If you’ve made it here, you’ve probably watched countless YouTube videos and have decided to make the jump into the world that is acrylic pouring art. You’re probably just like me; doing research and figuring out exactly what you need to buy to get the best pours on your first try. You’ve got the mindset that “this is just pouring paint on a canvas!” And for the most part, it is.
However, if you’re really wanting some great pours to be proud of, maybe sell, or just to have a craft day with your friends, you’ll need to have a checklist of do’s and don’ts before you embark on your journey. Now, let me clarify that this article is not to discourage anyone from putting on their creative pants and diving in. No, I write this in an attempts to help anyone who doesn’t yet see the future of their acrylic pouring addiction, much like I did.
Our journey begins at the all too loved craft store (mine happens to be Hobby Lobby.) I had a plan to get the three things I needed to pour and get out… I think we all know it didn’t happen like that, but no one needed to know that except me! It was about mid-August when I started this journey, I walked into my craft store and behold, a huge Christmas tree decorated to the nines with fall decor! This store will be my demise! Alas, I must push pass the basic white girl in me and get the goods for this weekend’s project. Focus. So I grab the smallest, cheapest bottle of Decoart pouring medium, the smallest bottles of rainbow colored acrylic paints, and some small canvases to pour on.
This was just supposed to be a crafting day with my girls… that’s it. And now I’m pouring two to three times a week as a creative outlet. So let me tell you through my mistakes that this list of supplies may make it through one or two pours, but you’ll want more. So let’s go through some supplies you may be skeptical about, but trust me, you’ll end up buying them anyway, so what better time than now!
Your Pouring Medium
Invest in a good pouring medium. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was that my paints were not smoothing out, or making any of these “cells” I’d learn to love so dearly. My suggestion: Flood FLD6 Latex Paint Conditioner. Buy the gallon, trust me. Floetrol is widely used and respected as a pouring medium in the acrylic pouring community. And for good reason. Compared to the Decoart medium I mentioned, it takes less product to get a desired consistency, its cheaper, and gives an amazingly smooth finish.
If you like the look of cells, go ahead and order a bottle of 100% silicone. I cannot even begin to tell you the difference this made in my pours once I found the “formula” that worked for me. My suggestion: Spot On 100% Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant/Treadmill Lube. While you may get some cells with just floetrol, using a few drops of silicone will really take your pour to the next level. Using this in your colors, and leaving it out of your base color will give you an abundance of cells that are crisp and beautiful!
Buy the multi-pack. Just accept it, you’re going to become an addict. And what a better addiction? My suggestion: 8 x 10 Inch Stretched Canvas Value Pack of 10
If you’re like me and don’t have a covered area outside to work… drop cloths are your best friend. My suggestion: 4 x 12 All Purpose Canvas Cotton Drop Cloth by Chicago Canvas
And the only other thing you need after this is some popsicle sticks to stir, and some paint! Acrylic paints are fairly easy to find, and I have noticed that regardless if I use the $.77/ bottle paint, or the $3\bottle paint, it hasn’t made much of a difference. With that being said, find your colors and start pouring!
Also, just keep in mind that acrylic pouring is mostly abstract art. It’s not supposed to be clean with neat lines and straight borders. It’s meant to be a “beautiful chaotic mess.” Don’t get caught up in trying to force patterns and images. Acrylic pours are those paintings you get stuck staring at for hours because you’re trying to find something in the mess. You connect with the painting, and it makes you feel something rather than being just a piece of art on the wall.
Taylor spends her days working as a cast technician at an orthopedic clinic in her home town of Gadsden, AL. In 2016, she graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Human Performance and Exercise Science. She also runs a business called TayylorMade dedicated solely to creating custom art for her clients. If she is not creating, she can often be found cheering on her Alma Mater, cuddling her dog, or cooking up some fun snacks for family and friends. Taylor loves the freedom and peace creating art gives her, specifically the “beautiful chaos” that is acrylic pouring. She hopes to help teach, guide, and inspire others to find their talents outside of their everyday “office job.”