How to feed your paint pouring addiction on a shoestring budget

Paint pouring using acrylic paint and pouring medium is extremely popular at the moment. In a flash a beautiful, complex masterpiece can be created using the random mixing and movement of the paint as it is poured onto the canvas. The only problem is that the medium and huge quantity of paint used can become extremely costly. I recently learned a neat way to practice paint pouring at a fraction of the cost and that is what I will share in this blog post.

‘Air and Water’ Acrylic pour


I go to a mixed media group where many of the members have become interested in paint pouring. Michelle Stratton, who teaches the group, dedicated one of our sessions to trying it out. I had so much fun experimenting with the different patterns that could be created. It is always nice to find more affordable ways to create new artwork.

I want to make it clear that I am not claiming to be an expert at paint pouring. Also the technique I will describe in this post will not have the same finish as the products that you can buy. Therefore it is not a technique that would be appropriate to use for pieces you wish to sell. However, I think it is a good way to try out paint pouring and begin using different colour combinations or styles without breaking the bank.


  • Surface for artwork (canvas, gesso primed cardboard, glass or tile etc). I used a sheet of glass.
  • Water
  • PVA glue
  • acrylic paints (I like a restricted colour palette)
  • silicon
  • disposable cups
  • straw (to use to swirl the paint or use air to push your paint to the edges of the artwork surface)
  • gloves
  • hairdryer (I used a hairdryer to cause wavy lines throughout the mixing paint)

Method- Getting ready:

  1. Put on your gloves if you don’t want to end up with paint covered hands.
  2. Prepare your surface for the artwork so that it is sitting on top of a cup or something to raise it off the ground. I would recommend putting everything within a tray or box so that paint does not get all over everything.
  3. Dilute the PVA glue with water so that it is a similar consistency to mod podge. I used about 4 parts PVA glue to about 1 part water. This will be your pouring medium.
  4. Select your colours and put a small amount of each in its own cup.
  5. Dilute each colour with your pouring medium. I used a ratio of about 1 part paint to 2 parts pouring fluid.
  6. Add a couple of drops of silicone to each colour and stir. The silicone is what should give you cells in your artwork. Stir more for a lot of small cells and less for fewer large cells.

‘Fire and Water’ down and one to go

Now for the fun part!

There are many different techniques that you can use for the combination of the colours and the pouring part. I poured each colour on individually and then used the straw and tilting to combine them. You have also probably seen videos of people combining all the colours into one cup and then inverting it onto the surface so that all the colours pour out at the same time.


Finished pours sitting out to dry


I really like the results that I got using this method. The colours were not as bright once the artwork was dry. There was some blank spaces where the paint had cracked. However, the effect of the cracks was actually quite interesting. I have been told that the PVA glue may cause the artwork to yellow over time but have not seen any evidence of this yet.

Below you can see how the pieces that I did turned out once they were dry.

Finished dry artwork of  ‘Waves of Wind’ and ‘Air and Water’ hanging on my walls


Prints of these two pieces are also available in my online store. Below you can see the framed prints.


Framed prints of ‘Air and Water’ and ‘Waves of Wind

I also love the way that these abstract pours look on some of the other products in my online store. Below you can see the leggings, all over print t-shirts and backpack. There are also many other items for you to check out in my online store.

Printed all over print t-shirt, leggings and backpack