Why is pouring paint so great for all ages, all interests, all backgrounds, and all-the-everyones? Because you can use your scientific brain, if that’s your thing. Your artistic side, if you have one. Your social side, since maybe you’re being pulled into this by someone that needs a partner/parent for these festivities. Or because you just need some art for the bathroom.
THIS is NOT an exact science. Let yourself get lost in the process, and if it turns out to be a giant paint puddle mess, then wipe it off. If it dries and looks… awful, then pour another masterpiece RIGHT ON TOP. Fret not, we will do this together.
CANVAS or WOOD CANVAS
MEDIUM PAINT BRUSH
TABLE PROTECTION — Painter’s tarp, garbage bag, disposable party table cloth, wax paper—whatever you have that paint won’t soak through and is big enough to cover your space.
IF your canvas is droopy or has abnormalities like bumps, we can fix that. Before you start your painting, flip it over and spray it with some clean water. I usually just splash some water on the inside of the canvas and wipe it around. Not need to wait to paint, you can proceed with it being wet. The canvas should tighten up and smooth it out.
We aren’t adding any silicon or torching this, let’s start simple!
Lay down your table protection, this is going to get a bit messy! Use an old pizza box, trash bag, party table cloth. Whatever you have that can be reused for more paint, or tossed away.
Before the paint mixing starts, I like to paint a foundation layer of paint down on the canvas. Because there is a silicon product in the oil, the paint may not adhere properly if you don’t add that base layer.
Put out FOUR cups, upside down. You canvas corners will rest on each cup, so that when you pour your paint it will run off and your canvas won't stick to the table cover.
MIX MIX AND MORE MIXING.
You will be mixing more than painting, that is where the science of it all comes in.
Per DecoArt, these are some guidelines to follow for mixing the pouring medium with the paint.
Fluid acrylics: 2:1 Paint to Pouring Medium
Craft acrylics: 1:1 Paint to Pouring Medium
Medium body acrylics: 1:3 Paint to Pouring Medium
Heavy body acrylics: 1:6 Paint to Pouring Medium.
This is a rough guideline, this is not an exact science. Personally, I add water to the mix once the color and pouring medium is combined to thin it to the consistency I like. When you pick up your stir stick from the cup, the paint should easily flow off the stick.
When it comes to paint consistency you don’t want thick pudding—it won’t flow. You also don’t want it so watery that the colors don’t stay distinct and just run together. All your colors should be the same consistency so they flow at the same rate.
Stir and stir, mix and mix. There should be no clumps, and each cup of paint should flow smoothly. This is the part that is most important.
I’m just using three colors today. I mixed turquoise and white to make a mint color, and portrait pink, with a touch of red and brown to make an earthy coral.
DIRTY POUR or FLIP CUP method is a lot of fun. This method will produce cells, and is almost entirely unpredictable. That’s the thrill!
In an empty cup add your white paint mix. To that, pour in another color, like turquoise. Then pour another color on top, or layer just two colors like I did here. Continue layering as many colors as you’d like. Keep in mind the color circle. If you don’t want brown, don’t layer colors like orange and green in the same cup. IF you want the earthy brown, then do it! Pour ON!
Once you have a full cup of layered paint, you’re ready to FLIP!
I made two cups today, one with mint and white, another with coral and white.
With your layered paint cup(s) sitting up, put your canvas face down on top of the cup. Place your hand on the back of the canvas and flip both the cup and canvas over in one motion. You can also just pour the paint, or flip the cup. I just flipped the cups right onto the canvas since I’m using two cups. Go wild!
While you let the paint drip from the cup sitting upside down, you can pour other colors around the cup. I like to add solid colors around the mixed colors so those mixed colors stand out more. It’s all about contrast!
Pull the cup up, in any direction you choose. Let the paint settle for a few seconds, you might notice some cells popping up! If you have a torch, the is a good time to torch the paint to encourage more cells. Use caution, no need to set anything on fire! Making cells in the paint before you start tilting the canvas will make them BIGGER once you move the paint.
You’re going to pick up your canvas from the cup props, and you will move the paint to the corners of the canvas. Try and hit each corner just once, filling in gaps as needed with extra paint.
Go around and add paint to any empty spots on the the side of the canvas.
Take a clean stick and pop any large bubbles, you will see a cell likely to come from it, too! Gently blowing on the paint will pop little bubbles as well.
This will take at least 24 hours to set, but it won't be dry for maybe a week. It depends on how thick your paint is, but give it more time than you’d expect. Keep the painting in your garage, or somewhere it won't be touched for a few days.
You will likely want a finish on the top. A finish makes those colors POP and protects the paint from dulling. While there are a good many to choose from, I do like a finish varnish spray, or using Deco Art top coat. If you use the Deco Art top coat, I like to mix it with a bit of water, then pour it on to your canvas. Just pour a good sized puddle right in the middle. Pick the canvas up and move the liquid to each corner, just like you did the paint. Letting it flow to each of the edges makes the finish glossy smooth, almost like a resin coating.
Let your top coat dry and hang your masterpiece! And do it again!