Craft, Paint

Let the Paint Flow

The method of painting called the “dirty paint pour” has rapidly become one of my favorite things to do. The concept of this pour is to put all of the paint in one cup and let the paint flow across the canvas. The addition of silicone oil allows cells to appear on the canvas.


In order to achieve this finish, I first picked the final colors I hoped to show. The one thing to keep in mind about these painting is you can never predict the outcome. I have attempted to recreate several of these paintings and never is it what I expected.

I use a paper cup to create the colors. I first pour floetrol in each cup and until they are about 3/4ths of the way full.  I like to use fluid acrylic paints because they don’t create globs in the paint. More solid acrylics can be used but require a little elbow grease. Only a little bit of paint is needed. After putting the paint in the cup, quickly stir to disperse the paint fully into the floetrol. (A quick tip! The paint always comes out a bit darker than expected.)


Once all the colors are prepped, it is time to add the silicone oil. I do a pour of 10 seconds of oil into the mixture while constantly mixing. While this seems like a lot of oil, it helps bring out more and more cells. I recommend using just enough paint to cover the canvas because that way the cells are kept on the canvas instead of sliding off of the side.

The next step would be to get a large jar that can hold all of the paint. The first color poured in will (most likely) be the main color coming up on top. This step is done rather quickly. The big jar is then turned over onto the canvas, make sure to put something under the canvas to catch any runoff. This can be done in many different ways. Sometimes I like to pour directly in the center, other times I will pour all around the canvas.

Once the paint is poured, I either move the canvas to make sure it is fully covered or use a wooden stick to pick up the drips from under the canvas and repour it on. Clear the edges is a good thing to do in order to keep the back of the canvas smooth. The last step is to use a blow torch and open up the cells more. After about 48 hours the canvas will dry to a beautiful painting!

Leave a Reply