Best Acrylic Pouring Supplies: Ultimate Guide

When I first started dipping my toes into acrylic pouring, I had a hard time trying to figure out what acrylic pouring supplies I should buy. I didn't want to spend a fortune but still wanted to get all the essentials and MAYBE just a few fun supplies to make my art sparkle. 

But WOW... after I bought everything I thought I needed, I ended up spending hundreds of dollars. 

Therefore, I decided I should put together a comprehensive list of Acrylic Pouring Supplies where you can find exactly what acrylic pouring supplies you need and which ones are just extras. After this, you will be able to put together a nice kit without breaking your bank. 

However, if you are looking for a more simple and easy list of basic paint pouring supplies for beginners, then take a look at this ultimate guide. It outlines all the items that I wish I knew about when I first started trying acrylic pouring. 

As you start getting more experience or getting more adventurous, you will probably want to explore some new surfaces, additives, colors, mediums, tools, or even start organizing your work space. I've got you covered in this article!

I have even included a section that talks about extra items for the ambitious beginner. 

Basic Painting Supplies For Acrylic Pouring Beginners

Let's start by looking at the basic pouring supplies that every beginner should have.

1. Canvases and Other Surfaces

Your can't paint if you don't have a painting surface, therefore, canvases should be in your acrylic pouring for beginners checklist.

Even though you can do acrylic pouring on many surfaces, including wood, rocks, watercolor paperceramic tiles, etc., stretched canvas is my favorite surface to paint on. It is light weight, often comes pre-primed, won't warp, and has a flat surface.

I recommend that you start with a few smaller sizes or a value pack to get some practicing before you invest in bigger sizes and quality canvases.

And if you want a more in depth review about the best canvases, here is my post about the 7 best canvas for acrylic pouring.

Brand Name

Rating

Price

Best Value for Beginners

Blick Studio

4.5/5 Stars

Best Value Pack for Beginners

US Art Supply: Freedom Series

4/5 Stars

Best Professional Canvas

Winsor & Newton

Professional

5/5 Stars

2. Gesso for Surface Preparation

Some surfaces will require some preparation before you pour your acrylic paints on it. If you are a beginner, I suggest you stick to stretched canvases since they usually already come pre-primed with gesso and there is no need to worry about surface preparation.

However, some cheaper canvases or wood surfaces might need an extra coat of gesso. Also, if you mess up on a painting and want to reuse the canvas, then you will need to add a coat of gesso to the canvas' surface before you do another painting. So here is the gesso I like, in case you need to get some.

If you are more hands on and want to save some money, then read this post where I teach you how to make gesso. It includes 6 homemade gesso recipes.

Brand Name

Rating

Price

Best Gesso

Liquitex Basics

4.7/5 Stars

3. Paints

Of course paints are the most essential items that should NOT be missing in your acrylic pouring supplies list. You'll go through paint really fast, so be prepared to buy some big jugs at the beginning so you don't run out.

You'll probably want to start with big bottles of a cheaper brand of basic paint colors like the Sargent or Artist's Loft. And if you don't want to struggle with mixing your paints with a pouring medium and getting the paint consistency right, then give the Artist's Loft Ready-Mixed Pouring Paint a try.

However, as soon as you feel confident with your skills, I recommend that you start using higher quality paints like Liquitex BasicsAmsterdam Standard SeriesWindsor & Newton Galeria, or MyArtScape Artist Quality Acrylic Paint Set. They look fantastic, have fabulous pigment, hold its color true in the sun, and will actually last you quite a bit cause they can be diluted with floetrol or even plain water without looking watered down or breaking down the paint binders.

Some people underestimate the power of good quality paints. 

Some acrylic pour problems like paint crazing or muddy colors can sometimes be prevented just using quality paints. Keep in mind that you won't get the super vibrant colors you are expecting until you start using quality paints!

So if you can afford it, just start using quality paints from the get go. You will get better results, go through less frustration, and be happier!

Brand Name

Rating

Price

Most Affordable

Sargeant Art

4.5/5 Stars

Best Value for Beginners

Artist's Loft

4.7/5 Stars

Best Paint Upgrade for Beginners

Liquitex Basics

5/5 Stars

Best Ready-Mixed Pouring Paint

Artist's Loft

4.1/5 Stars

Best Value for Artistic Quality Paint

Amsterdam Standard Series

5/5 Stars

Best Artistic Quality Paint Upgrade

Winsor & Newton

5/5 Stars

Best High Quality Lighfast Paint

My Artscape

4.7/5 Stars

4. Pouring Mediums

Pouring mediums should also be included in your beginner's acrylic pouring supplies list. Mediums are necessary to improve the flow of your paint, to create cells in your paintings, and to prevent cracking and crazing when you painting is dry.

Floetrol is my go to pouring medium alternative because of its affordability but Liquitex also has a special place in my heart because it is an artistic grade pouring medium that doesn't dry with a matte finish like Floetrol so the colors stay vibrant.

Some choose to start with Floetrol and as they gain experience, they start experimenting with Liquitex. Others just choose to get both to try them both and decide for themselves which one they like best. Which one you choose is up to you.

Now, there are plenty of other choices for pouring medium alternatives and artistic grade pouring medium out there. Here is a post  where you can see an in-depth review of the best pouring mediums and this other post where you can discover the best Floetrol substitutes.

If you want to see 2 DIY Pouring Medium Recipes, then read this post. And to discover the best pouring medium recipe for paint pouring, read this other article.

Brand Name

Rating

Price

Best Value

Flood Floetrol

4.7/5 Stars

Best Artistic Grade Pouring Medium

Liquitex

4.8/5 Stars

5. Protective Finish

One other item that I consider essential is varnish or a protective coat of resin. A coat of varnish or resin on your painting will protect it for easier cleaning in the future and will give it a nice polished look.

As you start practicing acrylic pouring more and more every day, you will soon create a painting that you will absolutely love. Make sure you have some varnish on hand to preserve this beauty!

There are several protective finishes that I like. Some are easier to work with. Others require more practice. Basically, you can separate your protective finishes into three categories- spray varnish, liquid varnish, and resin.

I always have the Minwax Polycrylic Water Based Protective Finish at hand. It is affordable and works perfectly each time as long as you apply it generously to avoid brush strokes. HOWEVER, make sure that you first add a coat of spray varnish so your paint doesn't crack when you apply a coat of liquid varnish. 

Another great liquid varnish is from the Liquitex brand. It will give a resin-like look to your paintings without the mess. However, it can be a little expensive.

For beginners, I usually recommend spray varnishes like this one because they are easier to use and don't create brush-strokes.

For a special project that you want to give a little depth to without using epoxy, DecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze is the way to go. The liquid version gives a nice super thick glossy coat without the need for epoxy but it is a little harder to spread and kind of expensive. That is why I like the spray version better but you are more than welcome to try both.

And if you are venturous enough, then you can most certainly try Art Resin/Epoxy. Just maybe try one of the other varnishes first before you dive into epoxy or at least until you have a really nice painting that is worth the expense of using epoxy.

Brand Name

Rating

Price

Best Value Liquid Varnish

Minwax Polycrylic

4.7/5 Stars

Best Resin-like Artistic Grade Liquid Varnish

Liquitex Varnish

4.8/5 Stars

Best Value Spray Varnish

Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating

4.7/5 Stars

Best Thick Liquid Varnish

DecoArt Triple Thick

4.7/5 Stars

Best Thick Spray Varnish

DecoArt Triple Thick

4.6/5 Stars

Best Art Epoxy Resin

Stone Coat Art Coat

4.8/5 Stars

WAIT.... Don't Forget to get a paintbrush to apply your varnish if you are using a liquid varnish. I really like the Wooster Paintbrush. As long as you keep it clean in between uses, it should last you a very long time. Treat your supplies like if they were your own babies.

6. Mixing Utensils

Now you are going to need some items to mix your paints and be able to pour them over your paintings. You will use them for dirty pours and flip cup pours too.

You can either use some disposable cups or preferably use some reusable and Eco-friendly specimen cups with screw on lids which are perfect for storing your paints if you have any leftovers. Just let the paint dry and peel it right off or toss them into a bucket with warm water to clean and reuse.

You will also need some stirring sticks to mix your paints. Even though you can use wooden popsicle sticks, I prefer to use the reusable and Eco-friendly silicone sticks. You will be creating lots of art so it is always a good idea to use reusable items to reduce waste!

And don't forget to get some squeeze bottles. They are great for mixing and storing big batches of paint, and to store your homemade pouring medium too. I love these 4 oz squeeze bottles and these 8 oz squeeze bottles.

Brand Name

Rating

Price

Best Value Disposable Cups

TashiBox 9 oz Tumblers

4.8/5 Stars

Best Eco-Friendly Cups

Specimen Cups with Screw-on Lids

4.8/5 Stars

Best Value Wooden Stirring Sticks

Perfect Stix Pack

4.7/5 Stars

Eco-friendly Silicone Stirring Sticks

Dirty Pour Mixing Pack

4.8/5 Stars

Best 4 oz Squeeze Bottles

Belinlen 12-Pack

4.7/5 Stars

Best 8 oz Squeeze Bottles

Ailelan 12-Pack

4.7/5 Stars

7. Additives

Additives like 100% silicone oil are optional in this acrylic pouring for beginners list. However, they are super fun to use!!!

Silicone oil or Dimethicone (a silicone alternative made for cosmetic use) help promote the formation of gorgeous cells when you add a few drops to your paints. Since you only need a few drops, a bottle will last you a very long time. Products with Dimethicone include KY Jelly or pure cosmetic-grade Dimethicone.

Using Treadmill Belt Lubricant (100% silicone oil) or the Silicone Oil by Artist's Loft is my favorite way to create cells with ease. So if you choose to have some fun experimenting with it, then you can grab your own bottle below.

Brand Name

Rating

Price

Best 100% Silicone Oil

Artist's Loft Silicone Oil

5/5 Stars

2nd Best 100% Silicone Oil

Spot On Treadmill Lubricant

4.7/5 Stars

Best Silicone Alternative

Pure Dimethicone

4.5/5 Stars

2nd Best Silicone Alternative

KY True Feel Silicone Lubricant

4.5/5 Stars

8. Torch 

The #1 item I don't regret purchasing is a torch. It helps me encourage the formation of cells in my paintings, specially when I am using silicone oil. Also, you can remove air bubbles in order to avoid pinholes in your dry painting.

You can either get a butane or a propane torch.

If you are just a beginner, a butane torch is probably best. If you are planning on doing big painting or also doing some resin projects, then getting a bigger propane torch is probably your best option.

Just don't forget to get a can of butane or propane fuel for the torch.

And if you want to see a more in depth review about why a torch is necessary and about the best torches for acrylic pouring, look at my Ultimate Guide for the 5 Best Torches for Acrylic Pouring.

Brand Name

Rating

Price

Best Butane Torch

EurKitchen

4.5/5 Stars

Best Propane Torch

Bernzomatic TS8000

4.8/5 Stars

Best Butane Fuel

Ronson

4.7/5 Stars

Best Propane Fuel

Bernzomatic

4.7/5 Stars

9. Protective Equipment

Now that we've covered the basics, let's talk about the protective equipment you will need to keep your working surface and yourself clean.

Putting on gloves is optional, however, it will help keep your nails clean and save some time for cleanup. So while gloves are not completely essential, they are nice to have around. I like the Safeguard Nitrile Disposable Gloves.

One other item that I consider essential is painter's pyramids. These help me with getting coverage around the edges of my canvas and also to dry my painting without the canvas sticking to the table.

And of course, having a huge cookie sheet pan under my painter's pyramids is my favorite way to catch the paint drips and to keep my work area clean. It makes cleaning a breeze. When finishing a project, all I do is let the paint drips dry so I can peel off the paint later and reuse it for my next project. 

You also have the option of just using a clear plastic drop cloth to cover your work area and to place underneath your painter's pyramids and paintings. However, the plastic cover is not reusable and just creates more waste so I prefer using my cookie sheet pan

Don't forget to get an apron to protect your clothing as well.

Brand Name

Rating

Price

Latex-free Gloves

Safeguard Nitrile Disposable Gloves

4.5/5 Stars

Painter's Pyramids

U.S. Art Supply

4.6/5 Stars

Best Drip Pan

USA Extra Large Baking Sheet Pan

4.7/5 Stars

Beautiful and Well Made Apron

Professional Apron

4.7/5 Stars

List of Supplies for Acrylic Pouring for Extra Ambitious Beginners

There are some raving fans, like myself, that really don't care to splurge on my new found love for acrylic pouring.

I prefer to have everything I need at hand in case an idea pops up in my head and want to try it. I also like to have everything organized and hassle free when I am working on my projects.

In this list of supplies for acrylic pour painting, I will give you a list of some of my favorite items. They are totally optional, however, some are VERY useful or add some nice touches to your art!

1. Metallic Accents

If you are a little bit more ambitious or adventurous, then consider getting a few metallic paints, powdered pigments, or some mica powders to add some sparkles and pizzazz. These are completely optional supplies, however, they make your paintings really pretty and sparkly.

Brand Name

Rating

Price

Best Value Metallic Paints for Beginners

DecoArt

4.8/5 Stars

Best Value for Artistic Grade Metallic Paints

Amsterdam Standard Series

4.7/5 Stars

Best High Shine Pigments

Colourarte Primary Elements

5/5 Stars

Use Coupon code: loveacrylicpainting621 for 20% off

2nd Best Pigments

Pearl Ex

5/5 Stars

Best Value Mica Powders

Rolio

4.7/5 Stars

2nd Best Mica Powders

Arteza

4.8/5 Stars

2. Tools for Pouring Techniques

Here are some extra tools that you might be interested in using to achieve different effects on your paintings.

  • Spatula- I love having a spatula at hand. I use it specially for the swiping technique (swiping one color over another to get some cells).
  • Acetate Sheets and Shelf Liners- Acetate sheets and even shelf liners are also awesome for doing swipes. 
  • Painting Knife Set- This painting knife set is helpful for swiping small sections of one paint over another or picking up your spilled paints and filling in the sides of your canvas. So if you are planning on creating a big swipe piece of art, go for a spatula or one of the other tools mentioned above. If you are planning on doing a small swipe piece of art, go with the painting knife set.
  • Paint Brushes- How about some paint brushes to make some nice designs? These always come in handy when trying to make designs on the wet paint, when gessoing canvas, painting the bare spots of the canvas, or when wanting to add details with a little bit of metallic paint.
  • Hairdryer: Use a hair dryer for the Dutch Pour technique
  • Colander: Get awesome designs when using a colander
  • Straw: Blow your paint around with a straw to make great effects. Reusable metal straws reduce waste.
  • Dessert plates: Use them to make flower designs. These mini parfait dessert cups work great. 
  • Spatula and Cake Spinner: The spatula can be used for spreading your paint around and the cake spinner can be used for the Bloom's Technique.
  • Funnel: A funnel can be used for swirling paint onto your canvas.

To learn about the different acrylic pouring techniques, check out this page.

Brand Name

Rating

Price

Nice Spatula Set

1EasyLife

4.7/5 Stars

Acetate Sheets Pack

Hygloss

4.6/5 Stars