acrylic pouring medium

The Best Pouring Medium – Our Top 5 Acrylic Pouring Mediums

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The acrylic pouring technique enjoys continuing popularity. The most important material for this is the paint pouring medium. It makes the paints pourable and ensures that they dry without cracks. In this article, we will show you which pouring media are available, what the advantages and disadvantages are, and give you many tips and tricks for creating perfect pouring art.



What is a Pouring Medium?

A pouring medium is an additive used to create a thinner, free-flowing consistency in acrylic paints. The pouring medium is an essential component in the production of acrylic pouring artworks. It helps to increase the ink flow and reduce the viscosity of heavier inks while maintaining color, texture, and opacity. A paint pouring medium does the following:

  • It reduces the viscosity of heavier paints without thinning the paint.
  • It improves the flow of the acrylic paint and allows easy spreading on the canvas.
  • It ensures that the color, texture, and opacity of acrylic paints is retained, unlike water, which dilutes the pigments.
  • It delays the drying of the acrylic paints, leaving more time for the actual acrylic flow technique
  • This prevents cracks from forming when drying too quickly

As a newcomer to acrylic pouring, you might ask yourself if you can just use water for your pourings? This only works up to a certain point. Water costs almost nothing, but it dilutes the color pigments. This has the consequence that on the one hand the colors are less brilliant and on the other hand the adhesion of the pouring liquid is no longer there. This is because the binding agents are also diluted. The smoother the painting surface, the more important good adhesion becomes.

Moreover, water cannot be completely mixed with acrylic paint, so the mixture can be uneven. In addition, the surface tends to crack when drying.

Water is therefore not suitable as a substitute for a good pouring medium for acrylic paint, and should only be used in small quantities, if at all.



Are There Differences Between Pouring Media?

Yes, there are indeed serious differences between the individual pouring media. On the one hand, there are different consistencies. The thicker the paint pouring medium, the sooner you have to dilute it with water. These products are then better suited for rather thin acrylic paints, while a more fluid pouring medium is more suitable for thicker paints.

Another property is the gloss level. If an additive is incorporated into the product, the surface will have a uniform gloss level regardless of the acrylic paints used. This makes an additional layer of final varnish unnecessary, as the surface already looks very good and the colors come into their own.

Also, the hardness of the surface is another criterion. This differs between products. Some dry out very hard and inflexible, while others remain rather soft and sometimes even sticky. This can be very annoying, as even fingerprints can be left on the surface, or there is the risk that that objects can stick to the surface. Damage then results when removing the object.

The protection against fading also varies. UV light can cause the colors to fade. The acidity of the medium can also make a difference, as the paints can also fade or change with increased acidity.

Last but not least, the flow behavior and the drying time are different. While some media flow very nicely, others are more difficult to distribute evenly. Some products dry overnight, while other media take up to a week to dry at least the surface.

So you see, the differences are quite significant. Depending on the desired properties or effect, you can use different pouring media for your purposes, or combine them with a mix that has the best properties for you.



Our Top Picks – The Best Pouring Medium at a Glance

Looking for the best pouring medium? Well, there are various different types and brands on offer. Below we have highlighted some of the top choices.


Which is the Best Pouring Medium?

There is now an almost unmanageable number of pouring media. Some have truly unique features, others have the same product with different labels and brand names, even though the content is exactly the same. We present to you the most proven products that we have tried ourselves and that we like to work with. So you will certainly have a good starting point for your first attempts. By the way, you can also mix the individual products in order to get further combination possibilities.

The products that fall under the category of professional paint pouring medium were specially developed for use with the acrylic flow technique. In addition to the above-mentioned positive characteristics, these professional products also offer the advantage that your works of art retain their color brilliance for many years since the paints are not attacked by acid or similar substances contained in the product.

pouring medium


Test Winner: Floetrol Pouring Medium

Floetrol is actually not a classical acrylic pouring medium. It is a means to improve the flowability of all kinds of paints and to make the paint more economical. In addition, paint with the addition of Floetrol should flow better and produce a more even surface. This is exactly what you want to achieve with acrylic pouring, right?

FLOOD Floetrol Additive, 1 Gallon
  • Improves the flow properties of water-based paints
  • Very popular alternative pouring medium
  • Matt finish, perfectly mixable with other pouring mediums
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Floetrol pouring medium does exactly what it is supposed to do. It liquefies the acrylic paint, ensures good pourability, and dries up without any problems and without forming cracks. It is colorless in a liquid state and dries transparent.


  • The price: Floetrol used as a pouring medium for acrylic paint is relatively cheap compared to professional pouring media. This makes it ideal for beginners, but also professionals like to use Floetrol again and again.
  • It works almost as well as any professional casting medium.
  • It is very easy to remove in a liquid state – just use some soap and water.


  • Floetrol dries matte, which in combination with various acrylic paints can cause uneven surface gloss. The problem disappears, however, when you use a varnish or topcoat.
  • During longer storage, isolated lumps may form, which is of course very disturbing on a painting. You can counter this problem by filtering the liquid with a fine sieve.

We like to use Floetrol as a pouring medium. The color separation here is sometimes one of the best of all, as it does not produce muddy shades. The cell formation is good but not the very best, and hardly any air bubbles remain after drying. However, the painting should be varnished afterwards to get a uniform gloss level.


Second Place: LIQUITEX Pouring Medium

The Liquitex Pouring Medium was one of the first professional acrylic pouring media that came on the market. This artist quality liquid medium contains an acrylic polymer with high resin strength and has been specially developed for the acrylic pouring technique.

LIQUITEX Professional Pouring Effects Medium, 32 oz
  • Liquitex is known for its high-quality artist products
  • Easy to process and dries to a silky gloss
  • Very good cell formation without air bubbles
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Liquitex is always one of the most popular choices for artists. With its quality consistency, finish, and fluidity, this pouring medium is ideal.


  • Regardless of the acrylic paints used, you will get a beautiful, even gloss on the surface with this casting agent. Therefore the picture does not necessarily have to be treated with a final varnish. Nevertheless, this increases the durability of the pouring painting.
  • After drying, it remains a little flexible and therefore does not crack during drying
  • Liquitex allows for very rich and radiant colors, even after drying.


  • The Liquitex Pouring Medium is located in the higher price range. But especially for high-quality pourings, the investment is worthwhile.
  • Due to the resin components, Liquitex cannot be removed very easily. We recommend wearing gloves.

We are very convinced by Liquitex – it is one of the most widely used products on the market: the colors are very rich and the painting remains brilliant even after drying. Many beautiful cells are created and there are hardly any air bubbles. But the most ingenious thing here is the surface after drying: It is beautiful with an even shine.

liquitex pouring medium

paint pouring medium


Third Place: U.S ART SUPPLY Pouring Medium

The U.S Art Supply Pouring Medium was developed to provide high quality at an affordable price. It is also very suitable for beginners, as it is easy to mix to the right consistency. If you additionally use the matching U.S Art Supply acrylic paints, you will achieve great results without much practice.

U.S Art Supply Gloss Pouring Medium
  • Clear gloss medium with acrylic polymers
  • Won't alter the color or drying time
  • Works great with adding colors and pigments
  View on Amazon


  • Very good, flowable consistency
  • Can achieve excellent cell effects
  • Beautiful, shiny surface after drying


  • Can be difficult to get rid of bubbles
  • The surface can be slightly sticky after drying


Fourth Place: SARGENT Art Pouring Medium

The Sargent Art Pouring Pouring Fluid is a very high quality pouring medium. Not only is it quality, but it also has a particularly good price-performance ratio. In any case, this pouring medium is worth trying out.

SARGENT Art Pouring Acrylic Medium
  • Helps to achieve even, smooth acrylic pouring
  • Works well with clear gloss acrylic medium
  • non-toxic and safe to use
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  • No addition of water is necessary, since it is already relatively liquid
  • Relatively rapid drying time of the surface after approx. 12 hours
  • Beautiful, shiny surface after drying


  • It is less suitable when combined with very liquid acrylic paints



Pouring Medium Alternative

Clear liquid adhesive has become particularly popular here as a pouring medium for acrylic paint alternative. This product is relatively cheap and gives excellent results. Due to the somewhat tougher consistency, you should enrich the mixture with a bit of water.

In addition to the professional products specially developed for this purpose, you can also use alternative pouring media. These usually work just as well and are often a bit cheaper. However, the durability of your pictures might not be as good.

Some of these alternative casting media may contain components such as acid, which can cause the acrylic paints to fade over time. However, there is no direct knowledge about this at the moment. Therefore, there is no reason not to use these media. In addition, there are many other factors for durability, such as UV light and environmental influences.

AMAZON BASICS Clear Washable Liquid Glue
  • Canister of 32 fluid-ounces clear liquid glue
  • Safe, non-toxic, and fast-drying
  • Suitable for various materials and ideal for making slime
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  • Excellent colour separation
  • Beautiful large cells develop
  • It can also be used as a varnish
  • Glossy, shiny surface after drying


  • Due to the viscous consistency, a relatively large amount of water is required to achieve the perfect consistency



DIY Pouring Medium Recipe

You can also make an inexpensive DIY pouring medium recipe with great results by yourself. You can mix your very own acrylic pouring medium recipes here. Besides vinyl glue as a cheap base material, you can get the best results by adding a professional product.

We can recommend these acrylic pouring medium recipes for you to try out:

Pouring Recipe 1Pouring Recipe 2Pouring Recipe 3
  • 1 unit of vinyl adhesive
  • 1 unit of Liquitex Pouring Medium
  • Some water
  • 1 unit acrylic paint
  • 1 unit Liquitex Pouring Medium
  • 1 unit of Floetrol
  • 1 unit of acrylic paint
  • 1 unit Solo Goya Pouring Medium
  • 2 units of vinyl adhesive
  • 0.5 part water
  • 1 of unit acrylic paint


Every artist swears by a different pouring medium for acrylic paint. We recommend that you try a few different products and you will quickly find out what works best for you. Also, the application or technique is crucial: There are pouring techniques where cells are unwanted. Here you don’t have to use special products with cell formation. It is also a good and inexpensive idea to produce your own pouring medium. Enjoy your acrylic pouring!


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