Acrylic pouring for beginners: how to start, tips and techniques

(Last Updated On: December 16, 2021)

About three years ago, I discovered this new hobby: acrylic pouring! At first I was very skeptical about this hobby, but I really enjoy it. In fact, I wish I had more free time to spend on this hobby!

But: what is acrylic pouring and how do you get started? What materials do you need to buy and is it an expensive hobby? Are there any special recipes for pouring medium that you have to follow, techniques that you have to master?

I’m happy to give you all my tips for acrylic pouring for beginners that you can get started with right away!

Don’t want to read? I have posted a beginners tips Youtube video that I have made for you, to finish this article. 

Acrylic pouring for beginners

I myself love acrylic pouring and also for beginners there are really nice creations that you can make when you are just starting out.

It is a very fun hobby, for which you do need some space. I also have some tips for environmentally friendly acrylic pouring, because that is necessary in this hobby.

 

What is acrylic pouring?

Acrylic pouring or fluid art (it is also called paint pouring) is a painting technique where you work with highly diluted paint. It is also called Acrylic Pouring or Fluid Art.

It is a painting technique in which you dilute the acrylic paint with a pouring medium so that the paint becomes very fluid and you can start pouring on a canvas, wood…

Acrylic pouring Supplies

First the most important thing: what do you need to start acrylic pouring? Actually not that much at all! You certainly don’t have to pay a lot of money when you start this hobby.

My favorite acrylic paint

The acrylic paint I like to work with the most is the Amsterdam acrylic paint: it dries really beautifully and you can even use it for Dutch Pours (in those, you don’t use a pouring medium, only water).

What do you need to make acrylic pourings?

  • Acrylic paint (I’m a big fan of the Action acrylic paint, but the Amsterdam acrylic paint is also really beautiful … also better quality than the Action)
  • stirring sticks (I use wooden sticks that I reuse, once the acrylic paint is dry you can easily peel it off your stick)
  • cups (again: reuse them as often as possible, the cups I use have a handy diamond pattern: ideal for measuring quickly)
  • a container to catch the paint (I use plant coasters)
  • Pouring medium (I usually use the one from Action, but the one I linked below is also amazing)
  • A canvas (I use cheap and thin canvas from Action, but have linked some great alternatives below)


Not necessary for all techniques, but nice to have;

  • A cheap hairdryer (for the Dutch Pour technique)
  • a straw

Recipe acrylic pouring

One of the most frequently asked questions: what is the recipe for starting acrylic pouring? Personally I just don’t feel like doing the math and measuring, so I use the pouring medium from Action. I use 50% of that and another 50% of paint. Depending on the thickness of the paint, you may need to add some extra pouring medium until you reach a consistency similar to running honey.

Acrylic pouring on wood

If you don’t want to keep buying canvases, you can also easily cast acrylic onto wood. I would recommend that you first treat your wood well with a gesso or primer.

Acrylic pouring with floetrol

You can also use floetrol to cast acrylics and the floetrol is then used as a pouring medium. I have not done this yet, but I often read that this is the best recipe to use (I have not tested it myself, so please let me know in the comments if this is a good recipe or what your recipe is).

Acrylic pouring with water

You can also cast acrylics with water: this is called a Dutch Pour. It is not that easy to make a Dutch Pour with just water and paint, not all paints are suitable for this by the way. I have tested this myself with paint from the Action, but that didn’t work well. The paint became very crumbly. The paint from Amsterdam worked much better! 

Acrylic pouring without silicones

Prefer not to have cells in your pourings? Then I recommend you not to mix anything else into your paint mixture. Use only pouring medium (when I combine Action’s with Van Bleiswijck’s paint, I get no or hardly any cells). Definitely do not add silicone, you will get cells.

How to get cells

Would you like to get cells in your pourings? Then you can start working with silicone. Put a drop of silicone in your mixture and you will see that you get very nice cells. You can also use a hair serum for this that contains silicone (and most do).

Pouring acrylic with a hair dryer

You’ve probably seen acrylic pouring videos with a blow dryer. How does that work? You need a hairdryer with a narrow attachment (Rinske Douna for example uses this technique very often). I have tried several times, but I have not found the right hairdryer for it yet: either they are too weak, or they are just too strong (and there is paint on my walls ;)).

Paint for acrylic pouring

Which paint is best used for acrylic pouring? You already read it in this article: I am a huge fan of Action paint and when I have a little more budget to spend, I love to buy the Amsterdam paint (those colors are gorgeous)!

How to get started with acrylic pouring

Acrylic pouring youtube

I’ve also made some useful videos on Youtube, so be sure to take a look there too and subscribe if you feel like it!

I wish you lots of fun with this new hobby! It’s so much fun and you will often be amazed again by what comes out of it! You never really know what your artwork is going to look like when you start. 

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