While I love the rich pigment of a Golden Fluid Acrylic, I have been asked numerous times about making fluid acrylic paints. So I started looking into it more and found a solution that might be helpful. In no way is this a replacement for something as professional as Golden’s Fluid Acrylics, it is a less expensive alternative.

I got the idea for this recipe while making ebru paintings with my kids. When you paint with water, you have to add a surfactant to the paint for it to glide across the top of the water. Usually, we add ox gall or photo flow to the paint to give it some move-ability. I also had a bottle of Golden’s Acrylic Flow Release which is a paint additive for water painting. Golden now called is Wetting Fluid and can be used to wet your canvas before applying paint. So without getting too wordy here is how I mixed my paint to create a simple fluid acrylic.

This is a mixture created by weight and volume.

Part ONE – Diluting the Acrylic Flow Release (Slippery Water)

  • 16 oz Distilled water
  • 0.5 oz Acrylic Flow Release or Photo Flo

Mix the ingredients carefully and let sit for at least 25 hours, so there is no sudden foaming. The Acrylic Flow Release is an irritant and should be handled carefully with proper protection.

Part TWO – Making the Fluid Acrylic

  • 30g (by weight) medium bodied acrylic
  • 20g Slippery Water

Slowly add the slippery water to the paint and mix well. Do not mix vigorously just make sure that all the solution incorporates in the paint. If this is done in 10g increments, you will get a smoother result. Add more slippery water as desired to get a more fluid color.

Store your fluid acrylic in an airtight container and use it for any number of applications. In the video attached I use this recipe to create a fluid acrylic pour on a wood panel using four different brands of medium-bodied paint.

Links to the products I used in the video:


Good luck and always do what makes your heart happy!