8 Easy Paint Pouring Techniques to Create Beautiful Wall Art

Have you been looking for a way to create beautiful wall art and home décor for your home? Well, these 8 easy paint pouring techniques will help you create beautiful home décor on a diy budget. Whether you’re a pro or if this is your first attempt to anything creative, these paint pouring techniques is great art form for all skill levels.

Inside this blog post, you will find a supply list, tips for beginners, and YouTube videos of some of my favorite artists demonstrating acrylic pour painting techniques. I love that fluid art offers endless creative possibilities. Just pour and watch as the paint flow to make a unique design. 

paint pouring techniques wall art with blues and greens and gold pineapple on a table

What is Paint Pouring?

Paint pouring is a type of fluid art. It consists of pouring different color paints over a surface. The entire canvas is then tilted to allow the paint to flow in different directions to cover the edge of the canvas.

Before starting all pours, be sure to prepare the acrylic paint with an acrylic medium. Acrylic medium is added to extend the drying time and changes the consistency to make it flow better over your surface.

Each painting is different, and you don’t even need a paintbrush! This is the perfect starting point for beginners. There is less pressure to “get it right” than with traditional painting. I love that paint pouring offers endless creative possibilities.

ocean paint pouring wall art displayed on a table with a gold pineapple and painted stones

Paint Pouring Techniques to Try

There are so many techniques for paint pours, but here are a few of the most popular methods.

  • Straight pour
  • Colander pour
  • Flip cup
  • Swipe pour
  • Dirty pour
  • Puddle pour
  • Tree Ring pour
  • Dutch Pour

Basic Supplies for your First Pour painting project:

  • Acrylic Paint or Craft Paint
  • Pouring Medium – Liquitex pouring medium , Flood Floetrol, or Golden fluid acrylics  are the most commonly used brands.
  • Painting Surface – Canvas, Wood, Rocks, Tile, anything goes!
  • Craft Sticks for mixing pouring medium and paint.
  • Containers for paint – You can use plastic cups, takeout food and fruit cup containers, basically anything that can hold paint!
  • Container for canvas – I use a large plastic bin to container my paint spill off.
  • Cookie cooling rack is used to support your paint pouring surface, whether it be canvas or rocks.
  • Optional ** Silicone oil and 91% Isopropyl Alcohol, good results for creating cells
  • Art Resin for super shiny gloss or high gloss sealer
  • Gloves are good to have, but it’s just a personal choice for the artist.
  • Paper towels are handy to have on hand for quick cleanups.
  • Tweezers will remove unwanted house fly’s and animal hair from your beautifully fresh paint poured art.
  • Heat gun will remove air bubbles and create cells on paint poured art.
  • Plastic sheeting or similar to catch drips and spills.

My Tried and True Top 10 Tips for Paint Pouring

  1. Have a plan. Know what materials you need before you start and have them ready. It’s also helpful to decide what colors you are going to use to ensure they will blend well together.
  2. Prepare your work area. You can use newspaper or plastic sheeting to cover your work surface.
  3. Use masking tape to tape up the wood frames of canvas surfaces.
  4. I like to use the craft paints for my pour projects, since I already have a ton from rock painting.
  5. Use the smallest cup you can to complete the project. It will be easier to combine colors and you’ll waste less paint. It’s a good idea to find cups with lids in case you need to cover the paint before you have a chance to use it.
  6. Be sure to gently mix the pouring medium and paint together with a popsicle stick. This will help eliminate air bubbles in your artwork.
  7. Tweezers will save your painting, especially when there’s paint debris or cat hair that makes their way on the surface of the canvas.
  8. Heat guns and straws can help eliminate air bubbles after your paint is poured.
  9. Leave a little extra paint mixture in the cup to fill in areas and corners that your pour did not reach.
  10. When paint pouring on rocks, once it’s dry you can use a light grit sandpaper to smooth the bottom of the rock from dried puddled paint.
  11. Relax and have fun. Enjoy experimenting with different colors and techniques. Keep practicing and you’ll find your style.

How to Make a DIY Paint Pouring 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.  

paint pouring tray with a paint poured stone on top

Before starting all pours, be sure to prepare the acrylic paint with an acrylic medium. An acrylic medium is added to extend the drying time and changes the consistency to make it flow better over your surface.

Beginner Basic – The Straight Pour

There’ are a lot of terms for straight or basic pour. Straight pour method can be achieved by pouring paint side by side or layering on a surface. This is usually the first step for any pour method. You can be as creative as you want with this method, I like to try swirling the paint with a tip of a paintbrush, blowing the paint around with a blow dryer. The possibilities are endless.

Mix it up and make things interesting by using different materials to create pours like open end plastic cups, cookie cutters, and funnels just to name a few.

YouTube video

What is a dirty pour?

Start by layering different paint colors in a cup to create a dirty pour that can be used for a straight pour, flip cup pour, colander pour, or a tree ring pour. The photo below shows what a dirty pour look like after layering in each color.

a cup of a dirty pour with blue, white, and green paint

How to make a Colander pour?

Using a straight or dirty pour technique over a strainer or bottle-end to create a bloom paint pouring look.

Available at Amazon

What is a Flip Cup Technique Pour?

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. There are some different ways you can do this:

 1. Placing the canvas front side down on top of the cup then carefully flipping the canvas and cup at the same time so the cup is on top.

2. Using something sturdy like cardboard to place on top of the cup, flip the cup and board over and slide the flip cup over your surface and pull the cup straight up. Some artists use sewing needles to poke some holes on top of the flip cup to release the suction to let the paint flow naturally.

flip cup paint pouring technique using blue, white and green with a gold pineapple on a table

How to do a Swipe Technique Paint Pour

This is one of my favorite pours to create beautiful beach paint pouring art. I poured the prepared paint colors in rows side by side with the desired top swipe color on the end that I swiped from.

You can use cardboard, paper towels, even a reusable plastic flexible cutting board to create your swipe pours.

It’s important to use feather light pressure when pulling your swipe board across the surface. Too much pressure will pull of the paint off the surface and that’s not what you want.

beach surf paint pour wall art

Puddle Pour by Molly’s Artistry

Here’s another pour that’s great for beginners. Puddle pours consist 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. Start by pouring your paint in the desired location on the surface and continue to layer paint directly on top of each color, creating what I call a raindrop effect.

YouTube video

What are Tree Ring Pours?

This method may look difficult to master but you really can’t go wrong with paint pouring. Begin with creating a dirty cup with prepared paint by layering. Use a cup that’s flexible enough to squeeze together to create a point or spout for pouring.

There’s two ways to do it and both works.

1. Pour the dirty cup slowly in the middle and keep it still so the stream of paint staying in the middle the tree rings expand out.

2. Pour the dirty cup slowly in the middle of the canvas and use slow tight circular motions and keep it still so the stream of paint staying in the middle the tree rings expand out. The slower you pour the tighter the rings will be. Once the all the paint is poured, you can slowly tilt the surface in circular motions to help move the paint to the edges if needed.

YouTube video

THE DUTCH POUR Method

I saved this one for last, it’s the newest paint pouring technique that I’ve tried, and I absolutely love it! Dutch pours can be made by moving paint around with a blow dryer to create different effects.

  1. Cover the surface will the desired base color, then pouring prepared paint colors on to the surface in areas you desired. Before using the blow dryer to move the paint around, pour the same base paint color around the prepared paint colors.
  2. Start blowing the paint in any direction (toward the center and outwards).
YouTube video

Video Sources:  Molly’s Artistry and Rinske Douna To see more of their videos and to stay up-to-date on new videos you can subscribe to their YouTube channels.

How to Make Beach Painted Rocks

beach paint poured rocks

How to Make Beach-Inspired Paint Poured Rocks

This paint pouring project is easy for beginners to try. Make these beautiful beach-inspired paint poured rocks in as little as 6 easy steps.

Materials

  • Acrylic Paint
  • Pouring Medium – Liquitex pouring medium, Flood Floetrol , or Golden GAC800 are the most commonly used brands.
  • Smooth Rocks
  • Craft Sticks for mixing pouring medium and paint.
  • Containers for paint – You can use plastic cups, takeout food and fruit cup containers, basically anything that can hold paint!
  • Container for painting project - I use a large plastic bin to container my paint spill off.
  • Cookie cooling rack is used to support your paint pouring surface.
  • Optional **Silicone oil and/or 91% Isopropyl Alcohol for creating cells
  • Art Resin for super shiny gloss or high gloss sealer.
  • Gloves are unnecessary just a personal choice for the artist.
  • Paper towels are handy to have on hand for quick cleanups.

Tools

  • See materials list

Instructions

  1. Place clean smooth rocks on a cooling rack inside a container. rocks on rack for paint pouring
  2. Start preparing your paint cups with the desired paint colors and pouring medium. 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. The ratios will vary depending on the brand of pouring medium, but typically I use 1-part paint to two parts Floetrol. pouring medium mixed with paint
  3. I used a dirty pour technique on beach paint pour rocks. Using a large cup and start pouring the prepared mixed paints into small amounts creating a layering effect. dirty pour cup
  4. Begin pouring the dirty pour slowly over the rock slowly in your desired pattern to cover the entire rock.pouring paint over rock
  5. Let the rocks dry for at least 2 to 3 days before moving or sealing. Be careful transporting your container, if the rocks are round instead of having a flat base, moving the container can cause the painted rocks to move and roll.
  6. This last step is 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.

YouTube video

Here’s How I Displayed My Beach Painted Rocks!

Now that you have created your beautiful beach-inspired rocks, you’ll want to display them. Some of my favorite ways include in planters, glass hurricane candle holders, and natural jute baskets with natural elements with shells and driftwood.

beach painted rocks in a jute basket displayed on a bookcase

Want more paint pouring project ideas? Check out our Beach-Inspired Paint Pouring Art Ideas for some great Summer projects!

I hope you found these different acrylic pour techniques helpful. These paint pouring techniques are just the tip of the iceberg on ways to ways to create acrylic pours! Have you ever tried a Resin Paint Pour? If not, here’s a tutorial on how to do a resin pour for beginners. Be creative and share your own paint pour technique with us.


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