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The Best Way for Paint Pouring

What’s the best way to paint pour? That’s the question my dear friend asked me as we were about to start paint pouring.  I had all the supplies on the table for us and she had question after question.  She wanted to know the best way to add the paint to the cup, the best color combinations, the best pouring medium.

I broke the news to her that there wasn’t any one best answer and that is part of what makes paint pouring magical.  There isn’t a big book of must follow rules.    Instead of rules, it’s more about guidelines. In the video, I’m sharing the technique that I showed her for her first pour.

Watch on YouTube.

Which pouring medium?  Any one you like. They are all fun for making pours.   In the video I am using Floetrol, which can be found at a hardware store and is the cheapest.  It is the one I have found students have the most fun with starting out since it makes cells.

But how much pouring medium?  Start with a ratio of 2 parts pouring medium to 1 part craft paint.  This is a very forgiving process, so you don’t have to be exact. It’s a guideline not a rule after all. You can see how to mix paint and pouring medium in this video.

Which colors? Ones you like in any brand of paint. You probably already have paint that will work wonderfully well.  The only thing I stay away from is super thick paint, the kind that comes out of the tube like toothpaste.  It’s just harder to mix with the pouring medium.

You just pour that paint from the cup all over the canvas.  No thinking, no careful planning, just letting go and trusting. You can pour as little or as much of the cup of paint on the canvas.  It’s not like there are rules that you must follow.

As it dries, the paint might still move a bit.  That happened here and it brought the most wonderful surprise!

Every so often a face appears and when it does, I treasure it!  Especially when they are so groovy and fun like this one!  This isn’t something I planned or “made” happen, it’s just a gift of the serendipity of the paint.

Why is the paint darker once it was dry? During the drying process the color of the paint can sometimes darken.  There are several factors that make that happen and the main one here is the paint that I chose to use.

I helped my friend get comfortable quickly with paint pouring and I can do the same for you. Join me for Paint Pouring Palooza in Cincinnati and let the rainbow flow onto your canvases!

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  • Corrine September 11, 2018, 5:31 pm

    love this one, such bright colors and my faves too. xox

  • Marilyn shannon September 12, 2018, 5:03 pm

    Could you please tell me where you get the pouring medium?

  • CRAFTYGRANDMA56 September 16, 2018, 10:57 am

    That is mind blowing!!! While you were pouring, I saw a giraffe, a scaly frog but the end result just blew me away! I was surprised to see how dark it got and yes I see the eyes and lips and sort of a spooky face….maybe because we are being influenced by too many things in the store for Halloweeen!!! Love it!!! I said I was going to try it but with the temps still reaching 100 degrees with the humidity – nothing is moving including paint!!! LOL!! TFS WOW!

  • Cheri Hazelett May 21, 2019, 12:30 pm

    I love your work

  • Sharon June 12, 2019, 10:20 am

    Hi ??
    Thank you for your enthusiasms and great information! I’m having trouble keeping paint on the canvas after I pour. Spaces of white appear and every time I cover them up they come back on the edges and sides. I am using the Artist’s Loft canvases. Even coating the canvas in black or white paint first doesn’t seem to alleviate the problem. I’ve considered spray painting the canvases for a base coat, then pouring. I’ve also heard some other mediums that are used to coat the canvas but I’m not familiar with the names, especially since I am a rookie at this. Would you please lend a hand with your advice and expertise?
    Thank you ?

  • Stella Mullins July 1, 2020, 1:25 pm

    Just starting to experiment. Love your presentations.

  • Nikki August 6, 2023, 7:34 pm

    I’ve watched many similar tutorials but this is by far the best I’ve seen. More than 6 layers? Never knew that. Brightly coloured base paint? Wonderful way to pre paint the gaps. So many handy hints and advice and the end product is stunning. Fabulous colour combo. Thank you for this. I’ll be back!