Whether you’re a long-time pro or a beginning crafter looking for something new, paint pouring is a fun project that’s suitable for any age.
Just remember that this is a potentially messy project, so make sure you’ve covered all your work surfaces and have stocked up on paper towels.
What’s Paint Pouring?
Paint pouring uses fluid paint, and can include both acrylic and tempera paint. Acrylic paints dry to a resilient, waterproof finish and is preferred by most fluid painters.
Tempera paint is great for little ones, as it cleans off of fingers, noses and tummies easily with water. For permanence, a tempera paint masterpiece can be sealed with a clear spray-on acrylic.
There are lots of books and videos that will give you clear, visual instructions on this creative and fun craft.
Supplies You’ll Need
Your paint can be heavy-body, as you’ll be adding medium to give it the correct fluid consistency. You can also use a more liquid form, as this will require less of the medium to make it pourable.
Pouring medium thins your paint so it flows more easily. It doesn’t change the paint’s characteristics the way water does. Add the pouring medium to your paint a bit at a time until you get a fluid consistency that’s not too runny.
You’ll use lots of these, so stock up! Mix your initial colors, use them for flip-cup pours and dirty pours too. You can also use them to hold your canvas above your work surface so the paint drips off the sides. Just make sure to have a plastic tarp under the area for all those drips.
Choose cups with lids so you can store any extra paint for your next pouring adventure.
Wooden Craft Sticks
These are perfect for stirring your paint mixtures and they’re inexpensive enough to throw away after use.
Did I mention this is a messy project? Do yourself a favor and invest in a box of disposable gloves. Your cuticles and fingernails will thank you!
Brushes aren’t necessary if you’re going to let the paint do absolutely everything. However, once you get started with this style of painting, you’ll probably want to add your own personal touches.
If the sides of the canvas aren’t completely covered, use a brush to finish the edges. Add accents and detail work, or you can incorporate metallic or glittery features with a brush and novelty paints.
Palette knives are useful for scooping spilled paint or painting the sides of your canvas.
You can use any size of canvas for your paintings, but it’s a good idea to start out fairly small. If you’re a beginner, try a value-pack of 8” x 10” canvases that are inexpensive, as your first attempts may be less-than-stellar. As your skill and confidence increase, try out larger sizes and more professional quality.
If you’re looking for a way to loosen up and have some messy, unstructured art fun, pouring art is the way to go. You may never become a Jackson Pollock, but it’s a great way to express yourself whether you can paint or not!