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With paint pouring, it's easy to create a one-of-a-kind abstract painting, and the best part is there's no skill needed! (Image: Seattle Refined)

Paint Pouring: The DIY trend anyone can do

There's a trendy new way to create one-of-a-kind amazing abstract art. Not only is it easy and fun - there's no skill needed! It's called Paint Pouring and ANYONE can do it.

Some ideas: create a piece that reminds you of roaring waves at the beach, or one that echoes the magic of the galaxy. Choose the shades of a tropical sunset, or spotlight the hues of your favorite sports team - like the Seahawks! Typically, if you use more than one color together, acrylic paint will combine, making a new color or a muddy mess. With paint pouring, you are using paint that’s thinned, and the colors stay separate.


  • Pouring Paint (you can make your own with a recipe of 40% acrylic paint, 30% school glue and 30% water). Combine until the paint has the consistency of warm honey. You can also buy pre-made 'Pouring Paint' at crafts store or online.
  • Artist's canvas
  • Cups and stir sticks (to stir paint right before pouring)
  • A old metal rack and cookie sheet (a place to pout the paint). You can line the cookie sheet with parchment paper to reduce mess.
  • Plastic gloves and plastic covering for work space
  • Optional: Glitter and Sealer

There are no wrong ways to paint pour - but here are a couple of commonly used techniques. First up - the 'Clean Pour.' A 'Clean Pour' refers to using one color per cup and adding the paint to canvas one color at a time.

The 'Clean Pour' Directions

  1. With the canvas face up on the rack, pour a base color, letting extra paint drip off the sides of the canvas. Tilt the canvas to encourage the paint cover the area.
  2. Randomly pour colors on canvas one at a time (anything goes - dots, lines, zig zags).
  3. Pick up canvas and tilt until area is covered with paint, allowing extra paint to drip off.
  4. Add glitter if desired.
  5. Place on a level drying area (let it dry for up to a week) and seal.

A 'Dirty Pour' means there is more than one color in the cup. One popular type of 'Dirty Pour' is the Flip Cup Method, which means layering paint in a cup and then pouring it directly on the canvas.

The 'Dirty Pour' Flip Cup Directions

  1. Layer pouring paint in a cup, one color on top of the next. Remember that whatever you put on the bottom of the cup will end up on the top of the canvas!
  2. Place the canvas facedown on top of the cup, holding it firmly over the rack.
  3. Flip upside down so that the canvas is on the rack and the cup is upside down on top of it.
  4. Slowly remove the cup from the canvas, allowing the paint to drip off the sides.
  5. Tilt until area is covered with paint
  6. Add glitter if desired.
  7. Place on a level drying area (let it dry for up to a week) and seal.

For more fun ideas, check out our other simple projects including How to Tie Dye and How to Make a Lemon Rosemary Scrub.