Acrylic pouring cells create fascinating patterns and effects in your Acrylic Pouring paintings. But how do you get cells to form reliably on your paintings? We have compiled our basic recipe and many other useful information on this subject in this article.



Many Acrylic Pouring Cells in Fluid Painting with Silicone Oil or Hair Oil?

The addition of silicone creates the desired acrylic pouring cells on your paintings created using the acrylic pouring technique. But with which silicon-containing product do you get the most cells or the largest cells?

acrylic pouring cells



Silicone Oil

Silicone oil is not the same as silicone oil, there are significant differences in viscosity:


Low Viscosity:

  • Produces large cells, some with additional cells in them
  • Faster ink flow
  • Stronger colour gradients

acrylic pouring cells
Acrylic Pouring 100% Silicone Oil

High Viscosity:

  • Produces smaller, sharply defined cells
  • Slightly slower ink flow
  • Rather fewer colour gradientsErgibt kleinere, scharf umrissene Zellen

We have achieved very good results with the following silicone oil:

pouring cells
Treadmill Silicone Oil




Hair Oil with Dimethicone

Many artists have reported that very good results can be achieved with hair oil. It should be noted that in hair oil at the top of the list of ingredients “Dimethicone” is listed. Dimethicone is a silicone additive that is often used in cosmetic products.

We have achieved great results with the following hair oil, which is also used by many American pourers:

cells acrylic pouring
Organix Hair Oil Dimethicone



The most important Factor: The right Pouring Medium

It is essential that you use a suitable pouring medium. You mix it with acrylic paint and a little water, depending on what you use. We have created an overview of all Pouring Media available on the market: Pouring Medium Market Overview.

If you are new to Acrylic Pouring and would like to make your first attempts, we recommend that you buy a Pouring Set consisting of acrylic paint and matching Pouring Medium. Here you don’t need any additional silicone, because everything is already included in this set. Simply mix acrylic paint and Pouring Medium and you can start with the Acrylic Pouring:

acrylic pouring
Floetrol Pouring Medium Set




Consistency as Key to Success for Acrylic Pouring Cells

The key to success for many beautiful acrylic pouring cells is the consistency of your acrylic colours mixed with pouring medium. Only if this consistency fits, you will prevent the different colours from mixing too firmly and the cells from running (too liquid) and cells from forming at all (too thick). The consistency should remind you of more liquid honey, then you have a good conistency for your pouring.

As a basis you can use the following recipes:


PVA Glue

  • 1 part acrylic paint
  • 1.5 Parts of pouring medium
  • 1 part distilled water1



  • 1 part acrylic paint
  • 1.5 Parts of casting medium
  • 0.5 Part of distilled water1 Teil Acrylfarbe


Liquitex Pouring Medium

  • 1 part acrylic paint
  • 1.5 Parts of casting medium
  • 0.5 Part of distilled water


We recommend that you first mix the paint very well with the Pouring Medium and then gradually add the water until the consistency is as described above.




Additives for safe Acrylic Pouring Cells Formation

Once you have mixed the colours and the consistency is as desired, you can add one or two drops of silicone or hair oil to each colour (except white) and then stir again briefly. Then pour your picture with the desired technique. A subsequent application of silicone on the polished picture does not bring any more big change.

After the application of the paint, you go briefly with a hot air hairdryer or torch over the paint and then swivel your canvas until you like the result.

We have summarized the individual Fluid Painting techniques in our article “Acrylic Pouring techniques – How to fluid paint“.