So, What Exactly Is Floetrol?
Floetrol is a medium. For those who aren’t familiar with paints and additives, a medium is something you add to your acrylic paints to make them easier to work with and to make them behave the way you want them to in your applications. Usually, the medium makes paint behave as if it’s been thinned, without you thinning it.
What does that mean, you ask? When you thin with water, you make paints runnier and easier to work with. However, by adding the water, you sacrifice the integrity of the paint so that the color is lessened and the acrylics lose their hold on your canvas.
That’s why we don’t recommend using more than a little water in your mixes (if any). A high-quality medium will give you the movement and longer drying time of thinned paint, but without losing any depth of color or hold.
Floetrol is generally used in house painting (that’s why it’s so cheap!). It’s often used for spraying paint since it makes paint smoother, more consistent, and less viscous. It’s also something that is frequently used when colors are mixed since it helps paint to keep a perfect consistency throughout.
All those characteristics make it ideal for acrylic pouring!
By improving both flow and leveling, Floetrol makes paint easier to work with. You can get those large cells more easily, even without an additional additive like silicone. And by improving flow, it makes pouring that much more interesting.
Flow improvement also helps the paint adhere to canvas more readily. That increases the staining properties of your materials, and it also slows down drying. The longer your paints take to dry, the more you can tweak and finesse your pours!
Perhaps most important, keeping the consistency of the paint even gives your pieces much longer lives. You won’t have to worry about colors separating or the finished piece drying to look different than the fresh, wet pour.
We’ve found in our experiments that Floetrol is also great for working with silicone since it helps to self-level any craters that might form on the surface. Of course, it won’t be able to help you if you use too much paint in the first place! Simply put, it plays nicely with other products, making it very versatile.
Do You Have to Use Floetrol, or Can You Use Another Brand’s Medium?
We actually recommend a few different mediums to new pourers. Some folks also have a preference for another brand, and so they don’t end up using Floetrol at all. Still, we think Floetrol is the best all-around medium on the market.
Why work with Floetrol in particular? For one thing, because it’s manufactured for large-scale use, it tends to be much less expensive than additives that are specifically formulated for crafters and artists. And functionally, it’s just as good to work with.
While it can seem important to stick with the arts and crafts brands when you’re starting out, most of us experienced pourers will search around to find the best balance of performance and price. Hence using Floetrol over some of the “art” brands!
If you eventually try some other mediums and find that one works better for you than Floetrol, that’s perfectly fine. As you’ll see if you check out various acrylic pouring blogs and YouTube channels, everyone has their tools of choice.
For every artist who swears by Floetrol, another is a diehard Liquitex fan! The key thing is to know how to use a medium to improve your results and to find one that works well in your own creative process.
Should I Use Another Medium in Addition?
When we recommend supplies for beginners, we usually recommend Floetrol and a Liquitex medium for the best results. That’s because most of us will use two or three different mediums and additives in each pour.
If you’re on a budget, though, or can’t be bothered, Floetrol covers all the basics by itself. As an expert pourer, you can certainly appreciate the combination of Liquitex and Floetrol. But when you’re starting out, the Floetrol by itself is functionally the same. As you become more experienced and start to tweak your formulas, you may find that you want to add something else to the mix.
If you’re comparing a few different products, it’s worth knowing that mediums come in a few different varieties:
Latex-based (what you want for acrylic pouring)
We like Floetrol because it does everything well! It binds to the paint for the perfect consistency. It doesn’t change the color or finish characteristics. It only tweaks how the paint flows and moves, so it won’t affect aging. In fact, its excellent aging integrity is a big difference between Floetrol and some other additives.
On a side note, to complement your Acrylic Pours, I highly recommend using a Cricut Machine (my personal favourite is the Explore Air 2 machine) to design and print yourself beautiful crafts on all sort of supports. Check it out here! Now back to how to use Floetrol.
How to Use Floetrol
Floetrol is generally mixed with paints at a ratio somewhere between 20 and 50 percent. That’s quite a range, but we provide it as a general guideline since your ratios will vary slightly with each pour and each paint mixture.
When you start using Floetrol, you can try a few variations and see what feels best to you. Even among advanced pourers and experienced artists, folks use it quite differently.
Here’s a sample recipe to try, courtesy of Danny Clark’s awesome YouTube channel:
Floetrol (2 parts)
Distilled water (1 part; hard water and tap water with mineral content will act differently and change the way paint floats, so stick with distilled!)
Silicone (a few drops)
Acrylic paint (1 part)
You can find a walk-through demonstration of this recipe in the video below. It also has some additional tips you may find helpful.
How much floetrol to add to acrylic paint for pouring?
The amount of floetrol to add to acrylic paint for pouring will vary depending on the desired consistency and the type of acrylic paint you’re using. As a general rule, you can start by adding approximately 10-20% floetrol to your acrylic paint and then adjusting the amount as needed to achieve the desired consistency, however most recipes call for 1 part floetrol as a starting point up to 2 parts floetrol for every part of paint.
What does floetrol do to acrylic paint?
Floetrol is a paint conditioner that is designed to improve the flow and workability of acrylic paint. When added to acrylic paint, floetrol can help to reduce brush and roller marks, improve the paint’s ability to level out and prevent it from drying too quickly.
What is floetrol used for in acrylic pouring?
Floetrol is commonly used in acrylic pouring to help create a smooth, even consistency for the paint. This allows the paint to flow more easily and prevents it from drying too quickly, which can cause cracks and other imperfections in the finished piece.
How to mix floetrol for acrylic pour?
To mix floetrol for acrylic pour, start by adding the desired amount of floetrol to your acrylic paint. You can experiment with different ratios to find the consistency that works best for your project. Once the floetrol is thoroughly mixed into the paint, you can use it for your acrylic pouring project.
Where to buy floetrol for acrylic paint?
Floetrol can typically be found at art supply stores and home improvement stores. You can also purchase it online from a variety of retailers.
Is pouring medium the same as floetrol?
Pouring medium and floetrol are similar products that are both used to improve the flow and workability of acrylic paint. While they serve similar purposes, pouring medium and floetrol are not the same thing and may have different effects on the consistency and performance of the paint. It’s best to experiment with both products to see which works best for your specific project.
What is the purpose of Floetrol in acrylic pouring?
Floetrol is a paint additive that helps to improve the flow and consistency of acrylic paints, making them easier to pour and creating smoother, more even results. It also helps to reduce the appearance of brush marks and bubbles in the finished piece.
Is Floetrol better than pouring medium?
It really depends on your personal preference and the type of artwork you are creating. Floetrol is known for its ability to create cells in acrylic pouring, while pouring medium is better for creating a smooth, even surface. Some artists prefer to use a combination of both for their artwork
Does Floetrol make paint thicker?
Floetrol is a paint additive that helps improve the flow and leveling of water-based paints. It does not make the paint thicker, but rather helps it spread more evenly and smoothly. It can also help reduce brush and roller marks, and improve the overall finish of the painted surface.
After being told in high school that she was so bad at art that she should switch to another subject, Deby didn’t paint again for 35 years. Then a stroke released a new wave of creativity and she began exploring with dot painting, abstract and eventually acrylic pouring, and at last the joy of working with color returned.
You don’t need ‘talent’ to be an acrylic pouring artist – just enthusiasm, some basic instruction, and a willingness to try, fail and try again. Paint along with her and learn from her many mistakes, and you’ll soon make great art together.
71 thoughts on “Acrylic Pouring With Floetrol”
I’ve just started doing pours, and because I didn’t have the proper supplies my work didn’t get the large cells I wanted! I’m really excited to produce better pours now that I’ve gotten better educated by watching this video!!
Hi Bevie I too found that. I had created a 12 x 12 bag pull which I was pleased with as my first attempt but hardly any cells so I went back to watching dozens of pours balloons bags drags etc and that has instilled so much more confidence plus I have armed myself better by knowing how to mix what ratio etc and best of what to use.So this weekend back to my studio…loft space albeit large for my new set up.Fingers crossed it will look more professional this time.I remember going for an art lesson many years ago and saw people around me scared to put brush to canvas.Luckily I am past that stage but for anyone who has a similar feeling just go for it as what damage can you do? None! Just enjoy the moment.xxx
Which type of Floetrol and which type of Elmer’s glue do you use in your pours? There are multiple versions of each, and I can’t figure out which ones to buy.
BTW: I love your videos and your pour results. Thanks for the recipes, too!
For the Floetrol, the product number is FLD6 – take a look here on Amazon. If you want to use Elmers Glue, you need the Glue All version here. Thank you for your kind comment.
Thank you very much for this information! I’ve been using a different variety of Floetrol, and wonder if that’s the reason why my ‘pours’ haven’t been working very well.
I’m ordering this right now, along with the Elmer’s Glue-All, so I will at least have the same products.
hi.how much floetrol and how much pouring medium do i mix to make a good medium that i can add colored paint to and do i use water also?so hard to find an actual recipe..im ready 2 give up and toss it all.please send me a private email and i promise not to share it as ive seen no one wants to do..frustrated as heck
Great video!!! What kind of silicon did you use and where I can get it??
I like a couple of products. For the 100% pure silicone oil, try the Treadmill Belt Silicone here. You might also like the slightly different effects you can get with this hair serum containing dimethicone.
Several questions, what brand paint do you use? Is this heavy body or craft paint? Also, do you use this same paint mixture as your ‘base’ coat that you put onto the canvas first? If not, what do you use?
can I use the silicon seal that is used for stone tiles? How much would i use?
added this twice, forgot to add notify me on the bottom and submitted it.
Hi Barb, no that is not the same thing at all. That is more like a silicone rubber but you need a silicone oil. The treadmill belt lubricant is a firm favorite with most painters, but you can use any of the oil based products we have in the store here.
Very helpful video! Thank you
Confused about which flood floetrol to get they all have same numbers and added different at the end. So I called Flood Co. and was told all flood floetrol is the same.
Yes they are all the same. Don’t worry about the different packaging, different colored bottles etc. They have changed up their packaging recently but the product inside is the same.
I think Danny Clark discussed this on his video and said to get the latex one????
Hi there, just want to put my two cents in… So there are two kinds of floetrol, the Australian one and the US one…. Apparently you’ll get better cells using the Australian one… I’ve seen it demonstrated, and there is a difference, even though the manufacturers say there isn’t! Hope this helps
Is the floetrol safe to use with students?
There is nothing that is absolutely safe for everyone to use. People have so many unusual sensitivities these days. Even paint can cause irritation, skin problems and breathing problems for some people. I suggest contacting the manufacturer for details of ingredients and potential hazards, and get all participants in any craft activity to sign a liability waiver.
hi! would WD-40 silicone lubricant work? and when do i add the silicone to a pour?
do i add it to each color or the final cup prior to pouring?
It can work in a pinch, but its slightly yellowing and does have other chemical ingredients. I suggest investing in treadmill lubricant instead. You can get it in the UK here. Best to add a drop or two to each color as you mix them, and before pouring.
Very interesting & informative! Thank you!
Is 3 in one silicone oil ok to use
Thank you for sharing this info, very informative. I have a question about other flow mediums such as
Liquitex Professional Pouring Effects, Golden Acrylic Polymer GAC-800 and some people use RainX. Do these help in the creating different effects on cells? Are they used in combination with Flood floetrol?
Floetrol, pouring medium and GAC800 would all be used to thin the paints without weakening them by adding too much water. Those don’t make cells by themselves. Rainx would be one of the additives you might want to use to try to create cells. I have a couple of useful tables for you. This first one is possible pouring mediums, and this second one is for additives to make cells.
Have you ever had problems with the paint not sticking to the sides of the canvas? I did my first acrylic pour with floetrol on a cheap Walmart canvas that I had started a scenery painting that I didn’t like. So it already has several coats of paint. It turned out great. Bought some new canvas that are triple primed. Little better quality. I assumed since it was triple primed no need to coat it. Did my pour and the paint basically slid off the sides and did not stick at all. It almost look like I poured extremely watered down paint on the sides. So I did another one but this time put a coat of paint on before hand and let it dry. Still had the same issue. Do you think it is an issue with the canvas or do I need to put multiple coats on before I do the pour? Again I did not have this issue with the very first one I did.
I totally agree. I just did a painting on an economy canvas. Two of the sides were perfect, on the other two sides, the paint just would NOT stick. The paint was the same so the only difference was there must have been some sort of oil or coating on those two sides than stopped the paint from sticking. I had to baby sit it for an hour, picking up the spill and repainting those two sides until it would stick. Very disappointing and I’m not entirely sure what caused it.
can you save some of the paints that I had mixed with the Floetrol and did not use? If so, how long can you save them?
Sure you can. The ones in the small lidded pots I generally keep about a month and then use up all the little bits and pieces in a leftovers pour. The paints in the squeeze bottles last for ages. Some have been mixed up in there for months. A quick shake and they are good to use again. These are the bottles I like to use.
I’m new to this acrylic pouring…..I was under the empression that I could use PVA glue and a little water to thin the paint and the a couple of sprays of WD40 to get the required cells……would this work Deb?……I don’t have a lot of money to splurge……☹️
Yes that’s one of the many recipes you can use. Everyone has their favorite and paints according to their budget
Thank you Deb……I love the exciting unknown aspect of pouring…..eact one is different……can’t wait to begin…..have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year…….?????
How does the amount of silicone affect the cells? The above video, he used ten drops in two colors and five drops in the other two. However, I didn’t see a dramatic difference. In fact, you can barely see the gold color and the pink was all over the place as was the aqua/teal. Is the pour order more important then, than the amount of silicone?
I honestly don’t think adding silicone more to one color than another is likely to affect how the colors behave. Its more about their density and how you layer them in the cup, as you mention. But it can be interesting to experiment and give it a try. What if you had 4 colors. In one test, add silicone equally to all the colors. In the other test, add add the silicone to one of the colors and not the others. That would be a pretty dramatic difference. Then flip both cups and see what happens.
What kind of panels do you use?? Where do you purchase them? I like the panel better than the canvas because of the paint slipping off the sides
I don’t personally recommend using the canvas panels with pouring because of the likelihood that they will warp under the dampness of the acrylic paint as it dries. Then your painting moves and any design is ruined. They are OK for practice and testing, but its very disappointing to do a nice pour and then find it goes all out of shape. If you prefer a shallow profile, perhaps a thin wooden panel would work for you – no warping.
I like to paint the side black. It gives the impression of a frame. Also Ampersand sells really nice 12 x 12 frames the look nice on the 12 x 12’s
You could try something I used to do after painting the background which I would then put a tracing on to Tole Paint something onto the background. To keep from ruining my background with smudges etc, or corrections, I used Krylong clear matte finish to spray the canvas after painting background, colored speckled or whatever, then it would repel water and it makes for easy clean up, my paint always stuck to it, and it drys really fast, of course that is the regular krylon and not meant for outdoors as it will cloud over. Just sayin.
Thank YOU!!!! I have tried so many other videos without success. But yours worked like a charm. I love how you weighed the floetrol and paints and water, instead of doing wet measurements. First one of mine needs a bit of tweaking because I used a really small board, but that is only a question of cutting down amounts for that size. I am just happy as can be. I am a CGI artist and the difference between it and wet mediums is so different. Thanks again!!!
What about crazing and cracking? Is there a specific recipe that helps this from happening. I’ve tried numerous ones and am still getting crazing on canvas and on tiles.
Hi Ashley! What are you using to finish your paintings?
This blog post might be useful: http://acrylicpouring.com/best-protective-finishes-for-sealing/
It’s our recommended protective finish for your paintings.
Canacrylicglaze used for faux painting be used in place of floetrol.
I love all the helpful info you provide, Thank you so much. I don’t use silicone because of air travel, but I have tried Elvive Hair Oil and so far, so good, though the cells are smallish. I am having so much fun but haven’t yet found a good sealant for tiles (I hesitate to use resin because I don’t have an outdoor space)
We did put out a blog post on this topic: http://acrylicpouring.com/comparing-different-finishes-ceramic-tiles/
Did none of those options appeal to you? I can understand why you fray away from resin due to the lack of an outdoor space.
Hi Debbie, I have found that mixing Floetrol with metallic paints makes the paint extremely thick, so am adding a lot of water just to get a honey consistency. The golds are bad, so is silver, doesn’t matter what medium I use, whether it is liquitex or floetrol. I also use water with tube paint and bottle paint, likeFolk Art, Deco Art, etc. the only color I have used that does not need water is artists loft neon green in the bottle. Just medium and paint. Works great. Also, Liquitex is a lot harder to clean off of your hands after a pour, while Floetrol is very easy. I will say that I have to open windows in my studio while working with any type of medium or I get very dizzy and lightheaded. But I do it every day 2-4 hours, may need to cut back just a little!!
It sounds like you’re using some heavy paints in your art studio. Would love to see some of your paintings! In any case, yes, it makes sense that the fumes are difficult to withstand. I would definitely recommend wearing a painter’s mask and tempering the time spent per day if that’s the case. Safety first!
If you are bothered by fumes you either need an exhaust fan or you need :Masks guard against nuisance-level, non-toxic dust and pollen. “Respirators” offer protection against harmful chemicals, vapors and mold spores.
This is not the average mask for germs or dust, it must filter volatile fumes, make sure you are getting the correct one.
Hola soy de Argentina, como hago para recibir la información de pouring en castellano?
¡Hola! ¡Ahora tenemos nuestro ebook en español! Si compra nuestro libro electrónico, le enviaré la versión en español.
I found that if you use 2 coats of primer even on “preprimed” canvas it works way better and doesn’t look weird like that
what kind of primer would I use I don’t like the look if any of the many canvases I have purchased so wopuld like to cxover’
okay, wait, this recipe says 2 parts floetrol 1 part paint, but in a comment of another article the same author says her usual recipe is 2 parts paint 1 part floetrol, which i would assume would produce differing results, so ….. which is it??
Hey, I use apple barrel paints because I am on a budget. I use floetrol and Elmer’s glue along with silicone and dimethocone. I have tried various recipes: 2 part floetrol, 1 part paint,1 part glue. 1 part floetrol, 1 part paint, 1 part glue. 1 part floetrol, 1 part paint, 1 part water. But I can never get the amount of cells I desire. There is barely any cells if any when I pour. I’ve also tried a torch. Do you have any tips or recommendations for me or should I just move on to another paint brand?
I bought the OGX coconut milk serum at Target and it works great.
Try adding a fee drops of silicone oil to each cocolcocolococolcocoloucocolcocolococolcocolour of paint you want to show cells. They say even coconut oil and argan oil (both for hair) can be used on a budget.
I am a beginner leaving in Brazil and I can’t find floetrol here. Any idea how it would call here or what I could use instead. Also I am not sure if floetrol its a kind of glue or oil. Please kindly comment. Thanks !
Go to Home Depot or Lowes and get the person to cut thin wallboard to size. Very cheap and holds up well. You don’t need the expensive canvasses.
Why are all your replies only 2or3 letters per line making your replies super long and almost impossible to read. You must have an issue with your reply set up, atleast on this page. Thanks
and your point is…?
Hai can anyone guide me the pour recipe by using decoart paints which are in the small containers. I am new to this and realised decoart is not very thick ..but a bit liquify.. a reply would b appreciated.thanks
GOOD NIGHT! I feel as though someone just slipped me a Mickey Mouse Super Secret Decoder Ring!!! Since I was, in an instant, stricken from ever participating in my high-energy/impact activities to severely reduced and generally indoor activities, THIS has given me more headaches than knapping!! I have, in search of elementary, clear and complete detail, read articles, even watched how the specific gravities of various colors will affect cells.
NOW, here it is, someone THANK YOU clearly distinguishes “PM (pouring mixture)” as having LIQUITEX but that other mysterious and missing element, FLOETROL from my ACE hardware dude!!!
My first pour post-MMSSDR (Mickey Mouse ….) was light-years past the previous.
Sign me enlightened old Army fart.
Hello, I am new to pour painting. I would like to ask since the canvas has to have a lot of white paint 1st before all the colors are added, can interior house acrylic paint be used? If so what brand and what finish? ( semi gloss, gloss etc. just asking because a lot is required to move the paint around the canvas. I am just concerned about longevity and will it crack. Thank you
Can’t wait to
Senior citizen new to pour painting, disliked art in HS, could not draw a straight line,failed the course. Love your class and I have learned a lot with the three classes I followed so far. What is a paint chip card?
You can use Glue All school glue. They say to use only Glue All. Hope this helps.
May I ask what you would do if you’ve forgotten how much floetrol you’ve mixed with white paint. Is there a way to tell from the consistency? Or should I throw the mixture out?
Can I add Floetrol to metallic acrylic paints? If so, are the ratios the same?
Many thanks for your discussion! Did my first pour this afternoon –mixed reviews but great fun! Information provided here will improve my future pours.
There are several people’s interesting questions that did not get a reply.
Could you go back and answer them as I would like to know the answer, too. Thanks.
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Clearly your content here hits the nail in the head for many reasons. It stays away from the accustomed errors and pitfalls most fall into: using bad alternatives. Keep up the great content!
how many ounces or cups is a part? i am in the us and dont know how much a part is . its confusing for someone who has never painted. can you do the recipe in ounces please
The nice thing about parts is that it can apply to any amount, for example: if 1 tablespoon is one part, then 2 tablespoons would be two parts, 1/2 tablespoon would be 1/2 part. It applies to any kind of unit you want…if one cup is one part, two cups would than be two parts, one ton equals one part, then two tons would be two parts, three tons would be three parts. So one ounce of paint is one part paint, then two ounces of floetroll is two parts floetroll, and one ounce of water would be one part water for a total of four ounces of mixture.
OMG people – thousands of tutorials on you tube re. Pour painting, recipes, techniques… everything you want to know! Start doing your homework and Google your questions to find the tutorial you’re looking for!
I suggest getting a notebook and write notes & recipes as you go. Experiment with different techniques and mediums until you find the one that works best for you! It’s NOT rocket science