Dirty Cup Acrylic Pour

Hey everyone!

It has been a minute since I last wrote on here, life has gotten busy and some things go by the wayside. But here I am again!

This post will be different than my usual ones, it involves getting messy with assorted paint colors! Your end result will look something like the picture below. Ready to begin?


Everything used here can be found at your local Walmart. To start, you will need: simple canvas any size of your choosing, Apple Barrel acrylic paints, Folk Art metallic finish paint, craft sticks, and Mod Podge (Super Gloss Brilliant) ; all of which can be found in the craft aisle. Down the plastic wear aisle you will need the small clear cups labeled “Bath Cups” and a package of red solo cups. This next item is out of the ordinary when it comes to painting, just bear with me. Grab a can of spray WD-40, I advise getting the water-resistant silicone but the regular mix works too. Finally, for the last item you will want to buy is an aluminum foil disposable pan to catch all the paint drippings. The size of the pan depends on how large of a canvas you wish to paint. Drop cloths also work to cover your work space.

Once you have all your items, set up your space to begin this fun project! Excuse the messy background and drip pan, but you are going to want to set your canvas up on four cups for stability. This also allows for air to get underneath which aids in the drying process of the painting.


Everything looking good? Just make sure theres enough space to pour and that it is in an area you won’t have to move it for multiple hours (dry time takes a while). I preferred pouring each color paint and Mod Podge into an individual cup, making sure to mix them periodically to keep them fluid.


Now, lets make a dirty cup! As you can see, my red solo cup is already stained from a previous project, but that does not effect the new one. First, pour in the Mod Podge to fill just the bottom and add alternating layers of paint and WD-40. The colors will mesh a bit, the whole goal is to make sure they do not blend together. Avoid shaking or mixing the contents during this process.


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Your layers will turn out looking something similar to this:

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 3.19.24 PM

Now, for the next to last step we need to spread and pour the mixture onto the blank canvas. This is the most exciting and nervous moment about this technique of painting! Just know, there are no guarantees about how it will turn out and know that every time it is done you will get varying results.


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Depending on how much liquid was in your cup, you may have to refill it and do a second and maybe even a third pour. This will add more visual to your piece and makes it that much more unique. Once you pour enough paint out, tilt the canvas to spread the colors evenly around.

When I first poured out my cup I could not see much of the gold color I really wanted to show. However, when I started spreading out the paint colors began to appear and waves formed. I could not fill the entire canvas by merely tilting it, so this is when I got to do a little finger painting. To do this, I used the drippings on the pan and poked, spread, and smeared the colors around the edges.


A bit of advice, if you just have the drip pan you may want to place an old towel around to avoid a huge mess in your work area. I splattered on my table a bit, but since it is acrylic paint it wipes up easily.

Since this is one of the last steps, our work is almost done! All there is left is to let it dry, and unfortunately the drying process does not leave the painting nice and glossy. The paint dries matte, but that is nothing to worry about. To get a complete dry, I left my painting out overnight and ensured the dryness by light touches on thicker paint spots. Once positive it is dry, pour a decent amount of Mod Podge into the center and spread it around again with the tilting technique used on the paint. One of the craft sticks can aid in this, use one to smear the gloss.


Wait until this last layer dries and enjoy your new modern piece of art! Choose whichever colors that go with your tastes, almost anything will work. I hope you enjoyed this little DIY and I would love to see your attempts at this intriguing piece.


Have fun! Thanks for reading and have a good Sunday.


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