Here are some paint pouring tips that are great for first-timers to know before jumping into their first project! It’s a whole lotta messy, beautiful fun that you cannot mess up!
Paint Pouring Tips for the First-Timer: My Reverse Canvas Frame Experiment
Check out this quick time-lapse video that shows how I completed this project, including the paint pouring fun!
Paint Pouring Supplies
I recently turned a sweet note that my son wrote me into a piece of beautiful framed art (see the how-to!).
It included a colorful frame, which just so happened to be my first time trying out the hot paint pouring trend…so I’m sharing my tips from that experience!
Here’s what I used for the paint pouring portion of this project (that’s a lot of p’s!):
- 5×7 wrapped canvas
- Utility knife
- Acrylic craft paints (mint, royal blue, hot pink, & white)
- Pouring medium
- Disposable cups & stir sticks
- Latex gloves
- Painter’s pyramids
- Catch pan (I used an extra lid from one of these)
How to Make a Reverse Canvas
This project utilized the reverse canvas method, which has become a favorite of mine…they’re so inexpensive and easy to make!
You can check out my full tutorial for how to make a reverse canvas for all the juicy details!
The first step in making a reverse canvas is to remove the wrapped canvas from its frame.
I set the canvas aside and added a heat transfer vinyl decal later while the frame was drying from its upcoming paint pouring fun.
The Paints & Pouring Medium
The pouring medium not only thins out the paint so it becomes pourable (hence the name), but it also helps prevent the paints from mixing. Instead, they remain independent from one another.
For example, instead of blue and yellow coming in contact and mixing to create green, with the pouring medium added, you’ll end up with streaks and blobs of blue and yellow instead. The more medium you add, the larger and more streaks and blobs.
Let It Pour!
Before getting my pour on, I first gave the wooden frame a quick coat of the white craft paint, which I’d also be pouring later. This was just a little crafty insurance policy in case my upcoming pours and drips didn’t happen to cover every part of the frame.
Now, the painted white portions would blend in with the poured portions instead of having bare unpainted wood stick out like a sore thumb. Sometimes it pays to plan ahead, y’all.
The frame was now ready to go, so after adding the pouring medium to each cup, I gave them all a good stirring until everything was thoroughly mixed. Then it was time to pour!
Even with only a 1:1 ratio, the pouring medium thins out the paint quite a bit, so it poured very easily (and quickly!). I did two rounds of all the colors, just randomly adding swirls, drops, blobs, and other streaky fun.
Jiggle It, Just a Little Bit
After both rounds of pouring, I picked up the frame and gave it lots of little shimmies and shakes to help the paints move all over and around the white frame.
Have fun with this step because you truly cannot mess it up! The paints will do their thing, you (and gravity) just need to help them along a bit.
No Drips for You!
Once I was pleased with the coverage, I set the frame back down on the painter’s pyramids for it to start drying.
As it was sitting there, little drops of excess paint began to form and then slooowly fall off into the catch pan.
In order to avoid having tiny dried peaks sticking out the back of the frame’s edges, I grabbed a stir stick and started running it along all the edges to scrape off the excess blobs. Your finger would also work too.
My Final Paint Poured Frame!
Here’s how my frame turned out! Quite pretty, huh?
Who knew something so beautiful and fancy-looking was actually so simple to DIY!?
Make sure you check out my full tutorial for how I turned my son’s sweet note into colorful framed art!
Paint Pouring Tips for the First-Timer
Now, this was just the first time I tried out paint pouring, so I’m certainly not a professional. However, here are some things that I learned that should be helpful for fellow newbs to know!
- Experiment with your paint to pouring medium ratio:
- More pouring medium = more independent paint colors (blobs and streaks)
- Less pouring medium = more color mixing
- It gets messy, so make sure you have a catch pan AND some cardboard, newspaper, drop cloth, etc. underneath, and don’t forget your gloves!
- Paint your item with a light coat of one your paint colors first, just in case your pours and drips don’t end up covering every little inch of it.
- You can pour one paint color at a time (like I did), or pour all the medium-stirred-paints into one cup and use what’s called the “dirty pour” method, pouring them all at once from the same cup.
- Take a stir stick (or your finger) and scrape off some of the excess paint as it drips off the bottom edge of your item while drying.
- Use painter’s pyramids to hold up your item as it dries so it doesn’t stick to the catch pan.
- Use up the rest of your excess dirty pour or save it for later for other projects!
- This would be great for painted rocks, ornaments, coasters, or other fun craft ideas!
- Prep work area for the upcoming messy fun.
- Have reverse canvas frame (or other item) painted with a light coat of one of the colors you'll be pouring.
- Pour each color of paint into its own container.
- Pour pouring medium into each container and mix with paint until fully combined.
- One by one, randomly pour each color of paint onto your item.
- Carefully pick up your item and give it little shakes and shimmies until you're happy with the coverage. (Steps 5 and 6 can be repeated as desired.)
- Set item down onto painter's pyramids and allow item to dry.
- Seal item if desired.
If You Enjoyed This…
Make sure you check out my Project Gallery for lots of other crafty creations, tips, and freebies, like these!
Thanks so much for stopping by!