Pour Painting Supplies

Guide for Beginners by Olga Soby

Are you just diving into fluid art and wondering which pour painting supplies you need to be successful with this fun art? Or maybe you have been working with fluid techniques for a while and now looking to try new awesome supplies and ideas? In this article, I explain everything step-by-step and will also help you make environmentally friendly choices.

And in case you are new to my website, my name is Olga Soby. I’m a fluid artist, and on this website and my YouTube channel, I provide aspiring artists with tools and knowledge they can use to master acrylic pouring and make beautiful art. And I’m thrilled that you are here 😀

So let’s talk about pour painting supplies! Here is what you'll need to get started:

Pour Painting Supplies - Detailed Guide by Olga Soby - Acrylic Paint

1. Acrylic Paint

I have tried, tested, and experimented with numerous paint brands over the past few years. And after all, I came to this “go-for” list of paints that are great quality, work beautifully for pouring techniques, and dry nicely.

One of my favorite brands is Studio Acrylics by Pebeo. Especially highlight Pebeo Iridescent Line – these colors look STUNNING when dry. Another brand that I love is Amsterdam – excellent color selection, and colors dry nicely. I love most of the rich colors by Winsor & Newton Galleria line, they work amazingly with most pouring recipes. I also like acrylics by Liquitex Basics.
What about pre-mixed pouring paint?

Premixed Pouring Paint is acrylic paint that is already mixed with pouring medium and is sold in a fluid state ready to be poured on the canvas (no extra mixing required). This type of paint is normally works well only for certain techniques and is significantly more expensive compared to buying regular paint and mixing it yourself. Therefore I think it's a option is only good for those looking to give pouring a try without needing to mix your own colors. 

What about house paint? 

I do not use house paint for creating my paintings, therefore can't provide any recommendations. 

Pour Painting Supplies - Detailed Guide by Olga Soby - Pouring Medium

2. Pouring Medium

Pouring medium is a substance that we add to acrylic paint to reduce its viscosity and improve the flow, thus making it suitable for acrylic pouring techniques. 

First, there are commercial pouring mediums designed by paint brands specifically for pouring techniques. There are so many available right now, I like one by Pebeo

Next, there are pouring medium alternatives such as Floetrol and Glue-all (or PVA Glue). Those are not designed for acrylic pour painting, but they have been used by the pouring community as a cheaper non-archival alternative to commercial mediums. 

Last but not least is Water. Yes, you can totally use just water to make your paint more fluid. Just don’t add too much, as it can affect the binding properties of the paint and increase cracking. 

Which one to use? There is definitely no right or wrong option here. And the choice depends on the technique and effect that you are trying to achieve. Think of it as different recipes for cake – ingredients depend on the type of cake that you’re going to make 🙂

Keep in mind that you can totally combine different mediums in one recipe. 

Check out the videos below to get an idea about techniques that I do with different pouring mediums:

Paint with WATER Only

Paint with Pouring Medium and Water

Paint with Floetrol and Water

Pour Painting Supplies - Detailed Guide by Olga Soby - Cups for Mixing

3. Pour Painting Supplies for Mixing

Cups, jars, mixing sticks – all those handy acrylic pour painting supplies are needed for mixing and storing your pouring mixture.

You can use wooden craft sticks or reusable plastic mixing sticksAfter that, get silicone cups, and you will be able to peel the dry paint off and reuse it. Paper cups are also a great option and a more biodegradable alternative to one-time-use plastic cups. 

In addition, having some containers with tight lids is also very handy – you can preserve any extra paint you’ve mixed for the next pour. I also like to use squeeze bottles – this is my favorite way to store pre-mixed paints.
Pour Painting Supplies - Detailed Guide by Olga Soby - Canvas and Wood Substrate

4. Canvas or Panel

Paints are mixed! After that, we need something to pour on 😀 What can you pour on? 

The most popular surfaces for pouring are canvases and wooden panels. If you work on canvas, it is essential to make sure that it’s not saggy. Otherwise, fluid paint is going to puddle up in the center while drying.

Personally, I prefer to work on cradled wood panels as they’re completely flat and sturdy. In addition, the dry painting can easily be covered with resin without it puddling in the center. But if you also use wood, make sure to seal and prime it with gesso first. 

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Pour Painting Supplies - Detailed Guide by Olga Soby - Butane torch what for?

5. Torch or Heat Gun

Torch is absolutely optionalIt’s used by some artists for two purposes:

1. Pops air bubbles that are in the paint from mixing and stirring. 
2. Stimulates Cells creation. If you add silicone oil to your paint, slight torching will stimulate the growth of the cells. But even without silicone oil, with little torching, you create some lacing and light cells effects.

I prefer using this torchIf you don’t feel comfortable using a torch, then a heat gun is a good alternative. It generates heat without an open flame. However, keep in mind that airflow from the heat gun can push the paint.
Pour Painting Supplies - Detailed Guide by Olga Soby - PPE

6. PPE

Safety is important. Therefore, read the MSDS of ALL the paints, mediums, and tools you are using. Follow all the safety recommendations, and use proper Personal Protective Equipment. And here are some general must-haves from me:

Fire Extinguisher – if you use a torch or heat gun, I highly recommend having one accessible in your working area. 

Nitrile Gloves – it’s sure fun to have paint all over your hands. However, acrylic paints and mediums are not the most “innocent” materials out there. That is to say, it’s recommended to avoid direct skin contact. I like reusing my gloves as possible to cut down the waste.

Good Ventilation and Air Purifier – make sure that you have good ventilation in your working environment. Especially if you are pouring a lot in a single session and heating your pours with the torch. 

7. Silicone Oil & Other Cells Additives

You can get cells without silicone if you are using Floetrol in your mixture, or from certain techniques that are based on different paint densities. But silicone oil brings can help achieve beautiful cells effect in many techniques. So try adding approximately 1 drop per 1-2 oz of color, stir slightly, pour and enjoy! 

Besides, you can find some good alternatives to silicone just around the house – RainX and Coconut Milk serum (likewise, they both have silicone/dimethicone as one of the ingredients). 

Moreover, you can even use DISH SOAP for cells. 

VIDEO: Acrylic Pour Cells: Silicone vs Dish Soap vs Alcohol

Cells Techniques with Silicone Oil

How to Clean Silicone OFF

Cells with Australian Floetrol

Pour Painting Supplies - Detailed Guide by Olga Soby - tools for art techniques

8. Pour Painting Supplies & Tools

Acrylic Pouring techniques are endless, and you can push them further by using special tools! Some of these tools are designed for artists, but most of them are meant for completely different things (household beauty, etc.) and have been adopted by artists to achieve new, unexpected effects!

One of the most popular tools is definitely a blow dryer, and you can find a lot of tutorials with it on my channel. Some others include cookie cutters, embroidery hoops, combs, toothpicks, straws, silicone funnels, and many more! Here are some fun examples: 

Pouring With Blow Dryer

Pouring With Embroidery Hoops 

Pouring With COOKIE Cutter

Pouring With Hair COMB

Ripple Effect with FUNNEL
Gorgeous Cells with TOOTHPICK
Pour Painting Supplies - Detailed Guide by Olga Soby - Mandala Art Embellishment

9. Embellishment

Pour painting techniques are a lot of fun, but your creativity doesn't need to stop once the paint is already on the canvas!
There are so many amazing ways to embellish a painting and make it even more beautiful and expressive!

One of the ways that I love to enhance my pieces is by using Gloss Gel and Stencil to add gorgeous textured Mandalas and other geometrical designs. Another idea is to create the 3D effect by masking some areas of the paintings with Liquid Latex. You can find videos with tutorials below:

Embellishment with Stencil

3D Embellishment with Liquid Latex
Embellishment with Negative Space and Stencil
Pour Painting Supplies - Detailed Guide by Olga Soby - Epoxy Clear Coating

10. Finish

The painting is done! It's time to finish with the final layer. There are generally two options - varnish and epoxy resin clear coat.

Varnish is available as a spray or as a brush-on option and comes with Matte, Satin, and Glossy finish.

And, of course, my favorite is the epoxy resin finish - it's a thick, glossy, glass-like finish, I love the chic it brings to the paintings, and most of my customers and students prefer this finish as well. But the process is quite tricky and takes some skills. Therefore I have created a comprehensive online course in which I teach my entire process from A to Z,  check it out:

I hope this acrylic pour painting supplies guide was helpful to you! Now have fun hunting for your new creative tools and pour painting supplies 😀

Looking for more awesome acrylic pouring supplies?

Check out my Amazon Storefront USA / CA / UK / DE you'll find even more brands and supplies I use, love, and recommend, so definitely check it out. And in this supplies guide for beginners, you'll find more details and help from me.

In conclusion, I want to say: Keep experimenting, keep exploring your unique creativeness, and enjoy every step of this journey!

Colorfully Yours,

Olga Soby