The Artful Chemistry of Acrylic Pouring

The very Art & Science of Pouring Techniques

As I initiated researching the science behind acrylics, the ‘do’s and don’t’ s of acrylic pouring, and eight (hand-written) sites later, I realized that I would need to do this blog in as a minimum two parts. So , I will first address some of the with less difficulty asked questions we get in the store and workshops through relatively short answers, then if you are interested in understanding more about the chemistry and science behind a successful (or unsuccessful) pour, read on McDuff!! 😁


Q: Do we promote artist-grade silicone oil?

A: No . There is no such idea as ‘artist-grade’ silicone oil. We do not sell or sanction the use of silicones (any form) in

acrylic pours given that the manufactures of artist-grade acrylics and acrylic mediums you should not recommend their use.

Silicones do not dry and can endanger the integrity of the acrylic film and adhesion houses, including

cracking, peeling, sloughing, or not fully curing (drying).

Q: Do we sell Floetrol?

A: No . Floetrol is known as a paint conditioner meant to be used with latex house paint. There is not been tested by the makers

of Floetrol or perhaps artist-grade acrylics to determine what the long term effects of the Floetrol might have on the integrity of

the film formation or maybe adhesion properties of the layers.

Q: What about the other products and services seen on YouTube that are not silicone or Floetrol (like hair care products, coconut or olive oil, dish soap, etc . )?

A: The answer is the same. Non-drying oils of any kind are usually not recommended for the very reason they do not dry

and can end up trapped between the layers or prevent the acrylic from thoroughly curing. The same can be said for soaps.

(And just an FYI, the popular coconut oil hair product seen in many of the Myspace videos has a type of silicone

as it’s first active ingredient 🤷🏼♀️It is more likely this than the coconut oil that establishes the cells.

Q: What can I add to my to fat paints and pouring medium to create cells and maintain the particular integrity of the pour?

A: Manufactures like Golden and also Liquitex recommend using 70% isopropyl alcohol. The booze is less dense than

water & evaporates quicker so it will be not left behind in the paint or pouring medium. It really is mixed in, dripped,

splattered, or sprayed. You can also add drinking inks. The Titanium White, metallics, & interference* tones are

opaque & lightfast. (*Ranger – Snowcap, Marabu – Rainbow, Piñata – pearl). These can also be included, dripped,

or spattered. It is not recommended to spray (aerosolize) alcohol inks or blending solutions. They have

components that might be harmful if aerosolized and inhaled. Golden recommends to be a starting recipe; 2 parts Pouring

Medium (GAC 800): 1 part High Flow Acrylic: 1 part 70% isopropyl alcohol. Using too much alcohol can cause

the dump to no cure.

Q: Are there other ways to create cellular material?

A: Yes. How you layer the paints can create tissue. Each pigment has it’s own density (weight) hefty pigments sink &

lighter pigments rise. As these move through each other and/or the pouring medium they create skin cells. Swiping a

heavier paint over the lighter pigments at the same time creates cells.

This may sound complicated but Golden Paints has a pigment density chart (goldenpaints. com). Go to

Options – Tech Info – Application Sheets (Pigment Density). These can basically be applied to other

professional-grade acrylic paints.

Q: I see people using a kitchen or resin torch on acrylic pours – what are they doing?

A new: Some people are using them for cell creation, others to help pop air bubbles.

This is another technique that is not highly recommended by the manufactures of acrylic paints. These torches will reach

temperatures of 1, 400 – 3, 600 deg F. Even just “kissing” the wet paint along with mediums can release chemicals that are

harmful if inhaled. The warmth could also effect the film formation and/or adhesion homes of the paints or medium.

Many of the materials seen appearing added to pours, like silicones and alcohol, are flammable & could cause a fire or

harmful inhalants.

Q: Do you really need to use professional-grade paints and mediums? Can I work with student or craft paints?

A: No . You do not have to apply professional-grade paints or mediums, but they do have advantages about student &

craft-grade paints, so if you plan on selling as well as gifting your pouring art you probably want to use the professional-

grade paints. Student & craft-grade paints have a lesser pigment load than the professional-grade & many of the

more expensive hues are replaced by less expensive pigment combinations to close the expensive

pigment hue. These paints may also be a lot less lightfast (fugitive) than the professional-grade paints.

Q: Do I need make use of acrylic pouring medium? I see people on YouTube & putting websites using Floetrol, Elmer’s Glue, house paint, etc .

A: Again, these are not really art materials & crown fender flares give you the same results. Acrylic pouring medium has

happen to be specifically formulated for pouring & acrylic paints. The polymer-bonded pouring medium will not negatively effect the

adhesion or simply film formation of the paint.

Q: If I want to use Floetrol to make cells can’t I just use house paint just for pouring?

A: Of course , you can use house paint if you wish. But since Floetrol is a latex paint conditioner it likely won’t try to make

cells. If it would, it would make cells on the side of your property or on your walls 😉 (wouldn’t that be interesting! ) 😄

Acrylic has advantages over latex. Despite the fact Latex has some acrylic polymers it also has vinyls together with other materials.

Latex is less flexible and the pigments are not when lightfast as acrylics.

Q: How much paint and ready medium do I really need to use? It seems like people on YouTube in addition to pouring

websites use a lot.

A: If you are using professional-grade chemicals and pouring medium you actually need very little paint. A recommended

ratio is 1 part paint to 10 segments pouring medium. If you are using student or craft-grade paints and also other materials like

Floetrol or silicones then you will need to have fun to get the ratios right.

Q: Is it OK to use serious body paints?

A: Yes, but they will need to be thinned, otherwise they cannot flow. Thinner paints such as Golden Solutions & High

flow or Liquitex Soft Body + Inks (or their equivalent viscosity) work best.

Q: Could i just use water to thin paints? I also look at people using water to create cells? How much should I apply?

A: Short answer is yes, you can thin acrylics with water. Longer answer, is that you can thin typically the acrylics with water

because it is a solvent for acrylics so using too much can effect the integrity belonging to the paint. The manufactures of

acrylics recommend using just around 25% water to thin acrylic paint. The cells in all probability occur because the

acrylic polymer particles cannot adhere alongside one another or form a cohesive film. These cells will continue to pull

apart as the paint cures.

Q: Just what can I use instead of water to thin thicker paints?

Your: There are several options. Many of the Golden Fluid Mediums such as GAC 500, GAC 100, Polymer Medium, Fluid

Matte or possibly Gloss Mediums or Liquitex Fluid Mediums can be used, or thinner paints or acrylic inks can be added to small

down the heavier paints.

Q: I get fresh air bubbles. Why? How do I get rid of them?

A: Shaking to combine the paints and pouring medium or vigorous stirring can cause air bubbles. The best method to

blend the oil-soaked rags & pouring medium is to gently stir until mixed thoroughly & then allow the mixture to settle for 4-24 a lot of time.

Air bubbles can also occur as the paints move through both. You can pop the air bubbles with a needle or

pin as they form.

Q: How long does it take for a pour to dry?

A: There are several factors that determine the dry precious time. How thick the pour is, the support often the pour is on, humidity,

temperature, etc . Just like other acrylics, they may be dry to the touch but not cured. Acrylics dried up as the

water & other volatilates evaporate and the silicone resin polymer particles come in contact with each other & adhere to

one another.

Q: Why does my pour look different after it dries?

A: There are a couple of things that happen to acrylics as they waterless. First, they dry a little darker. So it is good that will

use colors of varying values. Secondly, even though the strain may be dry to the touch, all the layers may not be

fully alleviated, so the layers may continue to move until they are absolutely cured. This is why it is very important to make

sure your pour is certainly on a level surface. If it isn’t, you might loose a lot of the cool elements of your pour.