Tuesday 13 June 2017

Dirty Paint Pouring!

Hello everyone, 
I haven't been blogging for a month or so but I have been crafting making samples up for the IndigoBlu shows on Hochanda and in the last couple of weeks for Louise Withers who has been on Hochanda with Ecoline Inks. That is another blog post to come soon..............

I think I have now found a craft that is fast becoming a favorite for me.  This is the way I have been doing my pieces, and at this stage i'm happy with the outcome. There are lots of ways to do this technique but today I'm showing you how and what I have done.

Paint Pouring and Dirty Paint Pouring

So what is Paint Pouring and Dirty Paint Pouring?

Quick version-It's mixing Acrylic Paint with a medium that helps the paint flow and leave a glossy finish to your piece. You also add Silicone to the mixture and that's what gives you the cell like structures you see in the photo above as it separates from the paint, pushing its way through the paint.
If you like the big cells don't mix the silicone in to much. If you want lots of tiny cells, mix the silicone in better.
Paint Pouring is when you pour single colours out onto your surface. Dirty Paint Pouring is when you add all the colours into one cup and turn it all up on the surface!

Materials needed
Acrylic Paint
PVA Glue
Wooden lolly Sticks
Plastic Shot Glasses & Party Cup
Yupo sheets
Foil Tray (or use a craft sheet or Baking Parchment)

I have been asked by several people how I have done mine so thought I would put this quick photo tutorial together. I hope it helps you if you want to have a go yourself and there are tons of videos on Youtube to learn more.

For this tutorial I'm using those small plastic shot glasses as I'm only doing a small piece on Yupo paper. (In fact I was able to cover Three pieces of Yupo with the amount of paint solution I mixed)!
The Yupo paper is 100% Polypropylene so it can take the wet glue and paint without bending and curling. If you are doing this technique on a canvas you will need more of the paint solution to cover the canvas so mix up your paints etc in plastic party cups or those polystyrene cups like ones as I used to do the dirty pour at the end.

To start with choose your colour paints. I went with shades of blue's and a white, all from IndigoBlu. I used PVA glue as I had some here but I know there are other liquids you can use such as Floetrol, but for this tutorial I'm keeping it simple!
So the first step was to fill the shot glasses up to 3/4 level with PVA Glue.

With a wooden lolly stick take some paint, you don't need much (See photo) and stir the colours into each pot

When mixing try not to make too many bubbles. Once the paint and glue is well mixed, add some water to give make the mixture the Constancy, slightly thinner than single cream.
Lay your Yupo into the foil tray 

Using Silicone in your paint mixture is what gives you the "Cells" when you pour the mixture out.
(The Silicone I have comes in a spray can, so instead of spraying straight into the cups, which can cause bubbles and you can't see how much you add,  I sprayed some into a small bottle. Be careful when doing this as you can see the vapours coming off the spray and also it could bubble out over the top of the bottle. Also just so you know the bottle becomes very cold to hold).

I added 10 drops to two of the coloured cups, and five drops into the other two colours. Stir in.  I didn't put any in the white paint as white always sinks to the bottom of the cup. You just want the colours to push their way through the white.

Add the paint mixture in layers to larger cups.
(I poured the mixture into two different cups as I was doing two pieces. As it turned out I got three pieces out of the mixture I made).

I used double sided tape to hold the Yupo down as you will need to tip the tray to cover the Yupo. You might need a spatula to pick up some paint from the sides to cover white areas once you have done the pour. Be careful not to mix the colours when scooping up paint.

So what you are seeing now is a Dirty Pour!

Once you pull the cup up, this is what happens. How cool is this.

Tip the tray in different directions to cover the surface of the Yupo.

So I did two Pours with the blue paints

As I had paint left over I added some Red and Yellow to two of the pots to have a different colourway.

This time I poured all the mixture into a cup but poured it out as I wanted to control where it went.

Each time you do one of these they are so different. 

You will need to leave your creations to dry on a flat surface. These took about 24 hours to dry. Just check underneath your piece as well as the mixture does run under.
Once dry the colours did get darker. Not sure if it because of the glue I used.
Once fully dry you can cover your creation with varnish or resin to protect and give it a high gloss finish.
I hope you have found this tutorial helpful and you have a go for yourself. Its quite addictive.

I have also used inks instead of paint which gives a lovely translucent look.

OK, so I'm off now to do some more experimenting.
Happy Crafting.


  1. Thanks for sharing Sue. I'm going to have to get some PVA glue and some silicone. I might try with canvas boards as I have some small ones (5" x 7").

    1. Thanks so much Sarah. I would love to see yours after you have had a go. Be warned its quite addictive xx

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Fantastic Sue I've had a go today so will be interesting to see what looks like tomorrow lol. Thanks so much hugs Tina xx

    1. So pleased you have given this a go Tina. Hope you share what you have created xx

  4. ooooo Sue - this is brilliant and looks like so much fun - I think I have a large bottle of PVA similar to that and I have WD40 too so I guess this will be on the cards for a play very soon! So exciting - thanks so much for sharing! Hugs rachel x

    1. Thanks Rachel, have fun playing. Just check your WD40 has Silicone in it. I tried from the can I had in Martin's man cave but found out after it didnt contain Silicone. You still get some great effects from the paint but not the 'Cell's 'xx xx

  5. Wow thank u so much for this great tutorial.
    Will follow your blog with interest



  6. I found your post via Facebook Sue and oh boy am I glad I did! Love, love, love! Thank you for sharing your steps with us, I'm going to purchase some silicone from Ebay next lol Karen x

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Karen and for taking a look. I think you will have so much fun having a go for yourself xx

  7. Thanks for the tutorial Sue. What is the benefit of using yupo as opposed to other types of paper or canvas?

    1. Hello Alison thank you and what a great question. OK I used Yupo in this post as I wanted to make a paint pour that I could using in my other crafts. I have made a few canvas now and they are great for wall art.
      Yupo being made the way it is takes wet meduim without soaking up the fluid and stays flat.
      Card and watercolour paper curls when the fibres soak up all the mositure causing it to curl and the pour collects into the middle of the card/paper or runs off the sides so you don't get coverage all over.
      I have just done another pour on mount board which is really think card and that has worked fine. Hope this info is helpful xx

  8. Wow! I have wanted to know how to do this for a while so thank you very much for sharing.

    1. Thank you for leaving your comment. Have fun, I think its a great craft to do. xx

  9. Thank you Sue for this brilliant, explicit and clear tutorial. So very much appreciated as some I've seen look so complicated that it has put me off trying!

    1. Thanks so much Beda,i'm so pleased to have helped. I say keep things easy! I will be playing with some different ways you can do this type of art so please keep checking for updates xx

    2. Ooh, I can't wait, thank you Sue. You did mention ( on junk journals) about using Floetrol. Is this instead of the pva or in addition to the pva please? Alao, Of I mix in glass jars, rather than plastic, would the glass be washable and able to be re-used? Many, many thanks fpr all your kind help.

    3. Hello Beba, the Floetrol is to be used instead of the PVA glue. You can still add water to it to dilute the paints down as well.
      You have a good point about using glass jars. Yes they can be washed out and re-used. The reason I havent done this is that where I live we dont have mains drainage so need to be really careful on what goes into our septic tank as too many chemicals will kill off the bacteria we need in the tank.
      Hoping to put up another post over the next few days as I have a couple more projects to share xx

  10. Wow Sue this technique is awesome. Thank you for the tutorial can't wait to try this when I get home lots of love julie xxxx

    1. Thank you Julie, Its such fun to do. When you get to have a go yourself please share xx

  11. Thank Sue great tutorial xxx

  12. Thanks so much for all these hints tips and tuts ..i have just checked the wd40 and its silicone free .so ill have to go searching for one that isnt .i dont have yupo paper either so im going to have to see what substrates i have aswell as canvas mdf and slate ..would it work on acetate or parchment or vellum so i could die cut sue ..well im going to have a look and start my new venture with your help..so enjoy your weekend and big hugs i cant thank you enough xxx


Please leave a comment...