If you are feeling creative and looking for a new project to try this weekend, I have to tell you about my current obsession with acrylic paint pouring. I’ve been playing around with paint pours for the past few months, but what makes this project special is the raised texture design underneath the pour.
Back in early June, a friend invited me to an art class at an adorable art studio about 30 minutes from my house. This was my first time doing acrylic art pouring, and I was immediately intrigued. Up until that point, I had seen videos of other people doing art pours and I couldn’t imagine why you might want to pour paint all over a canvas.
The thing that really fascinated me about the class was that the instructor had created a textured mandala design on our canvases before the class. I asked her how she made it, and she simply answered, “with a medium.”
Ok… that was NOT helpful. What is a medium? And how do I find it? And what do I do with it?
Now, one thing you should know about me is that I love a challenge. So, this lack of information actually made me more determined than I might have been otherwise to recreate this project at home.
I really enjoyed doing the acrylic pour, but I wasn’t happy with my color selection or how mine turned out. So, the very next morning, I headed to Pinterest and later the craft store to begin teaching myself how to pour paint!
Since then, I have ruined seven canvases and tried at least four different forms of stencils and “mediums” to create the design that I wanted to replicate. Lucky for you, I waste all of the supplies and spend months in frustration, and then tell you how to do it!
Here’s what you need to create an acrylic paint pour with a textured design:
- Liquitex Super Heavy Gel Medium (mine was actually the gloss finish rather than matte, but I don’t think it would really matter)
- Folk Art Laser Cut stencil with adhesive back (I bought my butterfly design at Michael’s)
- Flood Floetrol Latex Paint Conditioner (You can buy this at Home Depot in a smaller size)
- Acrylic paint of any kind
- Stirring sticks
- Plastic cups
Adhere the stencil to your canvas. I tried multiple attempts to cut a stencil on my Silhouette using various types of adhesive vinyl. For this to really work well, you need a stencil that is cut from a sturdy material, rather than thin vinyl. I finally ended up buying one at Michael’s, and it worked great!
Paint over the stencil with the Super Heavy Gel Medium. I put it on until it was thick. Then, I smoothed it out with an old credit card. (I try to keep this as basic as possible!)
The texture has to dry for at least 24 hours. Here’s where you have to wait patiently and try to resist the urge to keep touching it to see if it’s dry. (HINT: It’s not!)
Cover your work surface with a plastic tablecloth or an old box. I also spread out a piece of parchment paper under my canvas.
Using small plastic cups, pour about a half cup to one cup of Floetrol into each of three cups. (I was painting an 8×12 canvas. You will need more paint if you are painting a larger canvas.) Add a few squirts of acrylic paint. I know this isn’t very scientific. Basically, add a small amount of paint and stir and then add some more until it’s nice and pigmented.
Stir each color well with your stirring sticks. You can play around with different color combinations. Just remember that the colors will form other colors when they mix. Choose colors that will mix nicely and not create a muddy brown once mixed.
In a larger plastic cup, pour each of the three colors, one layer at a time.
Hold the canvas on top of the cup. Now, flip the whole thing over, trying to keep the rim of the cup completely on the canvas the whole time. Let it sit there for about a minute so the paint can move down the cup and start to mix.
Pick up the cup and watch with amazement and satisfaction as the colors begin to mix. Now, the fun part.
Pick up your canvas and tilt it in each direction until the entire canvas is covered. You will have pools of paint on your work surface, which is fine. If you have blank spots on the edges of the canvas, dip your finger in the extra paint and dab it on the sides of your canvas.
Allow it to dry. It can take between two days and four days, which feels like forever! As it dries, the pattern underneath will become more visible.
Let me know if you decide to try acrylic paint pouring. Just be warned… Once you do it, you will want to do it again and again!