablets and drawing pads. The process to receive the benefits are handled through the automatic updater.


  • Supports multiple layers
  • Well-designed interface
  • Unlimited history log
  • Many filters and effects


  • No pressure sensitivity support
  • Slow response when using a tablet
  • Not a professional tool
  • Certain tools have limited functionality

Top downloads Graphic & Design for windows



Paint.NET 4.2.12 for PC

User reviews about Paint.NET

  • Dan Schaller

    by Dan Schaller

    I've used it for years. It's as powerful as the Adobe products with as large a user database and with hundreds of add-ons if necessary.More

  • Tamisha Joyner

    by Tamisha Joyner

    It was a fast simple download, and the way it popped up so quick and ready, love it so far.

  • Scott H

    by Scott H

    works great quick and ez.once you get used to it, it's a piece of cake .

  • Ric Lotek

    by Ric Lotek

    It's free and it does nearly all of the things that Photoshop does

  • Boris Brković

    by Boris Brković


  • Horace Oakley

    by Horace Oakley

    My absolute $1 Favorite for sure! fast easy with all the tools I need

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