19 Mar 2020Mont Marte

Want to up your pour painting game? We’ve been playing around with this fun medium for a while now and have picked up a few pouring hacks along the way. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, we’ve compiled our top picks below.

1. Choose the right cup size for your surface

Blue paint being poured from a paint bottle into a white cup


Before you get started, think about how much paint you’ll need for your surface size. It might be worth noting down what works as you go so that you can reference it later. This will help prevent any paint wastage and cover your surface properly.

2. Create your own medium

White, blue, and light blue paints being poured onto a canvas from a white cup


If you want to convert regular acrylic paints to pouring paints, you can either use a pre-made pouring medium or make one from scratch. Our go-to pouring medium recipe is:

- PVA glue: 3 parts
- Acrylic gloss medium: 1 part
- Water: 1.5 parts
- Acrylic retarder: 37.5ml

        3. Mix in silicone oil to create more cells

        Silicone being added to a peach acrylic pouring paint in a white cup


        Bring out even more cells in your painting by adding a dash of silicone oil. For best results use maximum 2-3 teaspoons of silicone oil to 200ml (6.8oz) of pouring paint.

        4. Create bigger cells by tilting slowly

        Pink, peach, and purple paint poured onto a circular surface with lots of cells and swirling colour


        Want to create bigger cells? Tilt your artwork slowly and at a gentle angle to give the paint time to spread without mixing together too much.

        5. Lift your artwork with spare cups

        Teal, royal blue, and gold paints poured over the corner of a canvas being elevated by upside down cups


        Putting cups under your painting while it dries will allow excess paint to drip off so that you have nice, clean edges.

        6. Pour excess paint on the corners

        Pouring paint in shades of blue being poured over the corner of a canvas


        Saving a little bit of paint in your cup will come in handy if you need to fill in any gaps at the end of your pour. This often happens on the corners and edges where the raw surface may stay exposed.

        7. Use the end of your brush to move paint around

        The end of a paint brush being used to move poured paint around on a canvas


        The end of your paint brush is a great tool for creating patterns and guiding paint around your pour painting. Make sure you wipe it after using it on each area if you don’t want to mix the colours around too much.

        8. Bend your cup for thin lines

        A pouring paint cup filled with red paint being squished inwards to create a thinner pouring spout


        To create controlled, thin lines in your pour painting you can bend paper cups to form a spout. Make sure you don’t squeeze it too quickly or it might get messy!

        9. Increase vibrancy with acrylic medium gloss

        Acrylic medium gloss being painted onto a finished pouring project on a circular painting surface


        This simple acrylic pouring hack is a great way to take your artwork to the next level. Once your pour painting is dry, you can increase the vibrancy by adding a thin coat of acrylic medium gloss or pouring paint varnish.

        10. Remove excess silicone oil with cornflour

        Cornflour being brushed into a completed pour painting to remove excess silicone oil


        If you’ve added silicone oil to your artwork, you’ll need to clean off the excess before adding foil paint or varnish. You can do this by sprinkling cornflour or talcum powder onto the surface and spreading it with a large soft brush. Need some pointers? We show you how to clean silicone oil from your artwork at the start of our fluid art special effects video.

        11. Clean your cups before the paint dries

        Used pouring paint cup being cleaned to remove wet paint


        If you want to recycle your cups for the next session, we’d recommend cleaning them up before the paint dries. Simply wipe out excess paint and then give them a quick rinse.

        12. Store paintings upright with baking paper between them

        Completed pour paintings on circular surfaces stacked upright and separated by baking paper


        Last, but not least, place baking paper between your artworks and store them upright to prevent them from sticking together and getting damaged.


        For more fluid art tips check out our video lessons on flip cup and puddle pour paintingcreating cells with silicone oil and DIY fluid art special effects. We’d also love to see your artworks, so feel free to tag us on Instagram or Facebook using @montmarteart.