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Beginners Supply Guide to Acrylic Paint Pouring

Acrylic Paint Pouring is so much fun, and there are so many different techniques to learn, but where do you start? What supplies do you need? Our goal with this website is to help you learn them all and help you get the supplies you need without breaking your wallet. After reading this post, don’t forget to stop by our Resource Library and download our “Quick Guide to Acrylic Paint Pouring Mixing. “ This is a one-page Quick Guide that will help you get started with the items listed in this post.

1. Craft Acrylic Paint

These paints are so handy to have around! They usually come in small 2 oz. bottles but with acrylic paint, pouring a little goes a long way. Craft paints are water-based, non-toxic acrylic paint, which means they are safe for sensitive skin and safe for kids. They are fast drying, and they tend to dry a little darker color than what you see when wet.

I like to use the Craft Smart brand. This brand of paint mixes the easiest for beginners, and the colors stay bright when mixed with Pouring Mediums.

You can purchase my favorite brand of craft paint online and other brand names in craft and hobby stores and often in local home improvement stores. These paints are inexpensive, and they come in a wide variety of colors. 

Craft Paint Paint Pour Academy
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Pouring Medium Paint Pour Academy
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2. Pouring Medium

 A Pouring Medium is a liquid additive used to make acrylic paints thinner while maintaining the paint’s color characteristics. Pre-made Pouring Medium can be purchased online, in craft, or in hobby stores, or you can create your own. There are many recipes available to try, but one of the easiest and most reliable recipes that I use is:

Using premade Pouring Medium does offer some benefits. It is ready to use and comes in its own container. For some artists, using premade Pouring Medium is the best way to paint because it can offer ease of use when trying to mix the correct consistency with paints. I prefer to create our own Pouring Medium because it does save money, and it is so much fun to see art completed from scratch.

3. Dixie Cups

These cups come in several sizes, but I find that the 3-ounce cups are so versatile. They are used to mix the acrylic craft paint, and they can be used as feet to hold up your canvas which allows the canvas to dry with clean edges and not sit in the wet paint.

Dixie cups can be purchased online, in local home improvement stores, in grocery stores, and in pharmacies. 

HINT: Look for the cups that are printed with a design. The design can help act as a measuring guide. For example, when we mix our paint, we fill the cup to the bottom of the print line, the bottom of the blue flower, with acrylic paint, and then fill to the top of the blue flower with Pouring Medium.

Dixie Cups Paint Pour Academy
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Stir Sticks Paint Pour Academy
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4. Popsicle Sticks

These small but functional little pieces of wood are great to have around. They work very well in mixing your acrylic paint, and they can be used to create some pretty neat effects by drizzling the paint around your canvas.

Be sure to rinse the popsicle sticks off with water when you are finished and set them out to dry. The sticks will get colored with the water, but they can be reused in your next project. 

5. Painting Surface

The most common painting surface is canvas, but your painting surface can be anything that is flat and level. Wood shapes, chipboard, glass, mirror, old records…. even the back of your cereal box! 

Use your imagination!

A flat surface is needed to paint, such as a desk, table, floor, or any large surface to support your canvas and your paints. This surface should be as level as possible so that your paint does not slide off the canvas. It is a good idea to have this surface available for a minimum of 24 hours while the paint dries.

Canvas Paint Pour Academy
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Gloves Paint Pour Academy
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6. Gloves

Even though acrylic paint is non-toxic, it is always best to be safe. Glovewill keep your hands clean and allow for a quick clean-up when done. Nitrile gloves are recommended for those who have an allergy to latex.

Before you take them off, wash your hands with soap and water to clean them. Lay them flat to dry and reuse them in your next project.

7. Plastic Sheet

You will need some sort of plastic sheet under the canvas to help protect the table or flat surface that you are using. A cut-up trash bag, plastic shopping back, cut-up plastic drop cloth, or any other plastic sheeting will work well.

In most cases, this plastic sheet can not be reused unless you want to roll it up with the paint drippings on it and use it as-is in your next project. You can try to save the paint drippings (sometimes they look cooler than the art, lol!), but the plastic will usually tear when you try to peel the paint drippings off.

Drop Cloth Paint Pour Academy
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Paper Towels Paint Pour Academy
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8. Paper Towels

Paint pouring can be a messy art! Before beginning, tear off a few paper towels and set them next to the canvas. This will make it easier for you to grab and not get paint all over your entire roll.

Paper towelcan also be used in the Swipe technique. Spray the paper towel with water until it is damp and then pull it through the paint. Just be careful. The weight of the paint could tear the wet paper towel and drop it into your paint!

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