Painting On Top of Acrylic Pour For Beautiful Embellished Artwork

Are you looking for a new way to add depth and texture to your acrylic paintings? Have you considered painting on top of an acrylic pour? This technique involves pouring layers of acrylic paint onto a canvas and then manipulating the paint to create unique patterns and designs. Once the pour has dried, you can add additional layers of paint on top to create a finished piece.

One of the benefits of painting on top of an acrylic pour is the added dimension it provides. The layers of paint in the pour create a background surface that can be enhanced with additional layers of paint. This technique also allows for a lot of experimentation and creativity, as the pour itself can be manipulated in many different ways to create a variety of effects. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced painter, painting on top of an acrylic pour can be a fun and rewarding way to add interest to your work. The end result is a surreal dream world of your own creation.

In this article, we will look at how to paint on acrylic pour to create a beautiful piece of artwork for your home or office.

Click and Check out this other blog post for more ideas on how to decorate acrylic pours.

How Do I Begin Painting On Top of an Acrylic Pour?

First, you need to ensure that you have an acrylic pour painting background completed and that this background surface is clean and protected before you start painting over it.

Creating the Background

To start painting on top of an acrylic pour, you obviously must already have a finished, dried Acrylic Pour painting in the colors you want to use as the background for your artwork.

You can create an acrylic pour background using any technique you want. Here are 11 Acrylic Pouring Techniques for Beginners that you can try. A little further down this post I will also give you some ideas for creating some acrylic pouring backgrounds.

Choosing the right background for your project should be at the top of your priority list. You want to use colors and patterns that complement the embellishments that will be drawn on top so you can have a cohesive piece. 

You can experiment with different color schemes and different techniques to assist you to create the style you desire for your background after you feel comfortable working with the resources you are utilizing. Keep in mind to enjoy yourself and the process! 

Before you start painting on top of an acrylic pour, it is essential to prepare the surface properly. Preparing the surface will ensure that your painting adheres well, that it doesn't crack, and lasts longer. Here are the steps you need to follow to prepare the surface for painting:

Cleaning the Canvas

The first step in preparing the surface is to clean the canvas. You need to remove any dust, dirt, or debris that might be on the surface. Here's how you can clean your canvas:

  • Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris.
  • Let the canvas dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Preparing the Surface

The pour painting background you created has to be properly sealed with an isolation coat before you start painting over it to make sure that your artwork lasts longer and it doesn't crack when painting over it.

An solation coat is essentially a coat of acrylic spray varnish, mod podge, or gel medium, placed between the dried acrylic pour painting and the liquid varnish or any other element that is added on top of the acrylic pour painting. It creates the barrier between the pour painting and the elements you add on top.

If you are using an acrylic spray varnish, then just apply the varnish as listed in the instructions of the product.

If you are using Modpodge, you can just apply it straight from the bottle with the help of a sponge or brush.

If you want to use gel medium, then mix 2 parts of gel medium with 1 part water. Then apply a thin layer of this mix onto your painting surface using a brush or a sponge.

Let your isolation coat dry completely before you start painting over it. 

Materials for Painting on Top of Acrylic Pour

You can technically use anything you'd like to paint over your acrylic pours, however, most artists use a variety of colorful acrylic markers or just regular acrylic paint and a brush.

Markers are used to create and draw shapes on the acrylic pour.

Use brushes and brush paints to add color and designs to an acrylic pour painting. 

Techniques for Painting on Top of Acrylic Pour

When it comes to painting on top of an acrylic pour, there are a few techniques you can use to achieve the desired effect. In this section, we'll explore blending, layering, and drawing techniques.

Here's a great blog post for more ideas on how to decorate acrylic pours.

Blending Techniques

Blending is a technique that allows you to create a smooth transition between colors. To blend colors on top of an acrylic pour, you can use a dry brush or a wet brush. Here's how:

  • Dry Brush: Dip your brush in paint and then remove most of the paint by wiping it on a paper towel. Then, lightly brush the paint over the surface of the pour. This will create a soft, dry-brushed effect.
  • Wet Brush: Dip your brush in water and then in paint. Then, lightly brush the paint over the surface of the pour. This will create a more blended effect.

Layering Techniques

Layering is a technique that allows you to build up colors and textures on top of an acrylic pour. To layer colors on top of an acrylic pour, you can use a palette knife or a brush. Here's how:

  • Palette Knife: Use a palette knife to apply thick layers of paint on top of the pour. This will create a textured effect.
  • Brush: Use a brush to apply thin layers of paint on top of the pour. This will create a smoother effect.
  • Clear Layer + More Fluid Paint: Apply a layer of pouring medium to your dried paint pour and then add fluid paint to only certain areas of your paint pour and either blow around the paint with a blow dryer or tilt the canvas around to create a pattern. The layer of pouring medium will dry clear and the fluid paint you added on top will create a design that is layered on top of the background pour painting.

Remember, when painting on top of an acrylic pour, it's important to let the pour dry completely first. This will prevent the paint from mixing with the pour and creating a muddy effect.

Drawing Techniques:

Drawing is a technique that uses acrylic markers or acrylic paint and a brush to add extra embellishments and details to your pour painting background.

Here's a video that shows how beautiful it is to Paint Flowers on top of an Acrylic Pour

Ideas for color combinations to help you create a pour painting as your background

The background can help set the mood for the painting and make the piece pop. It’s important to keep in mind the color temperature of the paint you choose to match the setting or mood you want to portray. 

It's important to remember that not all colors blend well; in fact, some colors interact poorly with others. Many individuals disregard this and simply pour any colors into a cup. Most of the times this leaves them disappointed with their muddy result. 

There's nothing wrong with experimenting with colors if you're having fun with it. In fact, color experimentation is an important part of the learning process, however, when you are ready to create a pour painting to use as a background, it's important to choose the colors carefully

If you are not sure how to do this, here's what you need to turn your Muddy pieces to Masterpieces!

The list of captivating backgrounds you can choose from for your acrylic painting is provided below.


Sunrise is the literal dawning of a new day, and the colors are bright as well. In the winter, sunrises are usually cool yellows, pastel purples, and blues. In the summer, sunrises will be similar, but I'd say use yellow instead of red to really make it feel like daybreak.


There's something warm and relaxing about sunsets; the day's winding down, so think cozy, warm reds, oranges, and yellows. Mix in some white to soften your colors.

During the day (stormy weather), nothing is quite as beautiful as a stormy sky over an ocean. Consider using a soft grey, black, and white, and if you want to add some blue to your pour, mix light blue with a tiny bit of gray to soften the color. 


Dark colors in a pour can be tricky, but if you've ever seen a night sky outside the glare of city lights, you know that it's not just pitch black. So you can use colors as navy blue, a deep purple, and a hint of yellow for a captivating night look. If you want to recreate the Northern Lights, you can also add green and/or teal.

Daytime (clear skies)

A lovely day surrounded by gorgeous blue skies and delicate white clouds. Consider how a clear, blue sky appears: lighter when viewed directly above you, then darker as it descends toward the horizon. Consider using white as well as a bright cyan blue and a darker navy shade to replicate that fair-weather effect.


Use different shades of blues and white to create a nice winter background.

Check out this video from Mixed Media girl to learn how to paint a winter scene on top of Acrylic Pour. So cute!


A mixture of cyan blue, magenta, and bright yellow with a small amount of white and gold produced one of my favorite landscapes. The outcome was magnificent! I have also used vivid, rainbow-colored paints to create my pouring backgrounds when I have wanted to represent the world like if it was viewed inside a prism. 

If you want to create your own fantasy world, a rainbow universe, a secret garden, an enchanting forest, an outer space world, etc, I recommend you look at an actual painting of your desired outcome and pay attention to the colors that you see on the painting. Having this guidance can help you choose the right colors for your imaginary world. 

This tutorial from AB Creative demonstrates how to paint an aurora borealis and a bear on top of an acrylic pour painting. 


If you've never painted a landscape before, don't worry! ! This method requires no prior knowledge of landscape painting. Just pick some colors that you think will go well with the Landscape idea you have in mind. I enjoy painting highlighted silhouettes that are simple shapes, perfect for any beginner!

This video from Trippydraws shows how to use markers to create a one-of-a-kind mountain scene on an acrylic pour. Easy drawing for beginners!

This video from Mixed Media Girl shows how to paint a tree on an acrylic pour. It's gorgeous!

Additional Inspiration On How to Decorate Acrylic Pours

This video from Mii Paintings shows how to draw various shapes on an acrylic pour with markers.

This video from Mii Paintings demonstrates how to make a nice design with posca pens and crackle paste. Such a creative way to really make your acrylic pour paintings pop!

This video from Mixed Media Girl shows how to paint over an acrylic pour with a stencil. This is as easy as it gets when it comes to painting over an acrylic pour.

Tammy Anderson uses the clear coat layering technique and some stencils to create this magical piece of art!

What is the best way to Seal Paintings?

Once you have painted over your acrylic pours, it's best to wait at least 1-2 weeks to make sure everything is dry before sealing it. If your painting surface is large or the paint applied on top was particularly thick, it may be best to wait at least two weeks.

You can use spray acrylic varnish, liquid varnish, or resin to seal your paintings. Here's a great article that goes over the process for sealing your paintings.

And inside this acrylic pouring supplies ultimate guide post you will find some of the sealers I use for my pour paintings.

People Also Asked: FAQs

Do you seal your paintings with anything? Do you varnish or resin coat after it's completely dry? How does the smooth finish come about?

Yes! I always seal my paintings with either an acrylic spray varnish, an acrylic liquid varnish, or resin. t’s important to add a coat of varnish to your paintings to give them some protection and a satin or glossy look. 

How do you keep acrylic paint from fading?

Varnishing your acrylic paintings with a UV resistant resin or UV resistant varnish will protect them from dust and some fading from UV Rays.

How can I improve the vibrancy of my paintings?

Using high quality paints really makes a difference in the vibrancy of pour paintings. Also, the colors you use and how you layer them will determine the vibrancy of your final dried piece. It's best not to place complementary colors next to each other and avoid tilting your painting too much so you don't create muddy colors. 

If you really want to learn how to turn Muddy Pieces into Masterpieces, then check out my Mud to Masterpiece course. 

Mud to Masterpiece Course


NEW "Color Roadmapping" Formula transforms your vomit-looking fluid art into vibrant color-bursting masterpieces EVEN IF you have no artistic bone in your body


Drawing on your acrylic pour paintings can really take your acrylic pours to the next level. It turns basic pours into true pieces of art!

Include your distinct swing and sense of style! Using your unique perspective and acrylic pouring skills, you can create an astonishing piece full of details and embellishments.

Have fun with your acrylic pour painting!

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