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The Little Artist -Poured Painting Fun With the kids

Pouring paint is a fun and easy activity to do with the kids. Children as young as three can do this. There are several different paint and pouring medium options available. Any acrylic paint can be used and thinned to a good consistency to pour. The thicker the paint - the more pouring medium needed. There are even some paints that are already pre-thinned and ready to pour.


Paint: Easiest method with kids- purchase pre mixed pouring paints. These already have the pouring medium mixed with the acrylic paint in the jar. Michaels has Artist Loft Brand Pouring Paint sold individually and in Kits. The bottles are labeled AP which means it is certified safe for kids. Deco Art also makes a Fluid Art Ready to Pour acrylic in lots of colors. It is also labeled AP certified. It is available at Michaels and Dick Blick art supply.

Other options- Pouring Mediums: If you already have acrylic paints that are either heavy body (Thick in tube) or soft body (soft but not liquid) You can make your own pouring paint in a plastic cup or squeeze bottle. Add any pouring medium and stir in cup or shake in squirt bottle. The paint should be the consistency of maple syrup. For my own work and with my grand children I usually add Flood Floetrol as a pouring medium with a little water (Available at Lowe's and Home Depot). It does not carry the AP label and the label warns hazard if swallowed. I like it because of the cells (small bubbles) it forms without using a torch. For working with children there are also AP certified options of pouring mediums on both Dick Blick and Michaels website. Another option is Elmers glue and a little bit of water.

Additional Supplies Large bucket of water and paper towels for keeping clean, 8 ounce plastic cups, universal primed canvas (I recommend 8 by 10 size for younger children)

Plastic tarps to cover floor and table if using one. water spray bottle ,Plastic spoons or wood sticks to stir paint and medium with, Optional Squirt Bottles to mix larger quantities of paint, Optional Treadmill Silicon to encourage cells.

Large cardboard box or baking tin to tip paint filled canvas in.

Drying area- I use craft paper on the floor and push-pins placed in corners of canvas prior to painting. This slightly elevates the wet painting, so it does not stick to the paper while drying. Sometimes I use small paper cups or egg crates to elevate the wet paintings.

Method Paint Preparation

Use premixed paint right from the bottle


Prepare your paint if not premixed- I use an 8 ounce plastic cup and pour in about 1/2 inch paint. I add Floetrol or other pouring mixture slowly and keep mixing until paint is a bit thicker than maple syrup. Then I use a squirt bottle with water and squirt a few times until I have the right constancy. Add a few drops of silicon to each color if you want more cells- stir just one or twice once silicon is added- do not over stir once you add the silicon.

Poured Paint Technique

The easiest technique is the Flip Cup technique. For and 8 by 10 canvas, you will need to fit the cup about 2/3 full. Start with one color and squirt or pour from your mixed paints into a clean cup Pour about two tablespoons of the first color. squirt of pour the second color on top..Add a second color on top, add another color and keep going until you have fill the cup about 2/3 full.Let each color lay onto of the color beneath, Do not stir or mix the colors.

The next step should be done over the cardboard box. Hold the cup in one hand and place the canvas on top of the cup - with the side to be painted resting on the top of the cup. While holding the cup, place your other hand on top of the rear of the canvas and flip over. Wait just little bit ( 30 seconds) and then slowly lift the cup. The paint will spread on the canvas. Tip the canvas in various directions to encourage the paint to travel across the canvas.

For larger canvas- prepare more than one cup- depending on the size add additional cups. For very large Canvas- I will use lager cups.

Dirty Pour Technique Layer the paint in an 8 ounce cup just as above. Fill with various paint colors till

2/3 full. Put canvas in cardboard box. Squeeze paint filled plastic cup at top to crate spout. Pour slowly, in figure 8 patterns, circular patterns or zigzags. Once all paint is poured tip canvas to move paint and cover entire canvas.


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