How to Make Fluid Acrylic Paint: Easy DIY At Home

When learning how to make fluid acrylic paint, you will need a few key ingredients.

The most important of these is a pouring medium, which is a clear, glossy substance that helps the paint flow smoothly and evenly across your canvas.

You can make some of your own with water and PVA glue. You will also need acrylic paint in your desired colors, as well as water and a mixing container.

Once you have collected your materials around, you can mix them together in the correct proportions to create your own unique fluid acrylic paint.

Once you have made your fluid acrylic paint, you can use it to create art such as acrylic pour paintings.

This technique involves pouring the paint directly onto your canvas and then manipulating it to create unique patterns and textures.

There are heaps of different techniques you can use to create different effects, from the simple swipe technique to the more complex dirty pour. 

Why You Would Want to Make Fluid Acrylic Paint

One of the main reasons you would want to learn how to make fluid acrylic paint is to have control over the consistency and color of your paint.

By making your own fluid acrylic paint, you can adjust the thickness and runniness to suit your needs and create custom colors by mixing different pigments. 

This allows you to have greater flexibility in how your artwork is made and you can also save some money in the long run.

It’s also necessary to be careful when making fluid acrylic paint as it requires specific ratios and techniques to achieve the desired consistency. Otherwise you may end up with paint that takes too long to dry or is too runny to be useable.

Fluid acrylic paint is also the key type of paint for artists who like acrylic pour painting. This is a technique where plastic cups and the like are used as part of the various acrylic pouring techniques to make fluid art painting. Simply get a cup of paint and pour it onto a canvas laid down flat.

There are lots of techniques you can use puddle pour, wash pour, tree ring to dirty pour technique but I covered those in more detail in another article.

I actually think figuring out why you are learning how to make fluid acrylic paint is the first step that will require some deep thought. Only because this will drive how fluid you want to make your fluid paint as too thick and it’s not fluid enough and too thin (high viscosity) you won’t be able to use palette knives to assist you.

Overall, being able to make your own fluid acrylic paint is a key skill for any artist looking to experiment with different techniques and create unique works of art.

Making Your Own Fluid Paint – Step-By-Step Guide

Learning how to make fluid acrylic paint at home is easy if you have access to various mediums such as plain old water and PVA glue, that can help you to turn a heavy cream heavy body acrylic paint into something that can be used for acrylic pouring painting.

Here is a step-by-step guide to making fluid acrylic paint:

Choose your pigments

Select the pigments you want to use to create your desired color. You can use any type of acrylic pigments, including powdered or liquid pigments.

Select the pigments you want to use to create your desired color. You can use any type of acrylic pigments, including powdered or liquid pigments.

Mix the pigments

In a mixing container, add the pigments and enough water to create a smooth paste. Stir until the pigments are completely incorporated.

In a mixing container, add the pigments and enough water to create a smooth paste. Stir until the pigments are completely incorporated.

Mix in a medium

Add a pouring medium to the pigment mixture. A pouring medium is a fluid additive that thins the paint and helps it flow easily. You can use a commercial pouring medium or you can make your own medium by stirring together equal parts water and PVA glue. Add the pouring medium gradually, stirring as you go, until you reach the desired consistency. 

Add a pouring medium to the pigment mixture. A pouring medium is a fluid additive that thins the paint and helps it flow easily. You can use a commercial pouring medium or you can make your own medium by stirring together equal parts water and PVA glue. Add the pouring medium gradually, stirring as you go, until you reach the desired consistency. 

Add water

If the paint’s still too thick, then add small amounts of water until it reaches the desired consistency. Be sure not to add too much water to the paint or it will become too thin and lose its vibrancy.

Strain the paint

Once the paint is mixed, strain it through a fine mesh strainer so that you can remove any flakes or lumps.

Once the paint is mixed, strain it through a fine mesh strainer so that you can remove any flakes or lumps.

​Pour into plastic bottles for storage or use

When it comes to storing or using homemade fluid acrylics, it’s important to use bottles that are airtight to prevent the paint from drying out or becoming contaminated.

When it comes to storing or using homemade fluid acrylics, it's important to use bottles that are airtight to prevent the paint from drying out or becoming contaminated.

Here are some bottle options:

1. Squeeze Bottles – These bottles are an excellent option for storing and using fluid acrylics, as they allow for greater control in dispensing the paint.

Typical sizes are:

– Metric: 60 ml, 120 ml, 240 ml, 360 ml bottles

– Imperial: 2 oz, 4 oz, 8 oz, 12 oz bottles

2. Dropper Bottles – Another good option for storing homemade fluid acrylics is dropper bottles. These bottles are great for dispensing small amounts of paint at a time and are also useful for mixing colors directly on the canvas. 

I have used old medicinal bottles with built in droppers. Most parents will have a few lying around from when you kids needed one medication or another.

Typical sizes are:

– Metric: 15 ml, 30 ml, 60 ml, 120 ml bottles

– Imperial: 0.5 oz, 1 oz, 2 oz, 4 oz bottles

3. Glass Bottles – Glass bottles with airtight lids are also a good option for storing homemade fluid acrylics. Glass bottles are easy to clean and can be reused again and again. Similar to dropper bottles, you can also buy these online in bulk.

Typical sizes are:

– Metric: 30 ml, 60 ml, 120 ml, 240 ml bottles

– Imperial: 1 oz, 2 oz, 4 oz, 8 oz bottles

4. Glass Jars – You can also use glass jars with lids. These tend to be quite air tight as well and are just as handy as glass bottles, especially if you make bulk quantities of fluid acrylics or paint for large scale projects.

One thing I always wondered about when making fluid acrylics is the shelf life of homemade fluid acrylics. I found that it can vary depending on the ingredients and the storage conditions, but they can generally last for several months to several years. 

If you store your acrylics in a cool, dry place that is free from direct sunlight or heat, this will help prolong their shelf life.

If you notice that your paint has dried out, you can try adding some water or a flow improver to make it more liquid but from my experience, if acrylic is dry just start again with a new batch as you will end up with flakes of dried paint that just ruin everything.

And that’s it! With some practice, you should be able to create your own acrylic fluid paint in unique colors and consistencies that you can use for your own fluid acrylic paintings.

Understanding Fluid Acrylic Paints

When it comes to fluid acrylic paints, there are a lot of things to consider. In this section, we will discuss what they are, how to achieve the right fluid consistency, choosing the right pouring medium, and adding silicone oil for beautiful cells.

What are Fluid Acrylic Paints?

Fluid acrylic paints are acrylic paints with a thin consistency. They are designed to flow and spread easily without sacrificing color intensity. They are ideal for pouring or dribbling paint, rather than applying it with a brush.

This type of paint is used in the art form of fluid painting technique, which involves pouring and manipulating paint on a flat surface to create different effects. All the leading brands of acrylic paints have a fluid acrylic variety from Golden fluid acrylics to Masters to Liquitex Fluid Acrylics.

There are many different brands that supply this style of runny acrylic so it pays to shop around and read the reviews as they all behave differently and some are designed for artists at each different skill level.

How to Achieve the Right Fluid Consistency

Achieving the right fluid consistency is key to suiting your acrylic paint pouring methods and techniques. Different methods require different consistencies.

To achieve this, you can add a pouring medium to your paint. Pouring mediums are essential in creating the right consistency for fluid acrylics. They help to thin the paint and make it more fluid. The best pouring mediums are those that are specifically designed for fluid acrylics.

Choosing the Right Pouring Medium

Choosing the right pouring medium is necessary to achieve the desired effect in your fluid art. The pouring medium should be compatible with the paint color you are using.

You can use a variety of pouring mediums, including craft paints, heavy body acrylics, or commercial pouring mediums. Be careful not to add too much pouring medium, as this can cause the paint to become too thin and lose its vibrancy.

Adding Silicone Oil for Beautiful Cells

Adding drops of silicone oil to your paint can create beautiful cells in your fluid art. Cells are areas of paint that have separated and created a unique pattern.

The silicone oil helps to create these cells by breaking up the density of the paint. When adding silicone oil, be sure to use it sparingly. Adding too much can cause the cells to become too large and overpower the painting.

Fluid acrylic paints are a great option for those looking to experiment with different acrylic pour techniques. Achieving the right fluid consistency, choosing the right pouring medium, and adding silicone oil can all lead to different results and effects in your fluid art.

Be sure to try out different techniques, such as the straight pour, flip cup, or Dutch pour, and experiment with different angles and directions to create your own unique fluid art.

Preparing for Fluid Acrylic Painting

When it comes to creating beautiful fluid acrylic paintings, proper preparation is key. In this section, I will cover all that you need to know to get started, from choosing the right painting surface to preparing the perfect paint mixture.

Choosing the Right Painting Surface

The right painting surface can make all the difference when it comes to creating stunning fluid acrylic paintings. We recommend using a smooth, non-absorbent surface such as a primed canvas or a wooden panel.

Avoid using textured surfaces as they can interfere with the flow of the paint and disrupt the creation of beautiful cells.

Preparing the Paint Mixture

Preparing the paint mixture is the starting point for creating stunning fluid acrylic paintings. To achieve the perfect consistency, mix your acrylic colors with a pouring medium such as Liquitex Pouring Medium or Golden GAC 800.

The addition of a pouring medium will help to create a smooth, consistent flow of paint and ensure excellent adhesion to the painting surface.

To create beautiful cells in your painting, mix a separate color with a higher pigment load and add a few drops of a silicone oil or WD-40 spray lubricant.

Use a palette knife or stir stick to gently mix the paint in a circular motion, being careful not to over-mix the paint. It is a bit like an acrylic resist painting but you are adding the liquids that would resist the acrylic paint right into the acrylic paint.

Adding Additives for Better Results

To create a unique pattern in your painting, consider adding various additives such as silicone oil or dimethicone.

These additives will help to create beautiful cells and add depth to your painting. Use a palette knife or stir stick to gently mix the additives into your paint mixture, being careful not to over-mix the paint.

Preparing for fluid acrylic painting requires careful attention to detail and the use of the right materials.

By choosing the right painting surface, preparing the perfect paint mixture, and adding the right additives, you can create stunning, one-of-a-kind fluid acrylic paintings that are sure to impress.

Fluid Acrylic Painting Techniques

When it comes to fluid acrylic painting, there are different techniques that you can use to achieve different results. In this part, I will go over some of the main methods and tools that you can use to create your own fluid acrylic paint.

Different Techniques for Fluid Acrylic Painting

One of the most popular techniques for fluid acrylic painting is the dirty pour painting method. This involves combining different colors of paint in a single cup or container and then pouring the mixture onto your canvas. You can also use a squeeze bottle to create different patterns and designs on your canvas.

Using High-Flow Acrylic Paints

High-flow acrylic paints are a good option for fluid acrylic painting because they have a thinner consistency than traditional acrylic paints.

This makes them easier to mix and pour, and they also dry faster. You can use high-flow acrylic paints in different ways, such as pouring them directly onto your canvas or mixing them with other colors to create different shades.

Using Fluid Acrylic Medium

Fluid acrylic medium is a key ingredient when it comes to creating your own fluid acrylic paint. It helps to thin out the paint and create a smoother consistency.

You can mix the fluid acrylic medium with your new paint to achieve the desired consistency and specific gravity. Be careful not to add too much water, as this can affect the paint’s adhesion to your canvas.

Mixing Ratio and Desired Results

When mixing your paint, the mixing ratio will depend on the desired results. If you want a thicker consistency, you can use less fluid acrylic medium. If you want a thinner paint consistency, you can add a little more medium. You can also play around and experiment with different colors and patterns to create unique designs.

Mixing acrylic paint with mediums is a necessary step to create fluid acrylic paint. Here are some key ratios to get the perfect fluidity. The first table is for water as a medium and the second covers commercial mediums:

Ratio
(Medium:Paint)
MediumResulting Fluidity
1:1WaterThin and Runny
2:1WaterSlightly Thick
3:1WaterMedium Fluidity
4:1WaterHighly Fluid
3 parts water to 1 part acrylic paint is a generally accepted sweet spot for acrylic paint fluidity.

When using PVA glue as a medium to create a fluid acrylic paint, it is recommended to use a ratio of about 1:5, which means one part PVA glue to five parts water.

This ratio helps to maintain the binding quality of the PVA glue while also increasing the fluidity and transparency of the paint. However, it is important to note that PVA glue can have a tendency to crack over time and may not be suitable for certain painting techniques or surfaces.

It is also important to be careful when mixing PVA and water, as adding too much water can lead to over-thinning the paint and losing the vibrancy of the colors. Similarly, adding too much PVA can cause the paint to become too thick and sticky and difficult to work with.

Remember, the key is to experiment and find the right ratio that will work best for the specific project you are working on.

Commercial mediums are pre-made mixtures specifically designed to be added to acrylic paint to achieve certain effects. Here are some common commercial mediums and their recommended ratios:

Ratio
(Medium:Paint)
Commercial MediumResulting Effect
1:1Gloss MediumAdds a glossy finish, increases transparency and extends drying time.
1:1Matte MediumAdds a matte finish, increases transparency and extends drying time.
2:1Glazing MediumIncreases transparency, extends drying time and enhances color vibrancy.
1:1Pouring MediumCreates a self-leveling, glossy finish suitable for pouring techniques.

It is important to note that different brands of mediums may have different recommended ratios and effects. Always read the label and instructions before using any commercial medium.

So whether you are using water, homemade mixtures or commercial mediums, the key is to experiment and find the right ratio that will work best for your style of painting.

Using White Paint

White paint is an important color to have when creating your own fluid acrylic paint. It helps to lighten other colors and create different shades. You can also use white paint to create a base layer on your canvas before adding other colors.

Fluid acrylic painting is a fun and creative way to express yourself as an artist. By using different techniques, high-flow acrylic paints, fluid acrylic medium, and mixing ratios, you can create unique and beautiful designs on your canvas.

Remember to experiment and have fun with different colors and patterns to create your own masterpiece.

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