DIY Dirty Pour Custom Art

Create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece with this easy and fun technique.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe ,

Debbie Wolfe ,

Dirty pouring is a popular painting method that will give you fun and interesting results. Also known as acrylic pouring, this paint-pouring technique involves mixing more than one paint color in the same container before pouring it on to a surface. The end result is a wonderful custom piece of abstract art that anyone can master.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe


  • acrylic paints
  • plastic cups
  • prepared stretch canvas
  • water
  • wood crafts sticks (for stirring)
  • newspaper or craft paper (to protect surfaces)

*Make sure you cover your working surfaces prior to pouring the paints.

Thin Paint

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Pour the acrylic paints your plan to use into separate cups. If the paint is thick, add a tablespoon of water and mix well. The paint needs to be fluid enough to flow but not too loose. Add the water one tablespoon at a time until it resembles the constancy of pancake batter.

Mix Paint

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Pick one cup of paint for your base color. Then, slowly pour in the other colors, one at a time.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Don't worry, the colors won't mix. Add as many colors as you like.

Get Pouring!

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Elevate the stretched canvas by placing a cup or two under it. Slowly pour the paint onto the canvas.


Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Tilt the canvas to help the paint spread in the direction you want it to flow.


Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Pour more paint on the remaining blank areas of the canvas. Tilt the canvas to help the paint flow around.


Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Let the paint dry undisturbed for about 24 hours. It may take longer depending on how much paint used.

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