How to Avoid Muddy Colours in Your Acrylic Pour

Author: Olivia Moull  Date Posted:6 May 2019 

Finding muddy colours in your acrylic pours? Try our handy tips below on how to avoid them and create stunning pours every time!


How to Avoid Muddy Colours in Your Acrylic Pour



Acrylic pouring has become such a popular technique in the art world in recent years and you can achieve truly stunning results.


To learn all about how to make your own, visit our how-to blog ‘Create Fluid Art and Make Your Own Pouring Medium’ but before you click, there are some fundamental guidelines you need to follow when it comes to the colours in your pours. 


Acrylic pouring can produce beautiful bright, colourful works and magnificent marbled effects but there is a fine line when it comes to colour mixing and sometimes the waters (in the case the paints) get muddied.


Understanding the form and colour of paint is so important particularly when mixing and blending.


Mixing paint is a perfect science that when done incorrectly, can produce less-than-perfect results.

We’ve come up with a 3-step guide that’s clear as mud to ensure your pours are picture perfect every time and your colours aren’t mixing with the wrong crowd. 


Paint Density 


First step in preparing a pour is evaluating the density of your paints and determining your layers.

This beginning step is a very important one and often one that’s overlooked.


Take the water for example; if you drop a stone into it, it will sink to the bottom. The same goes for paint. If you pour a heavy-based paint on top of lighter weight colours, it will drop like a lead balloon to the bottom and will in turn cause your other colours to muddy.


Generally speaking, metal-based pigments such as titanium, cadmium or cobalt have a heavier viscosity so should be your base layers.

Some brands do a range of low viscosity paints such as Jo Sonja. The Jo Sonja Acrylic Background Paint range is ultra-fluid across the entire colour range with no metal-based pigments; ideal for pouring techniques.  


Colour Choice 


This is probably the most fundamental step to avoid a muddy pour with one of the simplest solutions.


We’re going back to basics with this one and returning to our old friend from school art class, the colour wheel.

If you don’t own one of these bad boys I strongly urge you grab yourself one because the powers of this nifty tool are not to be underestimated.

We stock an excellent one from Mont Marte that rotates to show which colours mix well together and exactly what colour you can achieve.

It also gives a description guide and explains how primary, secondary and tertiary colours are made.

Though the name may suggest, complimentary colours do not mix and will leave you with a muddy brown pool of paint. This book takes the guess work out and is a great reference and a solid investment. Click Here to purchase. 


Another thing to consider when it comes to coloured paints is your choice of brand.

All brands have unique formulas that contain ingredients and pigments that others may not so colours can differ.

To ensure your colours mix well, we recommend sticking to one brand. A great brand we find when doing acrylic pouring is Matisse. The range of Matisse Flow Acrylic Paints or Matisse Fluid Acrylic Paints make for easy, colourful pours. 



Paint Fluidity and Consistency


The fluidity of paint, also referred to as viscosity, is a big factor in colours mixing badly.


When adding your extender or medium try to aim for the consistency of pouring cream. If it is too thick or too thin you may find it difficult to get a good fluid pour and flow of colours. This comes down to not only your paint choice but your choice of medium as well.


A good combination with the aforementioned Matisse Acrylic Paints is the Matisse Self Levelling Medium. Another extender that achieves amazing results is Floetrol Acrylic Paint Conditioner. Floetrol is a water-based paint conditioner that improves the flow and workability without sacrificing the integrity, colour or hold of the paint.


Even with the correct materials, producing the right consistency for you comes down to the old ‘practice makes perfect’.

It may take a bit of trial and error to get the perfect consistency for your canvas, materials and environment but as they say: ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’ and have some fun doing it! 

Now that you’re equipped with the fundamentals of pouring you’re ready to get started without fear of muddying your colours.


So, you may now scroll back up to the top and give the tutorial link a click.


As always, art is about enjoyment so get experimenting and have some fun with it. If you create anything from our blog tutorials don’t forget to upload photos of your masterpieces to social media and tag us, we love seeing what you guys create.


If you have any topics you’d like to learn more about drop us a line with some blog suggestion. Plus, don’t forget you can watch video tutorials on our YouTube channel Happy creating! 



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