Paint Pouring on Rocks Made Easy [Rock Painting Beginners]

Welcome! Here you will learn about paint pouring techniques, tips, and how to pour paint on rocks in this Beginner’s Guide to Paint Pouring.

Acrylic paint pouring has become my new obsession. I love discovering new ways to paint rocks.

I still consider myself a beginner when it comes to rock painting or painting in general, even though it’s been over 3 years since I painted my first rock.

I’m still learning new ways to be creative and art has been a positive outlet for me.

paint pouring on rocks
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What is Paint Pouring?

Acrylic pour painting is a form of abstract art that consists of pouring paint of many colors over a support creating beautiful art.

The benefit of paint pouring for beginners is to explore abstract painting versus the pressure of traditional acrylic/oil painting of objects.

Some artist’s use open cylinder pours, direct pours, flip cup, upside down flip cup, ribbon pour, puddle pour, dirty pours, and so many more ways.

Since I was using rocks as my support, I decided to use the dirty pour method.

Acrylic Pour Painting Techniques

  • Straight Pour:  This can be achieved by pouring paint side by side or layering on a surface.
  • Dirty Pour: By layering different paint colors in a cup to create a dirty pour that can be used for a straight pour, flip cup pour, or a tree ring pour.
  • Flip Cup: A flip cup paint pour can be accomplished by layering prepared paint colors in a cup like a dirty pour but flipping the cup upside down and pulling straight up.
  • Swipe: Poured the prepared paint colors on surface then swipe color gently from one side to the other.
  • Puddle Pour: This consists of simply pouring your prepared paint colors on top of a surface that’s been covered in a layer of paint to help the paint flow easier.
  • Ring Pour: Create a dirty pour then slowly pour in the middle of the surface and keep it still so the stream of paint is staying in the middle as the paint expands outward.
  • Dutch Pour: Pour your paint over your surface then using a blow dryer to move the paint around creating the desired look.

**For more acrylic paint pouring techniques with instruction video, visit our post of Beach Inspired Paint Poured Art.

Pour Painting Supplies

How to Create a Pour Painting on Rocks

painted rocks

Step 1: Place clean rocks bottle caps or similar inside a container make your own paint pouring tray like me.

how to do pour painting

Step 2: Start preparing your paint cups. Choose the colors you want to work with and pour each color in its own cup. Mix in the pouring medium and stir with a craft stick. Mix just enough pouring medium to thin out the acrylic paint for pouring. The paint cannot be too thick, it needs to flow over the rock. The paint should be able to coat the mixing stick but still be able to drip off smoothly.

Step 3: Prepare the dirty pour. Use a larger cup and start pouring the paint into small amounts creating a layering effect with all the colors. Once all the paint is emptied in the “pour” cup, the magic begins!

dirty pour acrylic painting

Step 4: Begin pouring the dirty pour over the rock slowly in any desired direction to cover the entire rock.

pour painting

Step 5: Let the rocks dry for at least 2 to 3 days before moving or sealing. Moving the the container of the paint poured rocks can cause the more rounded rocks to shift and fall off the base, therefore ruining your beautiful rock art.

Optional* Sand the bottom of the painted rocks will a light grit sandpaper to remove dried bits of paint. Then you can paint the bottom or leave it.

paint pour on rocks

How to Make a Pour Painting Tray

This is perfect for using household items that you may already have. I used a square foil baking pan for this diy paint pouring tray. Punch holes along both sides. Stick wooden skewers in the holes to make a base for the rocks. Once the paint has dried, you can peel it off and reuse the pan again. You can also use this tray to base coat several rocks at once.

diy paint pouring tray

Pour Painting Tips for Beginners

1. Before starting to prep paint with a flow medium, go ahead and get all your supplies out and ready.

2. Have a clean workspace where you can prep, create, and leave the rocks to dry without moving them. Transferring the rocks to another location can cause the more rounded rocks to roll around and ruin your rock art.

3. When prepping your area, cover your table with plastic sheeting or something similar.

4. Use the smallest cup you can to complete the project.  It will be easier to combine colors and you’ll waste less paint.  Try to find cups with lids in case you need to cover the paint before you have a chance to use it.

5. Be sure gently mix the pouring medium and paint together. This will help eliminate air bubbles in your painted rocks.

6. Tweezers will save your paint pouring art, especially when there’s paint debris or cat hair that make their way on your paint poured surface.

7. Relax and have fun. Enjoy experimenting with different colors and techniques.

Pour Painting on Rocks Step-by-Step Youtube Video!

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paint pouring art

Love the Coastal Style, check out our new post, How to Make Beautiful Beach-Inspired Paint Pouring Art. There you will learn how to create easy and fun coastal style home decor with this paint pouring ideas.

beach decor

I hope you found this tutorial for Paint Pouring on Rocks helpful. Another fun way to paint rocks is by using Alcohol Inks! Check out our Alcohol Inks Guide, here.

Check out our Amazon Shop for our favorite rock painting supplies now!

In the meantime, if you are new to rock painting and don’t know where to start. Check out the Rock Painting for Beginners series below.