When I first started acrylic pouring, I didn’t have half of these things and I did just fine. It was fun experimenting and figuring out what I needed and what I could reuse.

Now I have my go-to’s and a specific process and I still enjoy new ways to do things so I’ll probably be updating this post as I find new-to-me ways of creating acrylic pours.

What you need to start acrylic pouring

These are the essential supplies needed for a beginners acrylic pouring journey. 

Acrylic paint

Obviously! But paint matters. For now, start with the cheap-o crafty acrylic craft paints in the assorted packs. There are some horrendous colors in there, but you never know what you might get when you mix them. You will be surprised. You might also be frightened but this is part of the process. You’ll learn what colors you don’t like and that’s just as important as figuring out the ones you do.

I highly recommend getting Artist’s Loft Flow Acrylic white and black. If you get another brand, get the bigger containers as you’ll use more of these colors.


Stretched canvas on wood is preferable. Not canvas boards as they will warp. Start small and go bigger as you get better. Arteza has a 12×12″ canvas pack that’s perfect for practicing.

Pouring Medium

You’ll need about a 1:1 ratio of paint to pouring medium. A pouring medium makes your paint more fluid and lengthens the working time. Elmer’s Glue ALL (not school glue) or Floetrol (which can also be found at any home supply stores) are great to learn with.

Once you have mastered your technique, you can invest in Liquitex Pouring MediumDecoArt Pouring Medium and even mixing your own recipe!


Paint and pour mediums will give off fumes while working with it and during the drying process.  Use a well-ventilated space for the creation and drying of your art.

Miscellaneous Supplies

  • Plastic cups or something to mix paint in – You can use almost anything and also reuse things you already have in the recycling bin (yogurt containers, pudding containers, anything cup like will work). You will use at least 4+ cups per piece, so plan accordingly.
  • Water – a cup of water and dropper/teaspoon for adding to your paint mixture
  • Craft sticks/paint mixers – I use craft sticks from the dollar store, but you can use anything from plastic spoons to straws. They will get messy but they dry and can be reused.
  • A large workspace AND drying space that is protected. You can use shower curtains, garbage bags, any sort of plastic covering. I use freezer paper because it’s durable and I like peeling the paint off the paper once it’s dried. It’s a thing. I can’t explain it. Anyway, your art can take anywhere from 24-48 hours to dry, so you will want to leave it somewhere that it won’t be disturbed.

Optional but highly recommended for acrylic pouring

  • Plastic gloves! I don’t mind paint all over my hands but you might not like it.
  • Additives – You can achieve all kinds of really cool effects with some basic paint additives. I use silicone, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap. I’ve also used some hair serums, wd40, and rain-x!
  • Metallic paints – These can be found in the craft stores as well, but will be a little pricer ($2 instead of $1). They can add a nice accent to your paintings and I like to use them often. I list them as optional due to the price difference. I personally LOVE color shift by FolkArt
  • Plastic straw – I use these to move paint around sometimes or drag paint through other paint, as well as layering lines and accents on a piece.
  • Thumbtacks – This is used to prop your canvas up off the table/plastic so the paint can drip off. You can also use cups or wood to elevate your canvas.

Get prepared

Now that you’ve sourced all your products, it’s time to get painting. Don’t be intimidated, art is never wrong!

If you need help, check out my Acrylic Pouring Live Coaching Session where I walk you through my process and give you tips and advice on how to create an acrylic pour that you’ll be proud to display in your home.

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