How to Marble Paint on Canvas

Marbling paint on canvas can be super fun and easy... IF you know the right technique and pouring medium to use! Otherwise, you will end up with a pour that is full of cells and will NOT have that swirly effect. So pay close attention because I will teach you how to marble paint on canvas using the acrylic pouring Dirty Pour technique.

After this tutorial, you will be able to create gorgeous, colorful pieces of artwork that you can proudly display on your walls.

Let's get started with this beginner's tutorial.

What You'll Need

*If you plan on using Ready to Pour Paints, then you do not need to get the small cups for mixing your paints or the pouring medium.

How to Pour:

  1. Cover the back of your canvas with frog tape.
  2. To protect your painting area, cover your work area with plastic or simply use a large cookie tray.
  3. Place the painter's triangles on the plastic or cookie tray and set your canvas right on top of them. 
  4. Put on disposable gloves.
  5. Add about 1/2 oz of different acrylic paints into separate cups, add 1 1/2 oz of pouring medium into each cup, and mix. If your paint consistency is still too thick, add a little bit of water to each paint mix until you get the desired fluidity.

    *If you are a beginner and don't know how to mix your paints to get the right paint fluidity, then consider using ready-to-pour paints or learn the basics of pouring here
  6. Start layering your paints into your 10 oz cup. Layer your colors one on top of the other (repeating the colors if desired) until you have about 6 oz of paint inside the cup.  Do NOT mix the colors together. 
  7. Start pouring the paint in the middle of the canvas (reserving a little bit of paint in the cup) and let the paint spread. Then pour thin stripes of paint over some of the paint areas on the canvas. Lift the canvas off the painter's triangles and start tilting the canvas to “stretch” the paint to all sides of the canvas. When the entire canvas surface is covered with paint, place the canvas back on the 4 painter's triangles.
  8. Let the paint dry for at least 24 hours.

Below is a quick example (from CBC Arts) that shows the steps mentioned previously and the beautiful marbling pattern that you can create with fluid painting!

Watch Free Video Tutorial!


Here are a few extra pointers to help you achieve the best marbling results.

  1. If you are a beginner, do not use complementary colors, otherwise you will most likely get a muddy pour.
  2. Choose white as one of your color choices. White will help create a brighter and more balanced marbled pour.
  3. If you did not get enough marbling, you can pour some thin lines of paint over your previously poured paint and again tilt the canvas so that those lines stretch a little bit more.

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