Sue says:

I love using paint in different ways and when I saw this technique I was hooked! The way the paints mix and flow across the canvas to create such beautiful patterns and colours is just so exciting, you never know what you will end up with


Stamps Sue used...

  • IndigoBlu: Christmas Stag; Snow Globe; Tiny Backgrounds

Other materials...

  • IndigoBlu GeeSso Good! Gesso: White
  • IndigoBlu English Cottage Artist's Acrylic Paint: Aladdin; Vodka Martini; Kingfisher Blue; Pantry White; Stroke of Midnight; Marshmallow
  • Tim Holtz Etcetera Thick Board Tag: Large
  • PVA glue
  • Floetrol
  • Silicone oil
  • Crafters Companion: Spray and Shine Varnish
  • Plastic cups
  • Wooden sticks

Step-by-step… Dirty Pour

1 Choose paint colours, gather materials and cover and prepare work space.

Measure out mediums into different cups. I’ve used a thick pigment paint so I don’t need much. Use more if you’re using liquid paint.


Thoroughly mix each colour with the Floetrol, add water if needed to get the consistency of single cream. Mix in the PVA glue. 

Mix two or three drops of silicone into each colour, (but not the white). This will help to create big cellular shapes in the paint.

Now fill a larger cup with layers of colour and white paint to create your ‘Dirty Pour’. The white paint tends to sink but just continue adding layers.

Tip the cup onto your substrate. Leave to settle for a minute then lift the cup to leave behind a puddle of paint.


Tilt the substrate back and forth slowly so that gravity creates the painting. Continue tilting until the surface and sides are covered with the paint. 

Use a palette knife to pick up excess paint that has dripped off to cover any areas without paint, especially those around the edges and sides.

Use a blow torch if you have one, to get rid of air bubbles and to bring more cells up to the surface. 


10 Leave the pour to settle, keeping an eye on it to see if you need to change its position to make sure it’s level.

11 Leave to dry. You may find that the pattern changes slightly and the colours darken. Once fully dry, varnish to give a glossy finish.

12 Once dry, the ‘Dirty Pour’ you have created can be left as it is, or you could add to it with stamped images as I have done.


To finish the project: 

I wanted to create a hanging Christmas tag, so I decided to embellish the pour using accents of Mega Flakes and Christmas imagery. First I cut out some baubles and decorated them with stamped images and coloured them with coordinating colours before clear embossing. To add raised adornment, I also then applied paste through stencils.

The stag image was painted with watered down paint and coated in Glossy Accents before being added to the hanging baubles. Touches of Mega Flakes, gems, a rosette, small snowflakes and ribbon complete the project. 

This project first featured in the December 2017 issue of Craft Stamper magazine