Can You Use Craft Paint for Acrylic Pouring? (2023)

Craft paints are by far the cheapest and easiest acrylicpaints to get a hold of. Every craftstore has a few different brands of craft paints and large retailers likeWalmart and Target also carry them. Thesepaints get used for many different hobbies and projects.

Can you use craft paints for acrylic pouring? Craft paints can absolutely be used foracrylic paint pouring. However, craftpaints do not have as much pigment or as high-quality binder as artists’ acrylicpaints, so don’t mix them with as much pouring medium. The recommendation is to mix one-part pouringmedium to one-part craft paints (1:1).

In this blog post we’ll review in more detail how craftpaints are made, the most common craft paint brands, and some best practiceswhen using them for fluid acrylic pouring.

Table of Contents

What are Craft Paints?

All acrylic paints are made of three main materials: pigment,acrylic polymer, and water. The pigment and acrylic polymer get mixed inwith the water and create an emulsion (one substance suspended in a liquid).

The water in the paint is used to help change the consistencyof the paints. Heavy body acrylics haveless water than soft body acrylics.Craft paints generally have more water than other forms of acrylic paints. This greater portion of water in craft paintstends to give them a runnier consistency.

Can You Use Craft Paint for Acrylic Pouring? (1)

Pigment Load

The ingredients used in craft paints are usually chosen basedon their cost more than their quality.This means that there is less color pigment, or load, than regular acrylicpaint.

Many of the pigments used are synthetic and do not create purecolors like some more expensive pigments would.Many of the colors with “hue” in the name (eg. cadmium red hue) usesynthetic pigments.

With less pigment, you can’t “cut” or add as much medium/waterbecause diluting the paint will the vibrancy of the color.

In many cases, craft paints don’t use normal color names, likecadmium red, because in many cases craft paints are a combination of differentpigments and they don’t want to misrepresent the colors they offer.

Binder Quality

The binder used in craft paints is also not of the samequality as they are in regular acrylics.If you are going to extent craft paints, use a pouring medium that hasits own binder like floetrol, glue-all, or any professional pouring medium.

Using too much water with craft paints will cause them toflake and peel when they dry because there is not enough binding power betweenthe plastic polymer molecules after the water evaporates.


Craft paints are frequently sold in 2-ounce containers and areusually priced in the $50 – $1.00 per ounce range. Thecost per ounce generally goes down with the size of the container that youpurchase.

Some craft paints meant to be used in educational settingslike Mont Marte, Sax, and Sargent are also sold in much higher volumes.

Using Craft Paints in Acrylic Pouring

As mentioned in the introduction, craft paints can definitelybe used for acrylic pouring and are a great way to learn without breaking thebank.

When using craft paints for acrylic pouring, do not mix morethan one-part pouring medium to one-part paint.This will ensure that when the paint dries it will be less likely tocrack, craze, or peel from the painting surface.

It is recommended that a protective coating that includes UVblockers be applied to any pour painting with craft paints to help keep maintaincolor vibrancy for as long as possible. UV will degrade lower quality pigments, similarto the affect sunlight has on bumper sticker colors over time.

Review our blog post below about acrylic pour dry times to make sure enough time is allotted to drying and curing a painting before finishing with a protective coat.

How long do acrylic pours take to dry?

Beginner Pouring Medium Recipe

If you are just starting out with acrylic paint pouring, tryusing white Elmer’s Glue all as your first pouring medium.

Mix 70% glue to 30% water.Then take one-part of this glue mixture to one-part of your favoritecraft paint. For more information visitour blog post about pouring withPVA glue or watch our video below.

Common Craft Paint Brands

There are quite a few brands that make craft acrylicpaints. We will be highlighting a fewthat are commonly used in the paint pouring community.

Apple Barrel

Apple Barrel paints, made by PLAID, are one of the most common craft paints in the United States. They come in matte, satin, and gloss finishes and have a ton of different colors. These paints can be found at Amazon and Walmart.


Blickrylic student acrylic paints are the craft/educational line of paints from Blick. These paints come in over 30 different colors including metallic and fluorescent colors. You can buy them in sizes from a pint (16 oz.) to a half-gallon (64 oz.) from any Blick Art retail store or on the Blick website.

Craft Smart

Craft Smart is another popular craft acrylic paint brand. Their paint selections include matte, satin, and gloss finishes with a huge selection of colors. Glow-in-the-dark, metallic, and fluorescent colors can also be found. Purchase Craft Smart craft acrylic paints at Amazon or Michaels.


Darice is a wholesaler for arts and craft supplies based in Ohio, USA. Paint pourers don’t generally need wholesale amounts of craft paints but you can purchase these paints on Amazon for a reasonable price.


DecoArt is a staple in the arts and crafts arena. They have craft paints (Americana), enamels,pouring mediums, and so much more. TheDecoArt Extreme Sheen and Satin Enamels are frequently used by experiencedpourers to create some of the beautiful artworks you see on Instagram, YouTube,and Pinterest.

DecoArt can be purchased from Walmart, Amazon, Blick and many other crafting retailers.


FolkArt is another brand under the PLAID umbrella. These paints come in a variety of different colorsand finishes including satin, matte, and gloss.We highly recommend the Glitterific and the Metallic paints from FolkArt.

Purchase FolkArt from Amazon, Walmart, and Michael’s stores.

Martha Stewart

Who hasn’t heard of Martha Stewart? And of course, she has her own brand of craftacrylic paint. This paint is a little onthe expensive side, but it does come in some colors that you don’t see fromother brands.

Mont Marte

We were recently introduced to Mont Marte paint by Julie on the Pouring Your Heart Out YouTube channel. She creates amazing nature-inspired pictures with beautiful cells. These paints come in larger containers.

Purchase Mont Marte craft acrylic paints on Amazon.


Sargent acrylic great beginner paints that come in largercontainers at really great prices. Theseare geared toward the educational space but are perfect for learning acrylic paintpouring. One of the starter packs willhave you painting for months.

Find Sargent craft acrylic paints at Walmart and Amazon.


Craft acrylic paints are a great introduction to acrylicpaint pouring with an exorbitant cost. Theyare easy to find, relatively inexpensive, and have there is a huge selection ofcolors.

Once a certain comfort level is reached with craft paints,we recommend you expand into artist level paints for even more depth of color. For a list of our recommended paints to use forfluid pouring see our page for BestAcrylic Paints for Pouring.

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