Acrylic Pouring with Color Shift Paint

Color Shift is produced by FolkArt, and is described as a dynamic metallic paint with variable color in changing light. Essentially, this dazzling craft paint is a bit of a chameleon— for example, Emerald Flash looks like a rich, vibrant green head on, but if you tilt it just so, it has a teal hue.

Personally, I love these paints. The application of Color Shift paints in pouring just makes sense if you’re looking to add a little pop to your pour.

Beware of Over-manipulating Color Shift Paints

I’ve become fond of Color Shift paints, so I’ve used them in quite a few pours. I just love the pop of interest that they bring! However, I have found that layering Color Shift paint can cause a sort of metallic sheen over the whole pour if one or both of the following occurs:

  • If the paint sits in the cup too long
  • If the piece is over-manipulated

Allowing the paint to mix for too long in any case seems to be the culprit. If you layer your paints and then quickly pour them, or only manipulate your paint slightly, you should be able to avoid the “sheen.” I’d suggest experimenting a bit; the sheen can actually be stunning over a piece that has a lot of black.

Creating cells in an acrylic flip cup pour painting without torching. Video uses color shift paints to create a fluid acrylic painting.

Color Shift Paints Tutorial

Do you feel that black is hard to work with? For me, it’s the clean up that puts me off using too much of it. Wiping up spilled white paint feels like a breeze compared to trying to clean up the same amount of spilled paint which has black in it. It just spreads everywhere, takes so much wiping, feels ‘dirty’ when it gets on my hands. But I still love the dark, rich colors and so black was the obvious choice as the base for this Color Shift painting.

Colors used:

This was my first real pour using the Coconut Milk in place of my usual treadmill belt lubricant. I’ve tested them out before, but was keen to see how it would work in a real pour. It did well! I didn’t torch this painting at all but it’s covered in an explosion of cells right out of the cup and they just kept on coming as I tilted the canvas. So this painting is covered with cells within cells.

From far away, this painting might not be too striking, but close-up where you can see all the sparkle of the metallics, the color shift iridescence and all the details of the cells and the gold veins – it’s pretty spectacular I think. One of my all-time favorites.

Veining with Color Shift

Color Shift is also great for delicate embellishments to enhance your piece. Take a small amount of Color Shift and a very thin paint brush, and try outlining parts of your pours. You may not even notice the lines when looking directly at the painting, but when you move to the side of it, that quick flash will add a big bang.

Color Combination Inspiration for Color Shift Paints

Some of my favorite color combos:

  • Color Shift in Red Flash
  • Gold (any brand)
  • Black (any brand)
  • Color Shift in Teal Flash
  • White (any brand)
  • Navy (any brand)
  • Color Shift in Black Flash
  • Silver Metallic (any brand)
  • Aqua or Teal Flash
  • Color Shift in Yellow Flash
  • Color Shift in Emerald Flash
  • White (any brand)

18 thoughts on “Acrylic Pouring with Color Shift Paint”

  1. DeBorah Beatty

    I love the darker pours, but my painting buddy says they have no artistic balance. I think they look like mysterious gemstones. Any ideas on what to do to add a little lightness? Doesn’t seem to do anything when I add white to the layers.

    1. I can totally understand that opinion too. I try to lighten darker pours with a little gold, and you can always highlight once it’s dried too.

    1. I really love the Polycrylic. Its nice and glossy, easy to use, self levels. I have an article about it HERE

  2. Debi, I started pouring in September and love it. I discovered that if I place a sheet of Freezer Paper plastic coated(used in the US for wrapping meat for freezing) on an aluminum disposable tray from the Dollar Tree, the runoff will dry and the skins can be peeled off and used for other projects. This prevents a lot of clean-up and the beautiful designs are not disturbed.

  3. hi dear How long did it take to dry ?

    great choice of colours i looooooooooooooove them !!!

    big htanks


    1. Thank you Noribe. Depending on size, I would say the paintings take 2-3 days to dry right through to the middle.

    1. Hi Deby.. I love your paintings and these colors were phenomenal!!!
      I just want to say Please Take care of yourself and knowing you are going to retire is a good thing for you! With the rest and relaxation you are going to be getting I think it will do you the world of good. Even though there will be tons of us fans of yours sorry you will be leaving your health comes first. You have inspired me so much as I am fairly new at the pouring but love every moment of it THANKS to you as you inspired me so!!! Get lots of rest and sunshine!
      LOVE AND BIG HUGS from Canada always Lesley Lang
      PS. I will miss your British comments as I was born in England as well!

  4. Valerie Waroway

    Deby, thanks for sharing your work and your cute personality.
    It sounds like you have a nice husband who will help you
    watch after your health and enjoy your retirement.☺️

  5. Starting to learn about acrylic pouring. Have not done any yet but I am collecting your information. So sorry to hear about your retiring for health reasons. I too am going through health issues and an upcoming major surgery. I reach out to you you with love and prayers. Take care of yourself and thank you for giving so much of yourself to others ????❤️

  6. I love the darker, rich colors and that color shift purple is fantastic. I just got some color shift paint and am now very excited after seeing your results. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Do you still need to clean the painting before applying resin if you use coconut milk instead of lubricant?

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