Acrylic Pouring Without Silicone or Torching Recipe (Part 1: Get Cells With Apple Barrel Paints)

I bought a new product, the Sargent Art Acrylic Gloss. My intention was to use it as a varnish and compare with a couple of other products as a finish for ceramic tiles, but this interesting product can also be used as a medium. It says “Mix with acrylic paint to increase gloss, ease paint flow and increase transparency.” All that sounds good to me.

How to get cells with no silicone or torching. This recipe creates awesome flip cup cells easily. Video tutorial.

So I just had to give it a try. I had some new paints, a brand I hadn’t used before, a new pouring medium, and thought I would mix it all up a bit and try a flip cup pour without any silicone. How would these new products all react together? Could I get cells? I would have fun trying. So I’m going for an elegant and sophisticated palette of understated natural colors today – a trendy coffee shop feel.

For this flip cup painting I used:

Check it out! Amazing cells without adding any silicone. No torching – just straight out of the cup it was perfect, and the cells moved beautifully, didn’t break up at all during the tilt. I loved it! What a fabulous result and quite unexpected.

That seemed so easy! I really never expected those results. Now, can I replicate them? Will it work for my other paint brands? Clearly further experimenting is needed. Watch for more developments as I try out this idea with some of the other paints I have. Have I hit upon a magic formula? Time will tell…

As usual, you can see some photos of the project in the slideshow below, both wet and dry pictures, and closeups of the details.

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.


  1. Hello, greetings from Germany. I love your work and wish , I could have the results you had. When I tried, I got only very little cells although I took Liquitex pouring medium or Floetrol and Silicone. Seeing your Video, I now will try a picture with alcohol. Perhaps I have success now ? Sorry – my English is not good. Kind regards, Ulla Ammermann

  2. Love watching your videos and your results. I haven’t had much luck creating cells with alcohol nor CFC spray, I think I might have the ratios wrong! I am only using craft/poster paint at present as I am just beginnng and like you I hate to see waste. I also made my own Pouring Medium with PVA glue and mineral water. Anyway thank you again will continue to watch and learn I hope!


    1. I think stick with the acrylic paints instead of poster paints and use the silicone oil instead of alcohol. That should give better results. But in the end it comes down to a lot of experimenting to see what works best for your paints unless you are following exactly a recipe that someone else is using. Good luck.

  3. What a gorgeous result! I’ve watched a couple of your videos and you are so enjoyable to watch and listen to. I love your honesty and humor. I cannot wait to try this method. Thanks for the info and inspiration!

    1. I wish I did! After a lot of trying I was never able to develop a recipe that I found worked consistently using alcohol. I suggest my usual formula instead which is 2 parts paint, 1 part floetrol, water as needed for a creamy consistency and then treadmill silicone for the cells

  4. I am a first timer and I really like your video. May I ask approximately how much paint, acrylic gloss and alcohol in each cup? Very interested in doing this in different colors. Loved the outcome!!!!

    1. Hi Karen! Give this a go:

      • 1 tablespoon of paint
      • 1/2 tablespoon Floetrol
      • About 1 teaspoon of water (as needed)
      • 5 drops silicone oil

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