Every Piece of DIY Acrylic Pour Painting Art Is Completely Unique

Acrylic pour on canvas
credit: Lucy Akins

Acrylic pour, also known as "dirty pour" or "fluid art," has gained popularity over the past year. The popularity of this type of art could be attributed to the fact that it doesn't take a skilled artist to achieve gorgeous results. Each piece of art is unique because the paint creates various irregular lines and markings on the canvas.

Acrylic pour on canvas.
credit: Lucy Akins

As this emerging art is explored and new methods and techniques are created, one fact remains: It's so satisfying to watch the paint flow as it combines and creates beautiful abstract markings on the canvas.

For this DIY, we're going to explore the basic method of acrylic pouring by mixing together pouring liquid and regular acrylics.

Things You'll Need

TIP: Keep in mind that if you mix cool and warm colors together, the paint will create what is called "mud." Mud is often a neutral or brown color.

Materials required.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 1

On the back of the canvas, place a pushpin at each corner. This will elevate the canvas off the surface. Alternatively, you can use cans or cups under the canvas.

Place pushpins at each corner of canvas.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 2

Pour one part pouring medium into a cup.

Pouring Medium.
credit: Lucy Akins
Pouring Medium in cup.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 3

Add two parts of your desired paint color to the cup with pouring medium.

TIP: Depending on the type of pouring medium and acrylic paint you use, the ratios will vary. It is best to follow the recommended ratios specified on the packaging.

Paint being poured into cup.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 4

Use a stir stick to mix the two thoroughly.

Mixing pouring medium and paint together.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 5

Follow the same procedure with every color you wish to use.

Mixed paint.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 6

Place a base layer (your choice of color that you just mixed with the pouring medium) onto the canvas. Using a palette knife spread it over the entire surface.

Spreading paint over canvas.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 7

First, pour the color you want to appear last into a measuring cup or cup with a spout.

TIP: The colors will pour out backward; so the first color you pour into the cup will be the last color on the canvas.

Pouring paint into measuring cup.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 8

Pour each color into the measuring cup — be sure to pour it along the side of the cup. This allows the paint to flow into the cup slower and prevents colors from mixing prematurely.

Pouring paint into measuring cup.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 9

Continue to pour the paint in your desired order.

Pouring paint into measuring cup.
credit: Lucy Akins
Pouring paint into measuring cup.
credit: Lucy Akins
Pouring paint into measuring cup.
credit: Lucy Akins
Pouring paint into measuring cup.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 10

Use the spout of the cup to slowly pour paint onto the canvas. You can continue to pour the paint onto one area and allow paint to spread.

Pouring paint onto canvas from cup.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 11

Or you can move the cup across the canvas to paint onto different areas.

Pouring paint onto canvas from cup.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 12

Once all the paint has been poured, slowly tilt the canvas back and forth to spread the paint throughout the canvas.

Spreading paint by tilting canvas.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 13

Continue to tilt back and forth until the entire canvas is covered.

Spreading paint by tilting canvas.
credit: Lucy Akins

Step 14

Allow the paint to dry for 24 to 48 hours.

Completed canvas.
credit: Lucy Akins
Acrylic pour on canvas.
credit: Lucy Akins

The possibilities of color combinations and markings are endless with this type of art. You can also create "cells" using an art torch, which will create incredibly interesting and fascinating markings. Continue to explore with various methods and have fun.

Acrylic pour on canvas.
credit: Lucy Akins

Lucy Akins

Lucy Akins

Lucy Akins is an artist, photographer, blogger, and speaker living in Toronto, Ontario. Her work has been published in several magazines, including: Cottages and Bungalows, American Farmlife Style, National Geographic Kids, Better Homes and Gardens, and more. Lucy enjoys sharing her passion for watercolor, decorating and creating as she believes there is an artist in all of us. When not creating, Lucy can be found enjoying time with her husband, their three children and their energetic Aussie pup, Brody.