fluid acrylics

Creating Fluid Art with Leftover Wall Paint

My master bedroom has been long overdue for an upgrade.  It was basically just 4 walls and a bed, with the weird yellowish color on the walls.  It was terrible.  So, I finally fixed it, and my favorite part of the whole process was creating a series of small fluid art  paintings using all the left over paint from my accent wall color and all the samples that I had purchased little bottles of, but decided not to use.  What are you supposed to do with those little sample bottles?  Just store them in your basement forever?  Well, I’m happy to say I found the perfect solution.  Mixed with my wall color in these paintings, they pull everything together perfectly!


fluid art tutorial


This is the final result.  I need to rehang a couple pieces on the left side- they’re spaced out a bit too much, but it looks so great anyway that I’m not in much of a hurry to change anything.

Oh, and I did make  a free printable for you!  If you’re interested in doing this technique, the printable puts the whole process on a single sheet of paper that you can print out and refer to while you’re working!

So, here’s a breakdown of my process.  I’ll share a list of supplies with you at the end of the post.

  • I started by prepping my work area.  I created these on my kitchen table, and used the upside down lid of plastic tub as the base that would catch all the dripping paint.  Around this lid I gathered all the paints I was going to use, a bunch of red solo cups, and a bag of popsicle sticks to stir the paint.  You’ll also need some racks to lay the canvases on while you work.  I didn’t have much on hand, so I used the paint bottles themselves, which worked, but if you have something else that would prop your canvas up without extending past the edges, that may work better.  Paint will drip all over everything you use, so keep that in mind.
  • Once you have everything you need around you and set up, you’ll begin mixing your paint.  You’ll need a cup for each color.  Pour in equal parts acrylic paint and pouring medium.  The pouring medium is pretty essential- it makes the pour dry flawlessly, without cracks, and look really smooth and awesome.
  • If you are using a variety of similar colors, you’ll need to use a lot of white for contrast.  You can see that I’m using varying shades of blue.  I tried one small one where I didn’t use any white, and you can barely see any of the differences in the color.  They just blended too much.
  • Once all your paints are mixed in their own cups, it’s time to combine them into one cup.  Pour a small amount of each color into the cup, without mixing.  When you’ve added all the colors, add them again until your cup is full.  It’s better to have too much paint then too little.
  • Before you pour, take some white and slather it on the edges and corners.  This will make it much easier when it comes time to tilt the canvas.
  • Ok!  There’s several ways you can pour the cup of paint onto the canvas.  You can just dump it on there and see what appears.  You can put the canvas on top of the cup, then flip it over, then lift the cup up and let the paint spill out.  You can even spin the canvas while you pour if you have a lazy susan you can prop your canvas on.
  • Once your cup is empty, lift your canvas gently under the edges and tilt it so the paint can move around and cover the surface.  The edges and corners are tricky, but if you’ve added some white to those areas, it should be easier to work the paint there.
  • It’s important to let the paint drip until it forms a thin layer over the entire canvas.  If you all paint to pool thickly on the surface, it will warp and dimple as it dries.
  • Thick drips may form off the edges of the painting as the paint dries.  You can avoid this by wiping the back edges of the canvas with a cloth once the paint finishes moving and begins to dry.

And that’s it!  When everything is dry, you’ll have a beautiful fluid painting that perfectly matches the walls of your home!


fluid art acrylic painting


I love the way these fluid art pieces turned out.  I hope you have as much, if not more success with your own attempt!  Don’t forget to grab the printable, and let me know how it goes!  Did you try something different that worked well?  I’d love to hear about it.  Share it in the comments!



Supply list-

  • Extra wall paint in varying colors.  (Don’t forget white if you need contrast!)
  • pouring medium (enough to do equal parts paint and pouring medium)
  • stirring sticks
  • disposable cups
  • base to catch all the dripping paint
  • racks or lazy susan to hold canvases away from the base
  • cloth to wipe bottom of painting
  • gloves if you don’t want paint to drip all over your hands.
  • It may also be a good idea to cover your work surface with a plastic sheet and wear an apron


fluid acrylics





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