Acrylic Pouring Tips: Enhance Your Art on Wood
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Prepare the wood for acrylic pouring
  2. Select the right acrylic paints and mediums
  3. Mix paints and mediums properly
  4. Apply base coat effectively
  5. Execute the pour technique
  6. Use torch to remove air bubbles
  7. Manipulate the pour design
  8. Allow artwork to dry correctly
  9. Seal and protect your artwork
  10. Maintain your acrylic art on wood

Having a knack for art is one thing but taking it up a notch—especially when it comes to getting better at abstract acrylic pouring on wood—requires a dash of knowledge, a sprinkle of technique, and a whole lot of creativity. The beauty of abstract art is in its unpredictability, and adding in a touch of nature's canvas, wood, makes it even more enchanting. So, if you're all set to step up your game in acrylic pouring on wood, you're at the right place! Let's dive right in and start from the beginning: preparing the wood.

Prepare the Wood for Acrylic Pouring

Before we even think about colors and designs, our first stop is preparing the wood. This is like laying the foundation for a house—you want it strong, clean, and ready for everything that's about to come on top of it.

First things first: you need to sand the wood. You might be staring at a smooth piece of wood thinking it's ready to go, but trust me when I say this: sanding makes a difference. It helps to smooth out any rough edges, ensuring your paint goes on evenly. You don't want your beautiful pour to stumble upon a tiny bump, do you?

Once you've sanded the wood, it's time for cleaning. Dust off the wood thoroughly—yes, even the tiny particles you think won't matter. They do. You can simply use a slightly damp cloth to do this. Make sure the wood is completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Now, we seal the wood. This is a step many people might skip, but it's like skipping breakfast—you'll feel the consequences later. Sealing the wood helps prevent the paint from soaking in. A good choice for sealing would be GAC100 by Golden. It's specifically made for sealing and offers a nice, non-soak surface for your paint.

Finally, we prime the wood. Priming helps to create an ideal surface for your acrylic pour. You can use a good quality gesso for this—white is generally a good choice as it doesn't interfere with your colors.

So, there we have it! You're now ready to move onto the next stage of getting better at abstract acrylic pouring on wood. Remember, every great masterpiece starts with good preparation. Happy pouring!

Select the Right Acrylic Paints and Mediums

Now that your wood is primed and ready, it's time to pick out your colors. Selecting the right acrylic paints and mediums is like choosing the right ingredients for a recipe: the better the ingredients, the better the result. Here's what you should know about getting better at abstract acrylic pouring on wood.

First, let's talk about acrylic paints. Not all paints are created equal, and some are definitely better suited for pouring than others. For acrylic pouring, you'll want to pick paints that are fluid and smooth. Brands like Liquitex Basics and Artist's Loft Flow Acrylics are great since they're already quite fluid and thus, perfect for pouring.

Next up are the mediums. Mediums are what you mix with your paint to get it to the right consistency for pouring. They can also add some interesting effects to your pour. Floetrol is a popular choice among artists, as it helps to extend the paint and create those beautiful cells we all love in pour painting. Liquitex Pouring Medium is another good option—it's designed specifically for this kind of work and gives a great finish.

Now, a word of advice: don't get too caught up in the details. Experiment with different paints and mediums until you find what works best for you. Abstract art is about expression and creativity, so let your paints and mediums be an extension of that!

Remember, getting better at abstract acrylic pouring on wood is a journey that's as colorful and unique as the art you're creating. So, grab your paints and mediums and let your creativity flow!

Mix Paints and Mediums Properly

So, you have your paints and mediums ready. Now, it's time to mix them! Mixing paints and mediums properly is a little bit like a science experiment—it's all about finding the right balance. Here's how you can get better at abstract acrylic pouring on wood by mastering the art of mixing.

Start by pouring your chosen acrylic paint into a mixing cup. Then, add your pouring medium. A good rule of thumb is to use a 1:1 ratio of paint to medium. This means if you pour one ounce of paint, you should also add one ounce of medium. Easy, right?

Once you've added your medium, stir the mixture gently. It's important to mix slowly to avoid creating too many air bubbles which can disrupt your pour. You're aiming for a consistency that's smooth, but not too runny—think warm honey. If your mix is too thick, it won't flow properly; too thin, and your colors may mix and turn into a muddy mess.

So, how do you know when your mix is just right? The best way is to lift your stirring stick and let the paint drip off. If it flows in a steady stream and melts back into the paint in the cup, you're good to go!

Remember, getting better at abstract acrylic pouring on wood is all about practice. So, don't worry if you don't get it right the first time. Keep experimenting and you'll soon find the perfect mix for your unique style of pour painting.

Apply Base Coat Effectively

Alright, you've mixed your paints and mediums like a pro. What's next? It's time to lay down the base coat. This step can really make a difference in getting better at abstract acrylic pouring on wood. The base coat plays a vital role in helping the poured paint move easily across the surface. So, how can you apply the base coat effectively? Let's get into it.

First, grab a flat brush—this will help you spread the base coat evenly. Dip the brush into your base color, which can be white or any other light color. Some artists also prefer to use a clear medium as a base. It's all up to you and what you envision for your final piece!

Start painting the edges of the wood first, and then move towards the center. Make sure to apply a generous amount of paint—it should be enough to cover the wood but not so much that it drips off the edges. The goal here is to create a smooth, even layer that will help your poured paint glide with ease.

Once you're done, give the base coat a few minutes to settle in. This is a great time to double-check your poured paint mix. Is it still at the right consistency? If not, give it another gentle stir.

Applying the base coat effectively is a game changer in the world of acrylic pouring on wood. It might seem simple, but trust me, it can have a big impact on your final piece. So take your time, and remember—practice makes perfect!

Execute the Pour Technique

Are you ready to dive into the most exciting part of abstract acrylic pouring on wood? Great! It's time to execute the pour technique. Keep in mind, this isn't an exact science, so feel free to experiment and find what works best for you. Let's get started!

First, position your wood canvas on a raised surface. You can use cups or blocks to elevate it. This allows the paint to flow freely off the edges, creating an organic, abstract design. Now, grab your cup of mixed paint. Remember, the cup should have all the colors you want to use in your artwork.

Now comes the fun part: the pour! There are many ways to do this, but the most common are the 'dirty pour' and the 'flip cup'. With the dirty pour, you simply pour your mixed paint directly onto the wood. For the flip cup, place your canvas on top of the cup, then quickly flip them both over. Either method can result in stunning abstract designs!

After pouring, slowly tilt the wood in different directions, allowing the paint to flow and merge, creating unique patterns. But don't rush this step—taking your time can lead to even more intricate designs.

Executing the pour technique properly is an art form in itself, and it's a key step in getting better at abstract acrylic pouring on wood. Remember, there's no right or wrong way to do it—just have fun, and let your creativity flow!

Use Torch to Remove Air Bubbles

Hey, great job on the pour! Now, let's move on to the next step: removing those pesky air bubbles. You might be wondering, why should we bother with the bubbles? Well, if left unchecked, they can dry into unsightly blisters on your artwork, ruining the smooth finish.

But don’t worry—there's a simple, effective solution to this problem: using a torch. Yes, you heard right, a torch! But don't worry, you won't be setting your artwork on fire. You'll be using the heat from the torch to pop the bubbles and create a smooth, bubble-free surface.

Hold the torch a few inches above the wood and move it around in a slow, sweeping motion. You'll notice the bubbles popping almost immediately. The heat also helps the paint move and blend together, which can create some really cool effects.

Remember, safety first! Always use the torch in a well-ventilated area, and keep it away from flammable materials. And of course, never leave your torch unattended.

Using a torch to remove air bubbles is a practical and effective way of getting better at abstract acrylic pouring on wood. So, grab your torch and let's get to it!

Manipulate the Pour Design

Okay, so your artwork is now smooth and bubble-free. Now comes one of the most fun parts of the process—manipulating the design. This is where you can let your creativity run wild and put your personal stamp on the piece.

Manipulating the design simply means moving the paint around on the wood to create different patterns and effects. You can tilt the wood to let gravity do the work, or you can use tools like palette knives, straws, or even a hairdryer to push the paint around.

For example, if you tilt the wood slowly in different directions, you can create a sort of marbled effect. If you use a straw to blow on the paint, you can create delicate, feather-like patterns. And if you use a hairdryer, you can create bold, sweeping designs.

Remember, there's no right or wrong way to do this. It's all about experimenting and having fun. So, don't be afraid to try different techniques and see what works best for you. The more you experiment, the better you'll get at abstract acrylic pouring on wood.

So, ready to manipulate your design? Let's see what beautiful patterns you can create!

Allow Artwork to Dry Correctly

Great job on creating those beautiful patterns! Now, it's time to let your artwork dry. Patience is key here, as rushing the drying process could ruin your hard work.

First, find a flat and dust-free surface where your wooden artwork can sit undisturbed. This ensures that your paint won't run or drip off the sides, and dust particles won't stick to the wet paint.

Next, consider the drying time. Acrylic paint typically dries in about 24 hours. But with the pouring technique, since the paint layer is quite thick, it could take up to a week. Don't be tempted to speed up the process with a hairdryer or heater! It's worth the wait, trust me.

While your artwork is drying, you should also maintain a steady temperature and humidity level. This helps the paint dry evenly and prevents cracks from forming. So, avoid placing your artwork near a heater, air conditioner, or open window.

Remember, allowing your artwork to dry correctly is an important step in getting better at abstract acrylic pouring on wood. So, take your time and let nature do its thing. The final result will be worth the wait!

Seal and Protect Your Artwork

Whew! The hardest parts of getting better at abstract acrylic pouring on wood are behind you. Your masterpiece has dried perfectly, hasn't it? Now, we're moving on to a vital step — sealing and protecting your artwork.

Why do we seal the painting, you may ask? The answer is simple: the sealing process locks in your beautiful colors and protects your art from dust, UV rays, and the occasional accidental splash of water. It also adds a professional finish to your piece.

Choose a sealer that's compatible with acrylics. A clear varnish or a polycrylic sealer would be great choices. You can find these at your local craft store or online. Apply the sealer with a soft brush, making sure to cover every inch of your artwork. Always apply in one direction for a neat and clean finish.

Let's talk drying again. After sealing, your artwork will need another round of drying. This time, it usually takes around 24 hours. Just like before, let it dry undisturbed on a flat surface, away from dust and extreme temperatures.

Once dried, your art is ready to shine in all its glory. Sealing might seem like an extra step, but it's a game-changer. It's what separates a good abstract acrylic pour on wood from a great one. So, seal, protect, and let your artwork be the conversation starter it deserves to be!

Maintain Your Acrylic Art on Wood

So, you've mastered the art of abstract acrylic pouring on wood, right? Your artwork is sealed and ready to amaze. But wait, there's one more thing to cover — proper maintenance. How can you ensure your artwork lasts a lifetime and looks as vibrant as the day you created it? Let's find out!

The first rule of thumb for maintaining your artwork is to handle it with care. Always lift your artwork by the sides, not the front, to avoid any smudges or scratches. And remember, even sealed artwork doesn't like water. So, avoid cleaning your art with wet cloths or sponges.

Next, let's talk about where you display it. Sunlight is great for photosynthesis, but not so much for your artwork. Direct sunlight can cause your colors to fade over time. So, find a place for your artwork away from direct sunlight — a well-lit room with indirect light would be perfect.

And what about dust? A soft, dry cloth or a feather duster should do the trick. Gently wipe off any dust that settles on your artwork. But remember, be gentle. A heavy hand can cause scratches or damage the finish.

Proper maintenance is just as important as creating the artwork itself. With these tips in hand, you're not only getting better at abstract acrylic pouring on wood, but also at preserving your art for years to come. And that, my friend, is what truly makes an artist!

If you're looking to enhance your acrylic pouring techniques on wood, don't miss the workshop 'Improve Your Acrylic Painting Skills' by Rachel Christopoulos. This workshop will provide you with valuable tips and tricks to take your acrylic pouring art to the next level, helping you create stunning pieces on various surfaces, including wood.