Full Drill Vs. Partial Drill - What's the Difference?

The DIY art, diamond painting, is taking over the crafting club's hobby stream rapidly! Diamond painting is a painting with tiny crystals called resins or diamonds as well as drills. Resins are very small in size. This unique art form originated in Asia almost a decade ago but has gained much fame recently during the pandemic. Diamond painting is a highly relaxing activity, and it gives adequate stress-free time for the mind to soothe.

What is a Diamond Drill?

Let us first sneak into a basic terminology in the world of diamond painting; Diamond drill.

Diamond Painting

The diamond drill is simply a synonym for the diamond gems that will be positioned on your canvas. They are the diamond beads that create the picture on the canvas. There are two types of drills, round & square. Round drills are circular diamonds that are easier to handle, and they don't completely cover the canvas.

Square drills are squared in shape and are the choice of most experts since square drills require precision in placing them on the canvas. A slight mistake can cause misalignment. A square drill gives the mosaic effect to the paintings, whereas round drills are eminent for their cross-stitching impact.

If you have met a diamond painter, you must have heard them tête-à-tête about a full drill and partial drill. Since we have now understood the types of diamond drills, we can move on to the difference between a full drill and a partial drill.

Full Drill Vs. Partial Drill - Differences

Full vs Partial Drill

What is a Full Drill?

In full-drill diamond painting, the canvas is entirely covered with diamond resins. As a result, the painting area of the canvas is not even one percent visible – it's diamonds all over! Thus this gives the more filled and sparkly effect with an appealing result.

What is a Partial Drill?

A partial-drill diamond painting covers only a portion of the canvas. The uncovered portion is the background. It can be a solid textured background or can also be printed with detail to match the image, and you only have to put diamonds on the area with the signs. Newcomers in the diamond painting club tend to begin with a partial drill to practice and enrich their skills before moving to the full drill.

Let us dig into some more differences between full & partial drills.

NOTE: All of our regular diamond painting kits are full-drill unless otherwise mentioned in the description of products.

All of the special diamond painting kits are partial drill unless otherwise mentioned in the description of products.

Expertise level

A full drill diamond painting involves a lot of details and focus. It is used mainly by intermediate or pro-level diamond artists, whereas partial drills are more famous with beginners as they give them a good start.

Emphasis Difference

In a partial drill, the main focus is on one object which bags the spotlight, the rest of the canvas is the printed background. The emphasis on one object, such as a specific character, design, or animal, gives the diamond painting a centric look.

In a full drill kit, there is no focal point. The whole canvas is filled with shimmery beads.

Sealing Methods

Full Drill kits are sealed all over the canvas, whether you use spray seal or brush-on sealers.

Seal your diamond Painting

Partial drills are sealed only where the diamonds are pasted. There is no need to seal the empty background of the diamond painting kit. You can learn more about diamond painting sealing methods.


Since the whole canvas is filled with diamonds, the full-drill canvas becomes taut. As compared to full drill kits, the canvas of the partial drill kits is not tight, and the diamonds have more room to wiggle.

Popping Diamond Drills

In full drill kits, diamonds are closely packed, so there is a chance that diamonds may pop out or lap over each other.

In partial drills, the chances of diamonds popping out are less as there is more space for the diamonds to wiggle.

Use of Roller

Using Roller on diamond Painting

It is necessary to use a roller in full drill kits after finishing the project to keep the diamonds fixed. In a partial drill, it is recommended but not compulsory.

Storage of Diamond painting

If you are not framing the diamond painting for now and want to store it by rolling, then partial drill kits are easier to roll.

When rolling a full-drill canvas, you will have to be careful as the drills might pop out, and you can't roll it tightly. So it is recommended to lay it flat in any cardboard box for storing.

Full Drill or Partial Drill - Which is Time-Consuming?

A full drill consumes more time as we have to stick more beads on the painting to fill the canvas. In contrast to it, a partial drill doesn't take much time to complete. Choose a partial drill kit if you can't take out much time from your schedule.

Different Types of Diamonds in Full Drill & Partial Drill Kits

Square or Round Drills

A full drill kit may have square or round beads, whereas most of the partial drill kits have the shiniest round drills.

Square vs Round Drill diamond painting

Special Diamonds in Partial Drill Kits

Special diamond drills have various shapes like a teardrop, leaf, bead shape, etc. Special-shaped DPs are always found in partial drill kits. These special diamonds have leveled up the diamond painting game by making mandala art, birds,floral art.

Neon Diamonds in Partial Drill Kits

Glow in the dark diamond painting kits use neon diamonds that glow in the dark. So your artwork glows and glimmers. You can have two different versions of the same painting - with & without light!

The glow of these diamond paintings is such that even a beginner will get praiseworthy looks from everyone.

3D, 5D and AB Diamonds in Full Drill Kits

A full drill diamond kit may employ the combination of 3D and 5D diamond drills. Not just that, AB diamonds are also used in specific areas of full drill kits to give that space more glow. AB diamonds are Aurora Borealis diamonds having a shinning coating on them giving a sparkling effect.

Full Drill or Partial Drill - What to Choose?

If you are a beginner, you should go for a partial drill as they are less-pricey and can be completed in less time. And while there is a misconception that only a beginner chooses a partial drill kit, the truth is special kits and Glow in the dark kits can be done by both beginner or pro-level artists. Full drill kits have their own charm, and the level of satisfaction after finishing a full drill DP is a motivational force for artists to choose full drill kits.