How To Pour Paint on Furniture

You might have heard of a trend in the art world called pour painting. It has created quite a buzz.

Can this method be used to paint furniture? The answer is yes and the results can be stunning.

Dixie Belle Chalk Paint is the foundation for great results. I have tried many paints trying to perfect this method and I am hooked on Dixie Belle Paint.

Why? Brilliant color, strong pigment and consistent viscosity. The viscosity is very important to a successful recipe. I can not state this enough.

Let’s start with the basic recipe. 1 part Dixie Belle chalk paint and 2 parts Floetrol. Floetrol is a latex paint conditioner and easy to find at most big home improvement stores. I mix the different colors separately in plastic cups.

To figure out how much total mixture I will need, I use this calculation: 1 ounce of paint mixture for every 10 sq. inches of surface I am covering.

Quick example: 20 x 20 table is 400 sq. inches divided by 10 equals 40 ounces of paint mixture.

Next, I choose my color palette. I like to use one bold color and three other lighter colors that compliment each other. The choice is yours, go for it!

First, I pour the paint in the cup and then the Floetrol. I stir the paint slowly and thoroughly with a wooden craft stick.

If you stir too fast, you will introduce bubbles. Not good. After all the colors are mixed, I then add two drops of treadmill silicone and stir it in with two slow stirs in each cup.

(Before Photo)

Don’t have treadmill silicone? No problem. Any 100% silicone lubricant will work. If it is in an aerosol can I spray it into a cup and use an eyedropper to drip it in.

Next, comes the layering of the paint mixture into the empty cups. If you watch the video below, you’ll notice I am using five different colors and creating four flip cups.

Two of the cups were dominated by amethyst with a touch of daisy.

The other two were the opposite with and even mixture of the cottondriftwood and hurricane gray. I did this to keep the daisy from mixing too much with the amethyst so they could boldly shine in the final piece.

Now it’s time for the magic to happen. Watch as I flip the cups in the video. It does take some practice to get the motion down.

Don’t worry if they don’t land perfectly. This is common. Give a few seconds for the paint to settle and lift the cups one by one.

Sometimes I use a chef’s torch at this point to accelerate cell formations. It is not necessary to get amazing results. The cells will form on their own.

When you start tilting your piece it will be cumbersome your first time. Slow and steady is best.

The goal is to waterfall the paint over all the edges. Notice how I tilt towards the edges and roll my hand up over the corner and pull the paint over.

Practice this move in a dry run and mimic the movement. This will serve you well when it’s the real thing.


Let’s face it, you will lose some paint. It will drip for a while as the paint settles out. There are some cool things you can do with these drippings but that’s another blog.

The important thing at this point is your piece is completely level. You can achieve this by testing the level before you pour. This is a must.

After you pour, if you notice heavy dripping on one or two sides, shim it up underneath your piece with cardboard or anything you have. At this point, you can use a palette knife or something similar to pick up drippings and fill in bare spots around the sides of your piece.

After the piece dries, usually 24-48 hours you can use a razor blade to cut off the drips that form on the bottom edges.

Now you are ready to seal your piece with a finish like any other painted piece. I used Satin Clear Coat for Dixie Belle Paint Company.

Here are some final tips:

  • Try doing some mini pours with your colors on small pieces of wood or tiles.
  • Watch the video several times and write down all the hints at the bottom.
  • Clean the wood with White Lightning and paint the surface with one of your colors.
  • When the piece is dry, wipe off any excess silicone before sealing.

You can do it!

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  1. Ann M Boyd says:

    I have done a paint pour on a table, and I was happy with the outcome, however I have never used any silicone with it

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