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12 Color Pouring Tips

GOLDEN Color Pouring Medium [CPM] extends acrylic paints for pouring. Either Matte or Gloss formulas may be mixed with most acrylic paints, although GOLDEN Fluid and High Flow colors are best suited for pouring. Here are some tips for successful color pours:


■ Use a smooth, rigid surface like an artist panel or canvas board (stretched canvas may sag under the weight of color pours).


■ Seal absorbent surfaces with a gloss acrylic medium to slow dry time for more uniform pours. Allow at least 24 hours for panels to dry before pouring.


■ Prepare a clean and dry space on a level work surface with a protective cover for easy cleanup. Polyethylene plastic sheeting works well. (Plastic sheeting should allow you to peel up dry paint drippings to use in other artwork).

■ Elevate your painting with disposable cups or similar so pours can drip over the edge.


■ Mix 10 parts CPM to 1 part acrylic color as a starting point. Use more paint to increase opacity or less for more transparent color.

■ Prepare mixtures ahead of time. Use clean, properly labeled containers and stir rather than shake mixtures to minimize foam and air bubbles. Mixtures with CPM Gloss should sit in sealed containers overnight to eliminate bubbles. This is not necessary for mixtures using CPM Matte

■ Use only a few colors to start with and see how they interact with each other.


■ Use our Pigment Density Chart to see the relative density of pigments, as this may affect the outcome of pours.


■ CPM Matte dries thinner than CPM Gloss. When CPM Gloss and Matte are used in a single pour, test first to become familiar with how this difference in thickness impacts your pour.


■ CPM Matte is heavier than CMP Gloss. When used together, gloss colors tend to cover matte colors – this is difficult to see when pouring because CPM Matte is glossy until it dries.


■ Loosely cover pours to reduce crazing and keep dust off the surface. Small paintings can be put in a clean box with a loose fitting lid. Larger paintings can be tented with plastic approximately 3” above the wet paint surface. Be careful to avoid touching the wet painting surface.

■ Allow pours to dry for 72 hours (longer is better) before moving or adding additional layers.

For additional information on GOLDEN Color Pouring Mediums, please read our Product Information Sheet at:


Click to download pdf of this tip sheet

4 thoughts on “Pouring Tips”

    • That depends upon your needs. Varnishing is optional. If you want a removable topcoat that has UV protection, then it would be recommended. There are good reasons to varnish and good reasons not to varnish and it should be noted that varnish will change the appearance of your painting. Here is a video that can help you decide:


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