Acrylic Paint Pouring Mixes: Find Your Perfect Blend

  • By: Michael Smith
  • Time to read: 18 min.
Michael Smith
I'm Michael Smith, the founder and creative director of Art and Drawing. With over a decade of experience in the art and design industry, my keen eye for detail and passion for creating inspiring artwork drive my work. I'm dedicated to capturing the world's beauty through vibrant, expressive pieces that spark imagination and emotion.

When it comes to acrylic pouring, achieving the right paint consistency is crucial. To create mesmerizing masterpieces, you’ll need to know what to mix acrylic paint with for pouring. The key ingredients for thinning and mixing paint for acrylic pouring are acrylic paint and pouring medium. The goal is to mix the paint with the medium until the final mixture runs like warm honey, motor oil, or chocolate syrup. If necessary, you can add some water to further thin the mixture. The ideal consistency depends on factors such as the type of paint and medium you’re using, the pouring technique, and the desired finished product.

Key Takeaways:

  • Acrylic paint pouring requires the right paint consistency for successful results.
  • Mix acrylic paint with pouring medium to achieve a free-flowing but not drippy consistency.
  • Experiment with different brands and ratios of paint to pouring medium to find your preferred mix.
  • Choose compatible colors to avoid creating muddy mixes in acrylic pouring.
  • Plan your color combinations in advance for cohesive and visually appealing pour paintings.

Consistency is Key in Acrylic Pouring

Consistency plays a vital role in achieving stunning results in acrylic pouring. When we talk about consistency, we’re referring to the flow and texture of the paint, medium, and additive mixture. To create mesmerizing pour paintings, the mixture should be free-flowing but not drippy. It should resemble warm honey, motor oil, or chocolate syrup, allowing the paint to flow off the stirring utensil easily and evenly.

But finding the right consistency can be a challenge. It requires a delicate balance of paint, medium, and other ingredients. This is where understanding various acrylic pouring techniques comes into play. With the right knowledge and practice, you’ll be able to master the art of achieving the perfect consistency for your acrylic pours.

Acrylic Pouring Techniques

There is a range of acrylic pouring techniques that can help you control and manipulate the consistency of your paint mixture. Some popular techniques include:

  • Dirty Pour: This technique involves layering different colors of paint and pouring them together in one cup, creating beautiful interactions between the colors.
  • Swipe Technique: By swiping a clean utensil, such as a palette knife or a card, across a paint-covered surface, you can create stunning and intriguing patterns.
  • Flip Cup Technique: This technique involves pouring paint colors into a cup, flipping it onto the canvas, and then lifting the cup to let the paint flow and create unique designs.

By experimenting with these techniques and others, you can gain better control over the consistency of your paint mixture and achieve the desired effects in your acrylic pour paintings.

Acrylic Pouring Supplies and Essentials

In addition to understanding the techniques, having the right acrylic pouring supplies is essential. Here are some supplies you’ll need:

  1. Acrylic Paint: Use high-quality acrylic paint in a variety of colors to create vibrant and visually captivating pour paintings.
  2. Pouring Medium: Mixing acrylic paint with a pouring medium helps to achieve the desired consistency and ensures the paint flows smoothly across the canvas.
  3. Canvas or Substrate: Choose a canvas or substrate suitable for acrylic pouring. Stretched canvases, wood panels, or even specially designed pouring boards can all work well.
  4. Stirring Utensil: Use a sturdy stirring utensil, such as a wooden skewer or a craft stick, to mix the paint and pouring medium thoroughly.
  5. Protective Gear: Acrylic pouring can be messy, so it’s important to protect your surfaces with plastic sheets or drop cloths, as well as wear gloves and aprons to keep yourself clean.

Having these acrylic pour painting essentials can make your pouring experience more enjoyable and help you achieve professional-looking results.

Remember, consistency is key in acrylic pouring. The right consistency allows the paint to flow and interact beautifully, creating stunning patterns and effects on your canvas. By mastering different acrylic pouring techniques and using the right supplies, you’ll be well on your way to creating breathtaking pour paintings.

Common Consistency Issues

In the exciting world of acrylic pouring, artists often encounter common consistency issues that can affect the success of their creations. Achieving the perfect consistency is key to creating stunning fluid art pieces. Let’s explore some of the common problems artists face and discover how to overcome them.

1. Paint Too Thin and Runny

If your acrylic paint is thin and runny, you may experience difficulty controlling the flow and achieving the desired effects in your artwork. Fortunately, there are simple solutions to this issue. Adding more paint to your mixture can help thicken it up and provide better control. By gradually adding small amounts of paint and stirring in between, you can achieve a thicker consistency that holds its shape without becoming too thick.

2. Paint Too Thick

On the other hand, if your acrylic paint is too thick, it may not flow smoothly and could lead to clumps or uneven coverage. To address this issue, you can add more pouring medium or water to thin out the mixture. Again, it’s important to add small amounts at a time and stir well to achieve the desired consistency.

3. Choosing the Best Medium

Acrylic pouring mediums play a significant role in achieving the ideal consistency for your pouring mix. There are a variety of mediums available on the market, each with its own unique properties. Some popular options include Liquitex Pouring Medium, Floetrol, and GAC 800. Experimenting with different mediums can help you find the best one that suits your artistic style and preferences.

See also
Smooth Acrylics: Avoid Streaks in Your Paint Job

4. Properly Mixing Acrylic Paint

The process of mixing acrylic paint for fluid art requires careful attention to detail. To achieve a consistent and smooth mixture, always start by adding a small amount of paint to your pouring container. Gradually add your chosen medium or water, stirring well with each addition, until you achieve the desired consistency. This method allows you to control the thickness effectively without overdoing it.

By addressing these common consistency issues and mastering the technique of mixing acrylic paint, you will be well on your way to creating beautiful and captivating fluid art pieces. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment and discover what works best for you.

Common Brands & Ratios

When it comes to acrylic pouring, finding the right pouring medium and paint ratio is essential for achieving the desired results. There are various brands that offer acrylic pouring mediums, each with their own recommended ratios to achieve the perfect consistency. Here are some popular brands and their suggested ratios:

  • Liquitex: Liquitex Basics paint works well with a ratio of approximately 5% paint to 95% pouring medium.
  • Golden Fluid Acrylics: For Golden Fluid Acrylics, a maximum ratio of 10% fluid acrylics to 90% GAC 800 pouring medium is recommended.
  • Nicole’s Craft Paint: If you’re using Nicole’s Craft Paint, a thinner craft paint, a one-to-one ratio with Floetrol pouring medium can help you achieve the desired color.

Keep in mind that these ratios are just suggestions, and you can always experiment with different brands and ratios to find your preferred mix for acrylic pouring. It’s important to adjust the ratio based on the consistency you want to achieve and the specific characteristics of the paint you’re using.


Recommended Ratio

Acrylic Pouring Medium Brand Ratio
Liquitex Pouring Medium 5% paint, 95% pouring medium
Golden Fluid Acrylics 10% fluid acrylics, 90% GAC 800 pouring medium
Nicole’s Craft Paint 1:1 ratio with Floetrol pouring medium

Experimenting with different brands and ratios can help you discover the perfect mix for your acrylic pouring projects. Remember to always follow the instructions provided by the brand and make adjustments based on your personal preference and the desired consistency.

Choosing the Right Colors in Acrylic Pouring

When it comes to acrylic pouring, choosing the right colors is essential. The colors you select will not only affect how the paint interacts but also determine the amount of cells and the overall outcome of your artwork. Understanding color theory can help you create harmonious color combinations that enhance your pour paintings.

Color theory in acrylic pouring involves working with primary and secondary colors, as well as warm and cool colors. Primary colors, such as red, blue, and yellow, are the foundation for creating other colors. Secondary colors, like green, orange, and purple, are formed by combining two primary colors. Warm colors, such as red, orange, and yellow, create a sense of energy, while cool colors like blue and green evoke a feeling of calmness.

Neutral colors, such as black, white, and gray, can play an important role in acrylic pouring. They can be used to create contrast, separate vibrant colors, or tone down bright hues. Incorporating neutrals into your color palette can add depth and balance to your pour paintings.

Color Combination Description
Complementary Colors Using colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green or blue and orange, can create a dynamic contrast in your pour paintings. This contrast often leads to the formation of striking cells in the artwork.
Analogous Colors Choosing colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel, such as blue and green or red and orange, can create a harmonious and soothing effect in your pour paintings. These color combinations are pleasing to the eye and can evoke a sense of unity in the artwork.
Monochromatic Colors Working with different shades, tints, and tones of a single color can create a sense of depth and interest in your pour paintings. This color scheme can be subtle yet impactful, allowing you to explore the variations within a specific color range.

Experimenting with different color combinations and being inspired by other artists’ work can help you discover unique and stunning color palettes for your pour paintings. Don’t be afraid to mix and match colors to create your own signature style.

What is a “Muddy” Mix?

A “muddy” mix refers to the combination of paint colors in an acrylic pour that creates an unpleasant overall color. This can happen when colors that are incompatible, such as red and green, are mixed together, resulting in a dull brown mix. The mixing of opposite colors on the color wheel cancels each other out and creates muddy colors.

To avoid muddy mixes in acrylic pouring, it’s important to choose colors that work well together and avoid mixing incompatible colors. Layering paint correctly, using neutral colors as separators, and experimenting with different color compositions can help prevent muddy mixes.

When selecting colors for your acrylic pour, consider using complementary colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. These colors create a vibrant contrast and are less likely to produce a muddy mix. For example, using blue and orange, or yellow and purple, can result in a visually appealing composition.

“The mixing of opposite colors on the color wheel cancels each other out and creates muddy colors.”

Another way to prevent muddy mixes is to use neutral colors as separators between bright, vibrant colors. Adding a layer of white or black paint between conflicting colors can create a barrier that prevents them from mixing and becoming muddy. This technique allows each color to maintain its integrity, resulting in a cleaner and more visually appealing acrylic pour.

Experimenting with different color compositions and pouring techniques can also help you avoid muddy mixes. By exploring various color combinations and observing how they interact with each other, you’ll gain a better understanding of which colors work well together and which ones should be avoided.

The image below demonstrates a pour with incompatible colors resulting in a muddy mix:

How to Avoid a “Muddy” Mix in Acrylic Pouring

When it comes to acrylic pouring, avoiding a “muddy” mix is essential to create vibrant and captivating artworks. A muddy mix occurs when incompatible colors are mixed together, resulting in dull and unappealing shades. To prevent muddy mixes and maintain color integrity in your acrylic pours, follow these helpful tips:

1. Select Compatible Colors

Choosing colors that work well together is the first step in avoiding muddy mixes. Compatible colors complement each other and do not cancel each other out. Refer to color theory concepts, such as the color wheel, to identify compatible combinations. Avoid mixing primary opposite colors, such as red and green, as they tend to create muddy results.

See also
Preserve Acrylics: Stop Paint Drying Out Fast

2. Layer the Paint Correctly

Layering the paint in the pouring cup is crucial to maintain color separation and prevent muddy mixes. Start by pouring a layer of one color into the cup, followed by a layer of another color, and continue in this manner. By layering the colors instead of mixing them in the cup, you can ensure that each hue retains its individuality and prevents muddiness during the pour.

3. Use Neutral Colors as Separators

Neutral colors, such as white, black, or gray, can act as separators between bright and vibrant colors. When pouring multiple colors, incorporate a layer of neutral color between each bright color. This technique helps maintain color distinction, prevents color blending, and reduces the chances of muddy mixes.

4. Pour Colors Next to Each Other

Instead of mixing colors together, pour them next to each other on the canvas. This technique allows the colors to flow and interact, creating beautiful patterns and effects while keeping each color distinct. Pour the colors close enough to create dynamic interactions but avoid blending them together, reducing the risk of muddy mixes.

5. Avoid Over-Mixing

Over-mixing the paint in the cup can lead to muddy colors. Be mindful when stirring the paint and pouring medium mixture, ensuring that you achieve a smooth consistency without excessively blending the colors. Aim for a gentle stir to incorporate all the components and avoid over-mixing, which can result in a loss of color vibrancy and muddy mixes.

6. Practice and Experiment

Developing an understanding of color combinations and how to avoid muddy mixes requires practice and experimentation. Explore different color palettes, techniques, and pouring styles to discover what works best for you. With time and experience, you’ll gain a better sense of color compatibility and be able to create stunning acrylic pours without the risk of muddy mixes.

Tips to Avoid Muddy Mixes:
1. Select compatible colors
2. Layer the paint correctly
3. Use neutral colors as separators
4. Pour colors next to each other
5. Avoid over-mixing
6. Practice and experiment

By following these tips, you can ensure that your acrylic pours are filled with vibrant and harmonious colors, free from muddy mixes. Experiment, explore, and unleash your creativity to create captivating acrylic pour artworks.

Planning Your Color Mix

Before you embark on your acrylic pour, taking the time to plan your color mix can help you achieve the desired result. Consider the colors you want to use and how they will work together in your artwork. By planning your color combinations in advance, you can create more cohesive and visually appealing acrylic pours.

The good news is that there are plenty of sources of inspiration for color combinations. Social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube are treasure troves of artistic ideas. Browse through other artists’ work and take note of the color combinations that catch your eye. You can also explore color theory to gain a deeper understanding of how colors interact and complement each other.

When planning your color mix, think about the emotions and mood you want to convey with your artwork. Warm colors like reds, oranges, and yellows are vibrant and energetic, while cool colors like blues and greens create a calming effect. You can also experiment with contrasting colors to create visual interest and impact.

Here’s an example of a color combination table to help you get started:

Color Primary Secondary Neutral
Red Red Orange Brown
Yellow Yellow Green Beige
Blue Blue Purple Gray
Green Green Blue Khaki

Feel free to mix and match colors based on your personal preferences. Remember, there are no strict rules when it comes to art, so don’t hesitate to experiment and let your creativity shine.

The Best Pouring Medium to Use

When it comes to choosing a pouring medium for acrylic paint, there are various options available. Some popular brands include Liquitex, Floetrol, and GAC 800. The pouring medium helps achieve the desired consistency in the paint mix and enhances the integrity of the artwork.

The best pouring medium for you will depend on your personal preference and the results you want to achieve. Experimenting with different brands and finding a medium that works well with your chosen paint can lead to successful acrylic pours.

Advanced Techniques and Tips

Now that you’ve mastered the basics of acrylic pouring, it’s time to take your artwork to the next level with advanced techniques and tips. These techniques will help you create unique and captivating effects in your acrylic pours, while the tips shared by experienced artists will further refine your skills. Let’s dive in!

Dutch Pour

The Dutch pour is an advanced technique that involves layering paint and then blowing it to create beautiful images with negative space. By using a straw or a blowtorch, you can manipulate the flow of paint, resulting in intricate patterns and stunning compositions. This technique allows for a high level of control and precision, producing mesmerizing artwork that will leave a lasting impression.

Swipe Pouring

Swipe pouring is another popular technique in acrylic pouring. It involves pouring different colors of paint onto a canvas and then swiping a tool, such as a palette knife or a squeegee, across the surface. This technique creates dynamic lines and blends the colors, resulting in a unique, marbled effect. With swipe pouring, you can achieve bold and expressive artwork that showcases the fluidity of the paint.

Dirty Pour

The dirty pour technique involves layering different colors of paint in a single cup and then pouring them onto the canvas in one continuous motion. As the colors mix and interact with each other, they create unexpected patterns and cellular effects. The beauty of the dirty pour lies in its unpredictability, allowing for spontaneous and organic compositions. Experimenting with different color combinations and pouring techniques will yield exciting results.

Flip Cup Pouring

Flip cup pouring is a technique where multiple colors of paint are poured into a cup, and then the cup is flipped onto the canvas. This technique creates intricate and mesmerizing patterns as the paint flows out from the cup. By adjusting the speed and angle of the flip, you can control the movement and distribution of the paint, resulting in unique and visually captivating artwork.

Familiarizing yourself with these advanced techniques will add depth and variety to your acrylic pouring practice. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment and push your creative boundaries. By incorporating these techniques into your pouring process, you’ll be able to create one-of-a-kind artworks that showcase your artistic vision.

Now, let’s explore some valuable tips and tricks shared by experienced acrylic pour artists:

  • Experiment with different pouring mediums to achieve different effects and consistencies in your paints.
  • Play with variations in paint opacity to create depth and dimension in your artwork.
  • Use a torch or heat gun to create beautiful cells and enhance the vibrancy of your colors.
  • Explore different color combinations to create interesting contrasts and harmonies in your pours.
  • Invest in high-quality brushes and tools to achieve precise and professional results.
  • Take note of the drying time of your paints and adjust your pouring techniques accordingly.
  • Protect your finished artworks by applying a varnish or sealant.
  • Join online communities and engage with other acrylic pour artists to learn and share experiences.
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Are Acrylic Paints Water Based? Quick Facts!

By incorporating these tips and techniques into your acrylic pouring practice, you’ll be able to create stunning and unique artworks that truly reflect your artistic style. Now, let your creativity flow and enjoy the process of exploring advanced acrylic pouring techniques!

Common Questions and Answers

As you dive into the world of acrylic pouring, you may have some questions or concerns along the way. Here are some frequently asked questions about acrylic pouring:

  1. How do I fix mistakes in a pour?
  2. If you make a mistake in your pour, such as unwanted drips or an undesirable composition, don’t worry! One option is to let the painting dry completely and then sand or scrape off the unwanted areas. Alternatively, you can pour another layer over the mistake or try to incorporate it into the overall design. Experimentation and embracing unexpected outcomes can lead to creative breakthroughs!

  3. Should I use a torch to create cells?
  4. Using a torch is one of the techniques that can be employed to create cells in your acrylic pours. By carefully applying heat to the surface of the painting, you can encourage the formation of unique cell patterns. However, it’s important to note that using a torch can be risky and should be done with caution. Always follow safety instructions and consider using alternative methods, such as silicone oil or paint additives, to achieve cell formation.

  5. How do I varnish and preserve acrylic pour artworks?
  6. Once your acrylic pour artwork has fully dried and cured (which typically takes a few weeks), you can protect and enhance it with a varnish. Apply a thin and even coat of varnish using a soft brush or sponge, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Varnishing helps protect the painting from dust, UV light, and potential damage. It also enhances the colors and creates a uniform finish. There are various types of varnish available, such as gloss, satin, and matte, allowing you to choose the desired look for your artwork.

While this article covers several common questions, there may be more aspects of acrylic pouring that you’d like to explore. To find answers to your specific inquiries or delve deeper into the world of acrylic pouring, consider:

  • Exploring online resources and tutorials dedicated to acrylic pouring
  • Joining acrylic pouring communities and forums to connect with other artists
  • Seeking guidance and advice from experienced artists who specialize in acrylic pouring

By being proactive in your research and seeking knowledge from a variety of sources, you’ll be able to further develop your acrylic pouring skills and confidently create stunning artworks.


Acrylic paint pouring is a captivating and versatile art technique that allows you to unleash your creativity and create mesmerizing artworks. By understanding the importance of consistency, color choices, and pouring techniques, you can achieve breathtaking results in your acrylic pours.

Consistency is key in acrylic pouring. Finding the perfect balance between a free-flowing yet controlled mixture is essential for creating stunning pour paintings. Experimenting with different pouring mediums and ratios can help you achieve the desired viscosity and flow for your artwork.

Color selection is another crucial aspect of acrylic pouring. By exploring color theory and experimenting with different combinations, you can create harmonious and visually captivating compositions. Planning your color mix in advance and considering the interaction of colors can lead to truly stunning results.

As you embark on your acrylic paint pouring journey, remember that practice and experimentation are key. Finding your preferred mix, developing your pouring style, and discovering your artistic voice takes time and dedication. So, grab your acrylic paints, pouring medium, and dive into the world of acrylic paint pouring with confidence and creativity.


What do you mix acrylic paint with for pouring?

For pouring, mix acrylic paint with a pouring medium to achieve the right consistency. The pouring medium helps thin the paint and enhances the flow, giving it a honey-like consistency.

What is the best pouring medium for acrylic paint?

There are various pouring mediums available for acrylic paint, including brands like Liquitex, Floetrol, and GAC 800. The best pouring medium for you will depend on your personal preference and the desired results.

How do you mix acrylic paint for pouring?

To mix acrylic paint for pouring, combine the paint with a pouring medium in a ratio that achieves a warm honey or syrup-like consistency. It’s important to add small amounts of paint or medium at a time and stir well to avoid over-thinning or over-thickening the mixture.

What are some essential supplies for acrylic pouring?

Some essential supplies for acrylic pouring include acrylic paints, pouring medium, a stirring utensil, pouring cups, a silicone oil or torch for creating cells, and a protective surface for your workspace.

How can I avoid creating muddy mixes in acrylic pouring?

To avoid muddy mixes, choose colors that are compatible and do not cancel each other out when mixed. Layer the paint correctly in the pouring cup, use neutral colors as separators, and pour the colors next to each other instead of mixing them together.

Can you fix mistakes in an acrylic pour?

It can be challenging to fix mistakes in an acrylic pour once it has dried. Prevention is key, so taking your time and planning your pour can help avoid mistakes. However, if a mistake does occur, you can try layering new colors or adding additional pours to cover it up.

Should I use a torch for creating cells in acrylic pouring?

Using a torch can help create cells in acrylic pouring by releasing trapped air bubbles. However, it’s not necessary and can be risky if not used properly. Alternative methods for creating cells include using a silicone oil or alcohol-based sprays.

How do I varnish and preserve my acrylic pour artworks?

To varnish and preserve acrylic pour artworks, use a varnish specifically designed for acrylic paintings. Apply the varnish in thin, even coats, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Varnishing helps protect the artwork from dust, UV rays, and moisture.

What are some advanced techniques in acrylic pouring?

Some advanced techniques in acrylic pouring include the Dutch pour, swipe pouring, dirty pour, and flip cup pouring. These techniques require more experience and practice but can create unique and interesting effects in your pour paintings.

Where can I find answers to more questions about acrylic pouring?

You can find answers to more frequently asked questions about acrylic pouring by exploring online resources, joining acrylic pouring communities, and seeking advice from experienced artists. These sources can provide valuable insights and tips to improve your acrylic pouring skills.