Acrylic Pouring




Introduction: Acrylic Pouring

About: I work in a factory, am a disaster volunteer, grew up and live in my small town, and am currently preserving and restoring my 1900 home. I have four classes to complete to finish my business degree. I will gr…

Acrylic pouring is a fun and exciting process. I do not recommend this process for children because it involves chemicals and fire. I have narrowed down the essentials for the hobbyist to enjoy that does not cost a lot of money.

The supplies needed for a pour are four colors of acrylic paint, Floetrol, wooden stir sticks, a primed paint canvas, red solo cups, liquid silicon, and a small blow torch.

The process is defined below is full of my tips, tricks and favorite brands for acrylic pouring. For this documented demonstration I will use four pints of paint and about a half of a quart of Floetrol. Acrylic pouring is messy and fun, and produces an absolutely beautiful result.


The supplies needed for a pour are four colors of acrylic paint, Floetrol, wooden stir sticks, a primed paint canvas, red solo cups, liquid silicon, and a small blow torch.

Step 1: ​Mix Pouring Colors With Floetrol in Four Separate Containers. (I Am Adding Black Paint)

Mix pouring colors with Floetrol in four separate containers.

(I used four acrylic house paint pastels and some black craft paint.)

The amount of Floetrol to paint ratio will vary because most paint will not pour fast and in thin ribbons. Since the desired consistency is quick flowing thin ribbons, Floetrol is added to the paint. Add Floetrol and stir until the paint freely flows off of the paint stick in ribbons about a 16th of an inch of thick. The best description for the desired consistency is runny ice cream.

Once all four colors are mixed to the runny ice cream consistency; reserve one color for the canvas.

Step 2: ​Spread Out Your Red Solo Cups. Place One Stir Stick in Each Cup.

Spread out your red solo cups. For this project I will use 25 red solo cups. Place one stir stick in each cup and do not touch or move the stir stick while pouring the paint into the cups. Each solo cup will be about 1/2 to 3/4 full of paint.

Pour one color of paint into the bottom quarter of each solo cup. Slowly add the same amount of the second color to each solo cup. The second color will either sink to the bottom of the cup or float on top of the first color. Every paint color has a different specific gravity, so the density of each color will determine if the paint will sink or float.

Just remember to pour slowly and try not to touch or move your paint stick because the colors should not mix too much before the pour. Add the final color to the red solo cup. The cups should have three different floating colors. Leave the cups off to the side and move to the canvas.

Step 3: Level the Canvas on the Table. ​Cover the Entire Canvas With One Color of Paint.

Level the canvas on the table. Cover the entire canvas with one color of paint.

The base color should be about a quarter of an inch thick to allow for flow and spread of the top colors. I typically choose a plain light-colored paint for the canvas cover. The canvas cover paint is usually hidden under all of the three colors that will be added to the top of the canvas. The bottom canvas cover paint will brew, bubble, mix, and burst some exciting and unexpected colors.

If the canvas is not level all of the paint will run off of the canvas.

Step 4: Add 3 to 5 Drops of Silicon. Pull the Stick Strait Up. Flip the Cups on the Canvas.

Now that the canvas is covered return to the solo cups. Add three to five drops of the liquid silicon to each cup. Once the silicon is added, pick up the solo cup. Remove the stick and do not stir the paint. Flip the solo cup onto the canvas. Leave the solo cups upside down until all of the cups are on the canvas. Each solo cup of paint should cover 7 to 12 inches of the canvas.

Move as quickly as possible because the initial chemical reaction happens as soon as the cup is flipped onto the canvas.

Step 5: Pull the Cups Strait Up Off of the Canvas.

Now that the solo cups are upside down on the canvas pull the cups strait up off of the canvas to empty the cups. This process should move at the same pace that the cups were flipped onto the canvas. Ideally, the all of the cups will have the same amount of time for chemical reactions. Some paint will stick to the sides of the cup. Do not scrape the paint from the cups onto the canvas.

Tilt the canvas to move the paint around and off of the canvas. After the canvas is covered, do not touch or move the painting for about a week or until it is dry.

Step 6: ​Tilt the Canvas to Move the Paint Around and Off of the Canvas.

Tilt the canvas to move the paint around and off of the canvas.

After the canvas is covered, do not touch or move the painting for about a week or until it is dry.

Step 7: ​I Like to Use a Small Blow Torch to Remove Bubbles From My Painting.

I like to use a small blow torch to remove bubbles from my painting. I will include this step in the process, but I must say that I am not responsible if someone burns themselves, their home, anybody, or anything else. For myself, as a skilled and responsible torch user, I like to wave my torch 2 to 6 inches above any bubbles I find undesirable on my painting. The torch is absolutely not necessary to have a successful acrylic pour, but for me, it is just another step in my pouring process. I am confident that adults can take responsibility for their own choices and will suffer or triumph in any consequences deserved by those choices.

Step 8: Painting Is Starting to Show Cells. Video

Painting is starting to show cells.

One of the above is a video. As I'm trying to preview this, the video will not play, so I will include the YouTube link:

Step 9: The Full Length Video of My Process. (26 Minutes)

This website does say the video is uploaded, but will not let me preview it. I will include the YouTube link:

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    Question 3 years ago

    A very good one. Why do we use 'liquid silicon' in step 4? Can we use a substitute as in India I am unable to get the same. Regards


    Answer 3 years ago

    You can use hair product ! Hair oils that contain dimethicone as the first ingredient are perfect. Coconut Milk by OGX is one Olive Oil glossing polish by ORS is another. You can also use some lubes - as long as that first ingredient is dimethicone.
    You can also mix your paint with Elmer’s glue. White or clear. Play around with the mix. Start with equal parts and then add a little water. Bottled water not tap. You want the mix like warm honey. Depending on the brand of paint this alone can sometimes produce cells. Add a few drops of product containing the dimethicone otherwise. I’ve always mixed it into the paint but the gal in this instructable doesn’t mix. I will definitely try it her way to see the difference.
    I hope this helps.


    Reply 3 years ago

    I have seen some people use treadmill oil to create cells. I hope you find an alternative. I will post if I find any other alternatives.


    3 years ago

    Great results, and excellent instructions to replicate. Very well done!! : )


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank You; I am glad to hear some feedback. I encourage anyone that likes to do crafts to give this a try.