I am in love with this technique!
Big Al and I wanted to add some art above our kitchen cabinets and since we love DIY we decided to try out fluid acrylic painting. Not only do I love how this project turned out but it was also really fun to do it together.
Big Al and I took very different approaches to this technique so our paintings ended up really different and yet still look great together. The paintings dried glossy and hard which looks great in the sunny kitchen. In the end I would say that this project ended up costing us about $60 in materials that we didn’t already have (about $15 per painting) which I see as a huge win for any wall art!
Go get your paint on!
*Acrylic Paint (I chose three colors: gray, iridescent white, and dark blue)
*Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish (946 ML/32 oz was enough to paint four 11×14 canvases) (This product is cheaper if you buy it at Hobby Lobby and use the 40% off coupon that they always have on their website)
*1 inch paint brush
*Painting Knife (I used one that looks like number 3 in the link)
*Plastic Drop Cloth ($2 at Lowes/Home Depot)
*Stir Stick/plastic fork/old chopsticks/Popsicle sticks (whatever you have on hand)
*Blocks to lift canvas off of ground
The first thing we did was to prepare our studio, aka the garage. We laid down a cheap plastic drop cloth and then used some spare wood to lift the canvases off the ground . It would have been better if we had found something to support the canvas from the middle while still allowing the paint to drip down the sides but we couldn’t find anything.
After that we started to mix our paints. The colors we chose were iridescent white, gray and dark blue (blue and black mixed together).
I added about a tablespoon of each of the colors to a plastic cup. Then I added approximately 3 inches of gloss medium in each cup. I put more of the gloss medium in the white paint than the other two paints because that was initially the color that I wanted to be the main color. Then I stirred the paint into the gloss medium and made sure I thought there was enough paint in the mixture and that the color was coming through enough.
In the second fluid acrylic painting we did we added about a tablespoon of water to the paint mixture which helped the paint flow!
This mixture was enough to do two paintings at one time so if you are only doing one painting at a time you might want to mix less since the gloss medium would start to dry before you got to your next painting.
Technique for Painting One:
I poured the paint in some random patterns on my canvas and started gently tilting the canvas different ways to let the paint spread out.
I added a little bit more paint after this initial pour as well.
After “swirling” the paint for a while I stood the painting up on the ground and let all the paint start dripping in one direction.
As the paint would fall to the ground I would use by painters spatula tool to scoop the paint off the drop cloth and add it back to any empty spots on the painting.
Then I used my paintbrush and the paint on the drop cloth to lightly paint the edges of the canvas where paint hadn’t covered it.
Technique for Painting Two:
This one was Big Al’s and he did his by slowly swirling the paint using gravity until the entire canvas was covered. This process definitely takes a while because the paint moves pretty slow but it looks so cool at the end. Also you will have drips all over the drop cloth by the end of this!
The directions on the liquitex gloss medium bottle said that we could dilute the product with water by up to 25% which might have helped to speed up the swirling process. I think we will probably try that next time.
Technique for Painting Three:
On this one I didn’t swirl the colors at all, I started by putting all the paint at the top of the canvas and then let it all run down. I used run off paint and my spatula tool to cover areas of the canvas that had blank spots.
Technique for Painting Four:
Big Al used the all swirl method on this one as well and said he started by adding the paint in a giant X and another color is a giant C shape.
I think the swirl method is a little easier if you start with a lot of your paint in the center of the canvas so that less falls off the canvas during the swirling.
Also, this one is my favorite!
We then let them dry overnight and they dried into a hard and glossy surface that looks amazing! They did stick to the wood boards and we really had to pull to get them off. Ideally we would have found a way to support them from the middle but I didn’t have any luck figuring out how to do that with the materials we had. It worked out fine in the end though.
Once they were done drying we folded up the drop cloth and threw everything away. Surprisingly easy for such a messy project!
They look pretty awesome in their new home! If I do say so myself!
For more tutorials you should check out this video!