The Magic Paint (Coats of Paint in the UK version) is a puzzle in Professor Layton and the Last Specter.


US Version

On a square piece of wood with 20 cm sides, a mysterious fellow has painted an interesting design using a brush that is 10 cm wide.

This painter used only one type of paint, but it's quite magical. It starts off pink, as shown in example 1. If the pink is painted over, it turns orange as shown in example 2, and if the orange is painted over, it turns brown as in example 3.

With that in mind, how many brushstrokes did it take to paint this design?

UK Version

Someone has been painting this square board in a rather patchy manner!

The board has sides of 20cm, and the paintbrush is 10cm wide. With every layer of paint, the surface gets darker. The colour code shows the number of layers needed to make each colour.

What is the minimum number of brushstrokes required to get the pattern shown below?


Click a Tab to reveal the Hint.

US Version

If you think about the colors in order, 1, 2, 3, it's not so tricky. Just be careful not to miss any strokes.

UK Version

If you think about how to build up the required layers by adding brushstrokes in order, it's not too tricky.

Just be careful not to miss out any strokes.

US Version

The painter's first step was painting the entire board pink. How many strokes did this take?

UK Version

A good first step would be to paint the whole board once. Try taking it from there.

US Version

The next step would be to paint the lower left and right corners, which would take two strokes, since you can still see some pink between the two orange parts.

That just leaves the brown part...

UK Version

After painting the whole surface once, you could paint the bottom-left and bottom-right corners with a second layer.

In order to leave the centre free, this requires two strokes.

Now there's just the area with the third coat of paint...

US Version

The two brown sections only took one brush stroke. If this is confusing, remember that painting over the pink paint turns it orange and painting over the orange paint turns it brown.

How many total brushstrokes is that?

UK Version

After painting the board as described in the previous hints, the section with three coats of paint would require just one more brushstroke.

So, how many times was that in total?



US Version

Too bad!

Don't forget about the magic paint...

UK Version

Too bad.

Try thinking through each brushstroke in order.


US Version


It took the mysterious fellow only five brushstrokes to paint the design.

Of course, if he didn't have magic paint, it wouldn't be quite so simple.

UK Version

That's it!

Only five brushstrokes are required.


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