You’ve seen some incredible acrylic pouring paintings like the one below and now you may be looking to make some of your own. But it’s hard to know what materials are best to start with, or to continue to develop your talent. Well you’re in the right place!
Below, we’ve rounded up all of our favorite mediums, paints, canvases, and more. These are our tried-and-tested standbys in each category, recommended from one passionate pourer to another. This guide goes through the supplies needed for acrylic pouring, we have a few other guides that cover acrylic pouring techniques, acrylic pouring medium, acrylic pouring tutorial, and beginner acrylic pouring tips, so check them out too!
If you want an overview of all the types of supplies used then just start here and go to the end. For specific supplies you want more info about then click on the right section in the table of contents below.
Acrylic Pouring Supplies List
- Pouring canvas surface for the best first pours
- Acrylic pouring beginners paint set
- Pouring medium to create the perfect paint consistency
- White Gesso Surface Prep Medium for using canvas in pouring
- Silicone oil to create stunning cells in your fluid art
- Polycrylic to finish a painting
- Plastic cups with lids to store paint easier
- Craft Sticks to mix well
- Squeeze bottles for pour control
- Professional Kitchen Torch to bring out more cells in your work (and it’s just fun to use!)
- Paint Brushes to touch up and embellish pours
- 5-Piece Painting Knife Set
- Plastic Drop Cloths
What, specifically, will you need? Paint (obviously), and a lot of it! Our recommended brands are below. You’ll also want some pouring mediums to make your paint mixes flow better and with more swirling character. And, of course, canvases are absolutely essential.
Other key things, such as drying racks, cups, sticks, and other utensils, make the whole process easier and neater. And some things, like glitter or metallic paints, are just the cherry on top of an already rewarding art form!
We’ve sorted all our recommendations by category below. We’ve also created a few kits, so you can quickly and easily grab a bundle of basic supplies.
Before You Start Shopping…
Don’t underestimate how much you are going to get hooked on acrylic pouring! Unlike so many other art forms or hobbies, you get results right away, so even the learning curve is satisfying. Seriously. You could probably create 20 or more paintings in your first week! (We certainly know people who have done just that.)
So consider buying a decent-sized kit right off the bat. Make sure you’ll have plenty of surfaces to practice on and plenty of paint. You can grab all the supplies we’ve marked as “essential” below, then add extras from our “expansion” picks as you want to or can afford it.
Acrylic Pouring Kits
Below you can add all our recommended items to your Amazon cart with just one click.
You’ll still be able to review your cart and remove and replace items to your heart’s content. Select one of the links below to add the desired kit to your Amazon cart.
Essential Acrylic Pouring Supplies for Beginners (By Category)
It goes without saying that paints are the most important thing to have on hand when you’re creating pours!
We recommend starting with larger bottles of the more economical paints in basic colors. Then, supplement with smaller bottles of nicer craft paints or more unusual colors, and add pizzazz with some specialty paints such as pearls, metallics, and glitters.
If you’re on a budget or just want to give pouring a try, you can start with a basic paint set then add more variety later on. Make sure to get plenty of black and white, because you’ll likely use those two the most.
Pick one of the following sets to get started:
All the basic colors you need in nicely sized 8-ounce bottles. This is the best place to start if you’re on a budget or just want to keep it simple.
A wide assortment of the most popular colors from Apple Barrel, a brand known for its excellent value. The bottles are smaller than in the Sargent option above, but this set offers more color variety.
Have a bit more to spend and want the most mileage from a starter set? These 16-ounce bottles come in all the basic colors, and you’ll be able to pour and pour and pour without worrying about running out of paint.
These are very small (22ml) tubes, but the paint is high-quality and the set provides a tremendous variety of colors. If you love color, this is the starter set for you.
Whatever set you’ve chosen, add both of these white and black paints (trust us, you’ll use these a lot):
Make sure to buy a big extra bottle of white, because you’ll probably use this color the most (especially at the beginning).
A decent budget black without the flaky, chalky finish many brands have.
Because we all need a little glitz and glamour à la Martha in our lives! This is a convenient set of best-selling pearl and metallic colors. Excellent quality and very reasonably priced for what you get.
If you really love your metallics, we recommend economizing by buying them in bigger bottles. This six-pack should keep even diehard metal-heads going for a while. A great option for people who want to get their bling-bling on regularly without spending a fortune.
These are hands down some of our favorite paints for pouring. They’re great on their own and awesome mixed with black in a flip-cup or negative space pour. A bit pricey, so probably best for intermediate and advanced pourers or those who don’t mind spending more.
We use pouring mediums to enhance the characteristics of our paints. A good medium doesn’t change the color or the finish of the paint it’s added to. High-quality mediums simply make paints flow more freely, which makes for better pours!
Mediums “thin” your paints to give you more time to work with them on the surface. Again, your medium won’t change the visual characteristics like water would. It simply makes paint better to work with!
Take a deep-dive into pouring mediums with our handy guide:
Acrylic Pouring Medium Guide: What Is It, Why You Need One, and Which Are Best.
Essential Pouring Mediums
Pick one (Expansion level: Get both to try)
Liquitex is the is the best known and best-selling brand of pouring medium by far, and many painters won’t use anything else. Add this to your paint to thin it, make it easier to move and flow, and to give volume to the finished pieces.
Floetrol, 1 Quart
Click for Price, 1 Quart
Hardware store staple Floetrol is traditionally sold as paint extender for home improvement projects, but it’s become popular in the world of acrylic pouring, too. You can use this as a standalone pouring medium, or in conjunction with another medium to promote the formation of cells.
If you’re unsure which to buy, we’ve done some tests on Floetrol vs Liquitex. In one test the Floetrol created more, smaller cells while the Liquitex created bigger, softer cells. So which medium you choose might depend on what result you’re looking for.
It doesn’t really matter which one you start with, but grab one so you can get your pour on!
Other Additives for Fun and Gorgeous Cells (Expansion List)
None of these are required, but they’re fun to experiment with. You’ll find a lot of recipes out there that include silicone or other lubricants. We did an experiment with and without silicone and found that adding silicone to all of your colors results in the best cells.
If you want amazing cells in your pour (and who doesn’t?), then adding a few drops of this 100 percent silicone oil to your paints will do the trick. This bottle will last you a very long time. You can certainly get a decent amount of cells just using a pouring medium, but silicone is the way the masters do it! Treadmill belt lubricant is our favorite and the easiest to use form of silicone oil, but you can also pick up other types, like WD-40, dimethicone, and personal lubricant.
We’ve tested a lot of different silicone oils and additives! Check out what we found in our guide: The Best Silicone Oils and Additives to Make Cells.
Pouring doesn’t depend as much on brushes and knives as other painting methods, but you definitely do need a few basics.
Mix your paints in these clear plastic cups, then use them for dirty pours and flip cup pours, too. Stock up…you’ll need these!
You need popsicle sticks for mixing your paints, so invest in a big pack or plan to wash and reuse them.
You’ll want brushes for fine detail work, gessoing canvases, painting the sides of your canvas, and maybe adding fun metallic accents. Brushes aren’t absolutely essential for beginners, but once you start making pieces to hang in your home or sell, you’re going to want them.
This knife set is helpful for picking up your spilled paints and filling in the sides of your canvas. It can also be used for creating small swipe paintings. Definitely something to think about if you’re in the intermediate stage and looking to boost your tool kit.
Add silicone to your paint, then heat it gently with this chef’s torch and watch those fascinating cells pop out! This is how experienced pourers take things to the next level. Don’t forget to buy a can of butane at the same time. There’s no need to be scared of the torch; it’s easy to use and you won’t set your painting on fire! This LiBa torch is a great deal. You could spend more money, but there’s need to.
This is the butane fuel you’ll need to fill your torch. Enough said!
Confused about torching or just a bit intimidated? Check out our tutorial to learn how to use a butane torch in acrylic pouring.
Canvases & Other Surfaces
You can pour on any number of surfaces, such as ceramic tiles, vinyl records,, driftwood, or even photo paper. Still, canvases are the go-to for most of us, especially at the beginning. We recommend starting out with a value pack and then investing in nicer surfaces once you get some pours under your belt.
A good economy starter set of 8-by-10-inch canvases to get you going. Your first paintings might not turn out exactly as you plan, so practice on these smaller, inexpensive canvases before going for the larger or more premium versions.
When you have a few successful paintings under your belt, consider investing in these larger, professional-quality square canvases. These are as nice as you’ll need.
These little canvases are perfect for practicing on, checking out your color choices, or using leftover paints. The stands that come with them are super cute! Soon all your friends will be wanting you to make them an original piece of art to display.
Ceramic tiles are a fantastic alternative to traditional canvases. They’re great for using up extra paint and creating practical, gift-able pieces of art. If you don’t know where to begin, check out our recipes and projects on the site that use ceramic tiles.
We recommend preparing your canvases and other surfaces with gesso before you paint. Even though most canvases say they’re already primed, many artists prefer to apply another layer of gesso before pouring.
While there are many options for Gesso, Liquitex is the go-to for acrylic pourers.
Confused? More details can be found in our guide: How to Gesso Your Canvas Before Pouring. (Also check out Should I Gesso My Canvas or Surface Before Painting?)
Acrylic Pouring Sealing and Finishing Materials
You might have to do a few pours before you get one worthy of finishing and hanging on a wall. Still, you’ll want to have a varnish on hand so you’re prepared when you hit upon your first gem!
Give your completed pours two or three coats of this clear glossy varnish to seal them, protect them, and really make them shine.
Want more? Explore our detailed guide to the best protective finishes to seal your paintings.
Pouring Supplies Set Up & Keeping Things Clean
Pouring can be a messy business, but the supplies below will help make sure you don’t end up using your home as a canvas!
Keep your hands clean and stop the paint from drying under your nails with these disposable gloves.
Protect your table, your home, your carpet, and more with this plastic sheeting on a roll. Painting can be messy. When you pour, it can splash. Don’t make your living room floor into a painting of its own. Put down plenty of plastic!
These small cups with lids are ideal for mixing smaller quantities of paints, and for keeping leftover paints to use another day
Why do you need a shoe rack for painting? You’ll see once you get addicted and can’t stop painting and every surface is covered in drying tiles and canvases! This lightweight rack doesn’t take up much floor space and is ideal for keeping your paintings out of the way while they dry.
If you pour a lot or have a favorite few colors you turn to again and again, save mixing time by prepping larger amounts of paint in advance and keeping them in these squeeze bottles.
For Those Who Want It All… Kits for Beginning Acrylic Pourers
If simplicity is your thing, we’ve put together kits for typical beginners and ambitious beginners. Below you can add all our recommended items to your Amazon cart with just one click.
You’ll still be able to review your cart and remove and replace items to your heart’s content. Select one of the links below to add the desired kit to your Amazon cart.
Acrylic Pouring Supplies For the Typical Beginner
- Paint (Sargent Art 22-2399 8-Ounce Acrylic Paint 12 Piece Set, Sargent Art 24-2496 16-Ounce Acrylic Paint White, Liquitex 1046276 BASICS Acrylic Paint 4-oz tube Mars Black)
- Mediums (Liquitex BASICS Gesso Surface Prep Medium, 16-oz, Liquitex Professional Pouring Effects Medium, 32-oz)
- Basic canvasses
- Drop cloth
- Cups with lids
Acrylic Pouring supplies For the Ambitious Beginner
The above, plus:
Acrylic Pouring Supplies FAQ
Do you need silicone for pouring?
No you don't need silicone for paint pouring if you don't want to create cells. Silicone is the most popular additive used to create cells in a pour painting, but there are other techniques and materials you can use to make cells as well.
What do you need for acrylic pouring?
(1) Acrylic Paint (2) Pouring medium to make your paint flow better (3) A surface to pour on (usually canvas) (4) Container to pour out of. These are the absolute basic materials. If you want to do more advanced techniques or have more control over your pours you'll need some more materials but these are enough to start.
Do you need medium for acrylic pouring?
You will need some sort of additive for your acrylic paint to help it flow, unless you purchase premixed paints. Most artists use a medium for this purpose, but some use water, or glue, or mixes of different mediums. Depending on your goal and technique you may use different formulas for your medium. Using only water can cause cracking so isn't recommended, but it can work if you experiment!
What is acrylic pouring medium?
Acrylic pouring medium is a liquid pour artists add to acrylic paints to make the paint more fluid. This allows the paint to spread over the surface easier without affecting the color vibrancy and pouring mediums allow the painting to dry and cure without causing cracking or other issues.
Can you use any acrylic paint for pouring?
Yes, but you'll want to test them out before investing too much in them. In this guide we've included some of the most popular and proven brands, so we'd recommend starting with those before trying less proven brands.
Why do you need a torch for acrylic pouring?
A torch is used for three things (1) To pop air bubbles that can cause inconsistencies (2) To bring out cells more quickly in a piece (3) To set the paint while drying - this can help stop the painting from changing too much while drying
How expensive is acrylic pouring?
As with any hobby the cost depends a lot on the materials and learning materials you use. If you go to one on one workshops and purchase only professional materials it can be expensive. But if you purchase only craft paints and supplies it can be really cheap - down to a few dollars per painting including paint, medium, and canvas. For a beginners kit you could spend around $50 and get enough to paint over a dozen paintings.
Can you use house paint for pouring?
You can, but it may not give you the best results due to house paint being lower quality than artist acrylics. If you do use house paint don't plan on selling those paintings and experiment to make sure it works how you want.
What do I need to finish my pour painting?
Most artists use either resin or polycrylic. Resin is great to add depth to a painting, but can be expensive. Polycrylic is great to get a good protective finish and it's cheaper and easier to use, but it doesn't give a painting the 'wow' factor that resin can.
And Don’t Forget Learning Materials
It takes an investment to procure all your equipment, time to develop your skills, and courage to try something new. But you already have what it takes to become a talented pourer! With our learning materials, you’ll be able to master everything you need to know.
Many in our community say their lives feel much more full and meaningful since they’ve gotten into pouring. They’ve been able to let go of control and live more in the moment—both while creating art, and in other parts of their lives, too.
People in our community are successfully using acrylic pouring to escape depression, cope with anxiety, manage chronic pain and PTSD, relieve obsessive tendencies, deeply relax, and find the courage to live their lives more fully than they could have ever dreamed possible.
As one woman in our Facebook group put it, “I have found that pouring calms my mind and gives me physical relief from my chronic pain. After less than one year, I’m now selling my art and couldn’t be more happy with my life.”
If you feel called to join our tribe and bring this beauty into your life, consider investing in our e-book and/or video course.
Getting Started with Acrylic Pouring: A Beginners Guide
Our e-book walks you through everything you need to know to do your first pour. By the end of this guide, you’ll be proficient in mixing paint, the five basic pouring techniques, and the tips and tricks experienced pourers swear by.
Beginners Acrylic Pouring Video Course
If you learn best by watching something in action, our video course is the perfect companion to the e-book. To really deep-dive into techniques and get all the benefits this art form has to offer, you’ll want to follow along with the video course.
Learn how to mix your paints to the right consistency, get specific tutorials for each of the five basic pouring techniques, and receive a multi-lesson guide to finishing your paintings and troubleshooting common issues.
We hope this guide has been helpful.
Acrylic Pouring staff is made up of aritists and writers from around the world. We take information from our own experiences, tests, and research what works best from our Facebook Group and other top artists. Join our Facebook Group to get insight from other top artists and find out about giveaways. Follow us on Instagram for top acrylic pours and tips, and check out our Pinterest for some of our favorite pouring and fluid art tutorials from around the web!