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How to Create a Pour Painting

March 24, 2021 / Learn, DIY,

If you aren’t someone who paints all the time, staring at a blank canvas can seem a little daunting at first. Hey, we can’t all be Picasso, ya know? With abstract work, it can be even more overwhelming trying to figure out where to start.

Worry no longer. A DIY pour painting is the perfect piece to get your artistic journey started no matter your skill level. Follow along with us to see how to make a DIY pour painting yourself!

What is a pour painting?

A pour painting is basically exactly what it sounds like. Also known as an acrylic pouring, it’s a technique where you mix acrylic paint with a pouring medium of your choice, such as glue. You then pour your mixture onto a canvas (or any surface you prefer) and watch the magic happen in front of your eyes!

The best part? There’s really no wrong way to do it from there. It’s all about letting your creativity flow. Literally!

Tools Needed:

  • Acrylic Paints
  • Pouring Medium (like Glue)
  • Canvas (any size)
  • Drop Cloth or Cardboard for Mess

Here are the five steps that will help you create a DIY pour painting that will catch eyes and turn heads in your space.

1. Get ready for colorful spills

Paint dripping off of a canvas onto cardboard

Making a mess comes with the territory when painting. That counts doubly true when you’re making a pour painting. You won’t just be pouring out the paint, you’ll be swirling it, tilting it, and moving it every which way on your canvas. It’s gonna be drip, drip, drippin’!

Grab a box or container that is large enough to prop up your canvas. Lay some cloth or newspaper down beneath your container and you’ll be good to go. Oh, and don’t forget to wear gloves. Acrylic paint mixed with pouring medium takes a lot of effort to wash off. (Yes… we speak from experience.)

2. Choose the colors of your dreams

Maroon and beige paints merged together in a blob on a canvas

The entire color spectrum is yours to choose from when creating a pour painting. There is no wrong color combination. But if you’re stuck for where to begin, try choosing colors that evoke the right mood you’re going for. You can make a piece specially designed to fit the space where it will be shown, or even match it to colorful picture frames you have your eye on.

3. Mix your paint with your pouring medium

Picture of a pouring medium bottle

This is an easy but important step you don’t want to forget. The pouring medium allows you to easily pour your acrylic paints onto the canvas and to create those beautiful abstract scenes. Without it, the paint isn’t fluid enough to control or manipulate.

You can find pouring mediums at any store that sells craft supplies, but if you’re wanting a more affordable option liquid glue is a great substitute. Plus, you may already have some around your house.

Aim for about a 1 to 1 ratio for glue to paint, but this can vary depending on your type of paint and how much you’re using. Gradually add your pouring medium into your paint until you get the consistency you like. It should move freely but not be runny.

4. Prep your canvas

Paint dripping down a canvas

Prepping your canvas is optional but it can make a big difference. If you want to help your paint grab onto the canvas easier, try using a primer like Gesso. Make sure your canvas is clean, then use a paintbrush or sponge to spread the primer onto it. You can either start pouring your paint right away or let the primer dry first.

Tip! If you would prefer to shield the back of your canvas from getting any paint droplets on it, some painters tape and aluminum foil should do the trick nicely!

5. Pour your art out!

Hands pouring two cups of paint together onto a canvas

Time to start pouring. Don’t be afraid to experiment – the possibilities are endless. You can either pour your colors individually or simultaneously, you can layer them in cups, pour them into a funnel - honestly, we could keep going. Pour painting allows you to approach your piece with a variety of techniques that you’ll LOVE exploring.

Tip! You can blow through a straw or use a heat gun to affect the texture and movement of the paint.

Choosing a Frame

Rustic bedroom environment with framed pour painting on a brick wall above bed

Now that you’ve got your pour painting masterpiece in hand, it’s time to frame it. For a modern and mind-bending approach loved by the Pros, try our canvas floater frames. You can also get your painting gallery ready with our wide range of fine art black picture frames that fit any budget or style. Or try a white picture frame for some eye-popping pour-fection.

And there you have it. Our super quick and super easy guide to making a pour painting has come to an end, and now it is time for you to create your own piece. Play, enjoy and always be open to stepping out of your comfort zone. And be sure to show the world your creation on social and tag us with #framingjoy.