Dirty Flip Cup Pour Painting Tutorial with Video for Beginners

The dirty flip cup is the easiest pour painting technique and probably one of my favorite techniques. I like it so much because it is like opening a gift! You never know what you are going to get. 

Even though this technique is easy, it might sound and look confusing for beginners. So I decided to make this step-by-step dirty flip cup pour painting tutorial for easier painting!

Download your FREE Beginner's Cheat Sheet to follow along!

What is a Dirty Flip Cup Pour?

The Dirty Flip Cup Pour is a technique where you layer up various densities of fluid paint (usually heaviest on the bottom, and lightest on top) in a cup and then flip this cup upside down onto a canvas or painting surface. The cup is then lifted allowing the paint to flow across the canvas or surface.

It is really that simple!

Here are the step-by-step instructions so you can do your first pour painting!

Step-by-Step Dirty Flip Cup Pour Instructions

  1. Add 1 part soft body paint to 2 parts of this DIY Elmer's Glue pouring medium to a plastic cup and mix thoroughly. (The ratio in this step could vary based on the consistency of the acrylic paint you are using. Paint mixture should have the consistency of heavy whipping cream.)
  2. Repeat Step 1 for all of the different acrylic paint colors you plan on using for your painting.
  3. Slowly pour your paint mixtures (one by one) into a plastic cup to layer them.
  4. Flip the cup on top of the canvas, and lift the cup to let the paint flow.
  5. Tilt the canvas so the paint covers the whole canvas.
  6. Let your painting dry on a flat surface.

Materials Needed

FLOETROL OR GLUE: 1 gallon of floetrol or glue (+ water) to fortify your acrylic paints, improve flow and prevent cracking and crazing. 

CANVASES: 6 medium weight primed 8" x 10" canvases to be used as the painting surface. 

ACRYLIC PAINTS: Get some assorted colors (Including Black and White) to give you many options to create your paint pouring art. 

PLASTIC CUPS WITH LIDS: For mixing your paints with floetrol and to store any remaining paint mixture.

PAINTER PYRAMIDS: to use under your canvas to elevate it off of the work surface area to allow the paint to drip off the edges.

LATEX GLOVES: To keep your hands clean. (Optional)

SILICONE MIXING STICKS (reusable & eco-friendly) OR WOOD CRAFT STICKS: For mixing the paints with pouring medium.

PLASTIC COVER OR A HUGE COOKIE SHEET PAN: To catch the paint that drips over the edges of your paintings and to protect your floor and furniture.

LIQUID OR SPRAY VARNISH: To seal and protect your artwork.

BRUSH: To use with your varnish to seal your painting if using a liquid varnish. You don't need one if you are using a spray varnish!

Check Out This Beginner's Kit I Made for You Here>> Beginner's Kit

Let's Paint!

Now that you know the steps to doing a flip cup pour painting, go paint!

Experiment with metallic and iridescent paints, or try different color palettes.

If you are not sure about how to choose colors that go well together, then check out this How to Choose Perfect Acrylic Pouring Color Combinations Guide!

And if you are a complete newbie, I also suggest you check out my Paint Pouring Supplies for Beginners post.

flat lay photo of blank paper near art materials

Lastly, if you want to accelerate your paint pouring learning curve, don't forget to check out my step-by-step Acrylic Pouring Course to start creating Stunning Pours Easily and Without Overwhelm or Frustration!


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