A Step-By-Step Pour Painting Tutorial For Beginners

pour painting tutorial

Did you know that making art may help you relax? According to this Drexel University study, engaging in artistic activities significantly reduces stress-related hormones. You don’t have to be a trained artist to relieve stress through things like drawing or painting —both skilled artists and amateurs benefitted in the study. One activity anyone can do is acrylic pour painting. No artistic skills or abilities are required to make beautiful creations on canvas that you can hang in your apartment. You just need to know the process, and we’ll walk you through it in this pour painting tutorial.

Warning: This will get messy. Make sure to lay down a layer of plastic before you start pouring to protect your surfaces!

Here’s What You’ll Need:


Acrylic paints

Floetrol (pouring medium)

Plastic cups

Craft/Popsicle sticks (for mixing the paint solution)


Tray or other work surface

Tin Foil

Trash bags or other plastic coverings

Rubber Gloves

pour painting tutorial

Mix Your Paint!

Step 1: Mix Paint

First, you’ll need to mix your paint solutions. These paint mixtures are what you’ll use to create your pour paintings. Put your rubber gloves on to keep your fingers safe from paint stains.

Pour 1 part paint, 2 parts Floetrol and 1 part water into a plastic cup and mix it well with a craft stick. Do this for each paint color you plan to use (we recommend starting with 3-4 colors).

Step 2: Prep Your Paints

Now it’s time to prep your paints. There are many ways to pour paint, but we’ll be walking you through the “dirty” style of pour painting. In this type of pour painting tutorial, you’ll be layering your paints before pouring them onto your canvas. Take an empty plastic cup and pour some of each paint color into the cup, one by one.

pour painting tutorial

Pour Painting Tutorial

Step 3: Pour!

And now it’s time for the fun part. Place the canvas on your tray or work surface. Remember, this gets messy, so be sure your surface is covered with plastic or aluminum foil and that there is plastic protecting the ground beneath the tray, too.

Begin pouring your cup of paint onto the center of the canvas until you have a small puddle (or two). Next, pick up your canvas and slowly tilt it around so the paint begins covering the canvas. You’ll start to see cool designs take shape. You can decide how to rotate your canvas to get a unique result — there’s no wrong way to do it. Continue tilting your canvas until it’s completely covered.

Step 4: Let It Dry

Once you’re done painting your canvas, place it on a raised surface of plastic cups over the plastic to let it dry. Don’t set your painting down on any surface to dry, because the paint will drip down and it’ll get stuck to the material.


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