Getting Started With Acrylic Pouring For Beginners

I love creating acrylic paintings, and today I’m sharing easy tips for Getting Started With Acrylic Pouring For Beginners. Playing with fluid paints feels so creative and liberating I hope you give it a try!

Hello friends! Today’s post talks about getting started with acrylic pouring. I’ll share what supplies I gathered, the canvases I made in one afternoon and my first impressions about acrylic pour painting. But let me just start by saying- painting with out a paint brush is mind blowing!

Getting started with acrylic pour painting can feel a little daunting but I’ll show you what I used and a few examples of what I created too. 

Getting started with acrylic pouring

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What is Acrylic Pour?

When you mix paint with a pouring medium you change the consistency of the paint. Instead of thick paint that you lift with a paint brush to paint, you now have a thinned out (yet richly pigmented) paint that you can pour onto a canvas. This liquidity yields so many new options- the paint moves and blends differently and is so much fun!

acrylic pour painting for beginners YouTube

Watch me pour paint in this acrylic pour painting for beginners video that I just uploaded to my YouTube channel. Click HERE to watch it or click the video box below.

what do i need for acrylic pouring?

Disclosure: I was provided paint from DecoArt upon request. I really wanted to try paint pouring and all the opinions below are mine.

Getting started with acrylic pouring requires two important ingredients. A pouring medium and a some paints. Here are the ones I used today:


Once I set up my tarp and created a pour area, I paint poured a bunch of projects one after another! I was able to create about 6 to 7 home decor items in one afternoon and the whole process made me feel so energized and creative!



The better you prep the easier your project will go!

  • Protect your surface (and hands!): I laid down a folded 6 by 8 ft tarp on the floor and did all of my paint pouring on it. Keep in mind, this WILL get messy. I was very scared of the mess before I started, but really once you start pouring the paint you wont notice it and the tarp makes for quick and easy clean up.
  • Collect disposables: You will need to thin out each color of paint separately. You can use clear disposable plastic cups for this and a popsicle stick as a stirrer. I had a pile of plastic bowls that were worn so I used those with plastic spoons here. I also used some old shoe boxes to place beneath my canvases. Also grab a few newspapers to help keep the area clean. 
  • Figure out your paint recipes: The first step is to prepare your paint. You need to thin your paint with a pouring medium to get the right pouring consistency. For the Fluid acrylic brand I used, the paint recipe was 1:1 paint to pouring medium. If you are using a craft acrylic you might have to use a 1:2 paint to pouring medium ratio. For thicker artist grade paints that come in tubes go for a 1:3 or 1:4 paint to pouring medium recipe.
  • Create and prep a drying station: If you are planning to do more than one paint pouring project, you will need to move the wet canvasses somewhere to dry. I cleared a countertop in my kitchen for this and placed shoe boxes to let the paint drip. I would suggest not moving the canvases for at least 6 hours after pouring- so chose a drying station space wisely.

Getting Started With Acrylic Pouring For Beginners

1. Acrylic Pour Method: THE DIRTY POUR TECHNIQUE

In most of my projects I used the dirty pour technique. You take a large cup, and pour your individual diluted colors one a top another to create a mixture. This method is called the dirty pour and always yields unexpected results. Which is the most fun!

Dirty pour color combinations:

Keep the colors bright and make sure not to mix colors on the opposite side of the color wheel!

dirty pour cup

2. Acrylic Pour on Canvas

For this painting I created a dirty pour of greens, blues, whites and touch of yellow. I used a lot of subtle shades of the greens and I can totally see them all on the canvas. I was able to create some “cells” but all in all this canvas just makes me feel calm.


Pop of yellow. I really want to explore simple paint pours in detail next time. This one has yellow, gold, orange and white and it turned out so nice!

acrylic pour painting for beginners

3. Acrylic Pour on Wood:

This wooden love sign here was so quick to make and I love the yellow color! This one was for our master bedroom and I have a grey/yellow theme there so it turned out perfect! While pouring on wood, I used the same paint to pouring medium ratio and it turned out fine!

ALSO READ: 7 Tips for Acrylic Painting on Wood


Here I used just black and white alternating them as I go and poured it into a Premade Birch/Pine square frame. The frame made it super easy to hold all the paint in and not waste any! I just love how the black and white contrasts here.

acrylic pour on wood

Finally, since I had all these yellow and green colors left over, I did a quick pour onto this Wooden Pineapple. Nothing fancy, just some color mixing.


Poured leftover random paints onto this small alphabet monogram and I love how the color swirls around! A definite favorite.


How long do Acrylic Pours take to Dry?

The paints take about 24 hours to dry completely. And the paint can move while drying so you just don’t know how it will end up!

Here is my large canvas. This one is huge and I of course started my paint pouring afternoon with this one. I created a dirty pour of a few pastel colors and in the video you see I actually got a nice mix of colors. But I just did not have enough paint on the canvas. So I created a splatter effect and let the paints move as they wanted. In the end the color scheme turned out pretty alright and I love the movement of color on this canvas.



To protect your finished project, it is always a good idea to give a Clear varnish spray coat if you like a matte finish or use a Clear Pouring Topcoat for a flossy finish. 

What do you think of acrylic pour painting for beginners?? All of my projects today were acrylic pour without silicone and are perfect acrylic pour painting for beginners! Did you find this getting started with acrylic pouring article helpful?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy Crafting!

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  1. So glad you finally tried it, Smitha! Your pieces look awesome! One thing I do is, after I lay down my plastic, I tightly group some smaller canvasses on top of that (the plastic) and let the piece I’m pouring on drip onto those, if that makes sense. I hate to waste so much after I’ve gone to all the trouble of mixing the paints & pouring medium. Good job! 💜

    • I hear ya!! I ended up scooping the paint off the tarp and spooning it onto the pineapple. Ha! So much paint goes to waste in this method. BUT that’s also why its so dramatic and fast!

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