DNA Painter Review: Tools To Help You Find Relatives?

Written by Samantha Odake, BS | Last updated:


  1. Products: DNA analysis for genealogy and family tree construction.
  2. Cost: DNA Painter offers a limited free membership, and a subscription service for $55 for 12 months.
  3. Reports: Genealogy reports.
  4. Raw data access: DNA Painter does not offer DNA tests and does not have access to users’ raw genetic files.
  5. Privacy: DNA Painter claims not to share personal information with third parties.
  6. Alternatives: SelfDecode – a health-focused DNA testing company that offers personalized recommendations.


  • Many of DNA Painter’s tools are available for free.
  • DNA Painter uses information from other genetic testing companies to help users discover new familial relationships.
  • DNA Painter presents their results in interactive charts.


  • DNA Painter does not offer genetic testing and requires users to have their DNA tested with other companies.
  • Because it is a genealogy-focused company, they do not offer any health recommendations.
  • For more accurate results, DNA Painter might require users to upload genetic results from multiple relatives.

About DNA Painter

DNA Painter was created in 2018 by Jonny Perl, a DNA enthusiast and web developer from London. After taking his first DNA test, he decided to develop a tool to help him understand his results.

The company aims to help users expand on their DNA test results by providing graphical representations and discovering possible new relationships.

Review of DNA Painter Products & Features

For clarification, DNA Painter offers some definitions:

  • Match refers to a person that shares enough DNA to be included in a user’s match list provided by genetic testing companies.
  • Segment is a sequence within a chromosome that is shared with a DNA match.
  • Centimorgans (cM) is a unit of measure used to describe the size of a DNA match segment. Centimorgans are calculated statistically, and the higher the shared cM, the more closely related two people are.
  • Cluster is a set of DNA matches who all share DNA.

DNA Painter does not offer a DNA test and does not accept a raw genetic file upload. To get started, users have to upload their genetic files to websites such as GEDmatch, MyHeritage, and FamilyTreeDNA. Then, they have access to the segment data that can be uploaded to DNA Painter.

With this segment information, the company allows users to ‘paint’ their DNA. By entering shared DNA amounts on DNA Painter, relationships can be predicted.


This tool helps with the visualization of family lines in the form of a family tree or a color-coded fanned-out view. To use this feature, users need names of some ancestors or they can import an existing family tree.

The Shared cM Tool

An interactive tool that shows probable relationships based on centimorgans shared. Users input the length of DNA that they share with other people to find out how they may be related.

What Are The Odds (WATO)

The WATO tool figures out how someone might fit into an existing family tree. Users enter the amount of DNA shared with family members and hypotheses on where they might fit in that tree.

Cluster Auto Painter

The Cluster Auto Painter creates a chromosome map from DNA match clusters.

Inferred Segment

This DNA Painter tool tells you the segments that you do not share with a DNA match.

CM Estimator

The CM estimator approximates the number of centimorgans in a segment of DNA based on its chromosome, start, and end position.

Cluster Formatter

This tool extracts data from tables and converts it to an editable file that can be manipulated by users.

The Individual Match Filter

The Individual Match Filter helps users filter out segments below a certain size. The information obtained can be used with other DNA Painter’s tools.

Chromosome Mapping

With Chromosome Mapping, users can find out which parts of their DNA were inherited from a specific ancestor.

Review of DNA Painter Reports

DNA Painter tools help users explore their DNA results, build their family tree, and find new familial relationships. If you want to learn how to use DNA Painter, the company provides many tutorials on their website.

With the Tree feature, users can visualize their family line in a traditional tree format or a fan chart. A sample report for the tree format is presented below.

DNA Painter tree

Additionally, DNA Painter lets users filter their results to show only genetic ancestors or overlay paths for different types of DNA, as shown below.

The Shared cM Tool presents an interactive chart showing the centimorgan average and range values for each possible relationship. This data is extracted from a statistical calculation based on users’ submissions for each relationship category.

When entering a cM number on DNA Painter’s website, users are informed on how they are most likely related to the DNA match analyzed. From the sample report below, it is possible to see potential relationships shared between two people.

DNA Painter shared cm

The WATO tool scores the hypotheses entered by the user depending on how statistically likely they are of being correct and shows the results on the family tree. The higher the score, the more likely the hypothesis is of being correct. However, DNA Painter states that this does not offer definitive proof that the relationship exists.

DNA Painter tools

For the Cluster Auto Painter report (seen below), DNA Painter creates a chromosome map with each cluster segment presented in a different color. Users can make notes and identify their maternal and paternal clusters.

The Chromosome Mapping feature shows which DNA parts were inherited from specific ancestors. It presents a colorful chart with a side legend defining each segment.

Cost of DNA Painter

The company offers free and paid versions. Free users have access to all of DNA Painter’s tools, one chromosome mapping profile, and one family tree. They can import up to the 4th great-grandparent level of GEDCOM files, which is a file format used for exchanging genetic information between different systems.

Subscribers have access to the bulk import functionality that allows them to import custom segments from MyHeritage, 23andMe, and FamilyTreeDNA. They also have access to all of the tools, up to 50 chromosome mapping profiles and family trees each, and can import GEDCOM files for all generations.

Subscriptions are available for $55 for 12 months. If the subscription is not renewed, users can still keep all the data, but they won’t be able to access any paid feature in the future.

Review of DNA Painter Privacy & Data Security

DNA Painter does not have access to raw DNA data. They store the segments uploaded by users, as well as the chromosome profiles and trees. Users have the option of sharing their information with anyone, but all accounts are set to private by default.

Additionally, users can delete any information they have uploaded to the platform. The company claims not to share or sell any personal information.

Health vs. Genealogy

DNA Painter provides valuable insights into how closely related two people are and can help individuals find new family relationships. Additionally, they help users better visualize what can be overwhelming data from multiple DNA testing companies. However, while relevant to those who enjoy learning about their past, it does not provide any information to help people improve their future.

DNA testing can offer an abundance of information that goes beyond genealogy. Without disregarding the benefits ancestry tests can bring, genetic analysis can also provide insights into health and overall well-being that may have a larger impact on people’s lives.



DNA Painter



Offers health insights

Yes No No


Personalized blog posts

Yes No No



DNA testing, wellness reports, health recommendations, patient and provider options DNA analysis for genealogy, family tree construction. DNA analysis, genealogical reports, detailed population visualization

DNA testing, ancestry reports, family tree construction

Raw data access

Yes N/A No


Cost (USD)

$97 – $389 $0 – $55 $0 – $397

$49 – $349

DNA Painter Reviews

See what people are saying about DNA Painter on Reddit

Reddit users are impressed with the free services offered and comment on how easy they are to use.

Facebook – 88 Customer Average Rating of 5 of 5 stars

Facebook users find the platform to be a user-friendly tool that offers a great way of exploring their DNA test results.

Alternatives to DNA Painter

SelfDecode: In addition to ancestry, DNA testing can provide valuable information about health and lifestyle. SelfDecode delivers personalized recommendations based on genes to help improve health outcomes and quality of life.

DNA Painter Review Summary

DNA Painter offers a variety of features to help users expand on DNA test results obtained from other companies. By generating interactive charts, users can edit and manipulate their data, and figure out how they might be related to other individuals.

With both a free and paid version, they provide genealogical tools to help map DNA and find common ancestors and unknown relatives. The company is limited to genealogy analysis, and they do not convey any intentions of offering other services such as health or lifestyle recommendations.

Genetic testing can help people discover what makes them unique, and other DNA testing companies such as SelfDecode can offer a complimentary service to ancestry tests. SelfDecode allows users to find out even more about their health and well-being while giving DNA-based health recommendations.


About the Author

Samantha Odake

Samantha Odake

Samantha is an engineer turned writer with a passion for helping people.


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