Tips on How to Embellish Your Acrylic Pour Paintings (and create a new love for your failed pieces!)

How to embellish your failed pours

I love acrylic paint pouring, but not all of my pieces turn out to be epic. Instead of throwing them away or painting over them, I embellish them! By combining different art media techniques and ideas to my acrylic paint pours, I am truly embracing all of the art forms I love while creating something special and unique.

I embellish the art pieces that I think are missing a focal point or pieces that I feel look more like a background pattern.

There are no hard and fast design rules when working with your art. It can be as simple as adding a flower to a corner of your piece or as advanced as adding multiple layers of different elements to complete your piece. Your final design should be something you are proud of and happy to look at in the end.

How to Embellish Your Acrylic Paint Pouring Pieces

Even though I love the finished piece, sometimes they end up looking too dark and they need a little something to brighten them up. In the piece above, I embellished it with fabric flowers and leaves. This creates a focal point and gives more interest to the piece.

How to Embellish Your Acrylic Paint Pouring Pieces

I painted the piece above piece two years ago, and it cracked when I varnished it. I was so disappointed and decided to set it aside until I could figure out what to do. A couple of weeks ago I decided to see what I could do with it!

First, I covered the piece with two coats of TriArt Liquid Glass Pouring Medium and let it dry. Then, I cut out the mermaid and message out of vinyl with my Cricut Maker machine and added the half beads. After that, I added two thin layers of Unicone resin. This is one of my favorite pieces now!

How to Embellish Your Acrylic Paint Pouring Pieces

Sometimes my pieces have small defects that can be fixed with embellishments. In this example, the bottom left corner had a white blob that dried into the piece that I could not remove. I loved everything else about it, but the blob was an eyesore. I added the fabric flower and leaves to cover the area. Now I think this piece looks even better!

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Other times my pieces look too constant with no focal pattern and need something to help complete the story. With this piece, I created a background to look like a sunset but when it dried it looked too plain.

I decided to design it as a water scene by adding a layer of clear resin, followed by a layer of glitter mixed with the resin and then another layer of resin with white waves. The waves decided to look like they crashed so I found a mermaid sitting on a rock image I cut from vinyl, added a message in vinyl, and then added two more thin layers of clear resin. This piece was super fun to work on, and I loved how the design evolved!

Whatever the reason, embellishing can be a fun way to “save” your art pieces that you are not so proud of.

The fun part about adding embellishments is that you can use literally anything to embellish your art! The only thing stopping you from adding objects to your art is you!

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Items I have used to embellish my art:

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Embellishing Tips

PREP: It is best to spray a layer of clear spray paint or a thin layer of varnish over the finished pour. This helps vinyl and stickers adhere prior to final sealing and to prevent any unexpected paint bleeding onto the more delicate embellishments that could be added.

You may also want to tape off the back of your canvas. The tape will help catch any resin or glue drips that may occur during the process. Taping also helps when you are finished by leaving a clean back canvas and creates one less step to work on when you are finished.

DESIGN: Sometimes I need to look at my art piece for a while before I get inspired on how to embellish it. I will ask myself, what does this pattern look like? How can I brighten/darken it? What is it missing? What story is it trying to tell? What can I add to this piece that will improve it? It is important not to rush this step.

You will also want to think “what is the purpose” of the embellishment? Is it to sit on top of the art or be embedded in it? Will my design accent my acrylic paint pour piece I have created?

If you are struggling with designing, write some ideas on paper including how the piece makes you feel when you look at it. Sometimes when I write down my ideas, new ideas come to surface that I wouldn’t have originally thought of. Writing down your ideas not only will help you with this piece but it will help you with ideas for your future pieces. You will soon discover that the journal you are creating will help you in your future projects!

PLAN AHEAD: Before you start gluing down your embellishments, it is best to map out your design prior to adhering it. I recommend laying down the pieces of your desired design directly on your acrylic paint pour, and then take a photo of it to remember where the pieces go. Another idea is to draw out your design on notepaper and work as you go. Taking the time to plan ahead will definitely save you time and headaches during the process!

If you are using heavyweight embellishments, you will need to support the underside of the canvas to prevent the weight of the embellishments from pulling the center of the canvas down. Remember, canvas is fabric and it does flex, even with paint on it!

Supporting the center of the canvas is easy to do. You can either cut out heavyweight cardboard or chipboard slightly larger than the frame on the back and then slip it in between the frame and the canvas, or you can mix up some clear resin and add a small layer to the back of the canvas and let it cure. I have used both methods and they both work well.

EMBELLISHING: Once you have decided on a design and you have mapped it out on your painting, it is time to start embellishing! The type of glue you will want to use depends on the type of embellishments you are using.

For heavyweight objects like rocks, large gems, and seashells, I like to use resin. I will mix up some clear resin, and place a small amount of resin in the area the objects go. Once placed, I will drizzle more resin over the top of the objects to fully secure them to the painting.

For medium weight objects likes fabric flowers, ribbons, and gems, I like to use a regular glue gun. Just a small dap on the back of the object usually does the trick.

For lightweight objects such as photos, paper, beads, paper flowers, stickers, and small gems I like to use my Tombow Aqua Liquid Glue pen. It has dual tips, it’s acid-free, and it holds objects really well!

When to Seal Your Acrylic Paint Pouring Pieces While Embellishing Them

Sealing your piece is usually completed as a last step in the process. Sealing helps protect your paint from dust, dirt, debris, smoke, UV rays, and other environmental hazards that could potentially damage your art. Sealing also helps brighten the acrylic paint and adds another aesthetic element to your work.

As I mentioned above, it is good to spray a layer of clear spray paint or a thin layer of varnish over the finished pour in the prepping stage. This will help prevent any unexpected color bleeding that may happen, and it will help act as an adhesion layer for your embellishments. If needed, this layer can be considered the final “sealing” layer. If I am adding resin or resin-like mediums to my pieces during the design stage, often those are considered my final sealing layers.

  • If you are using ribbons, stamps, beads, floral embellishments, or other 3D items that sit on top of your art, sealing your painting first with clear spray paint is all the sealing you will need.
  • If you are using gems, rocks, stickers, stamps, or vinyl embellishments that you want to be embedded in your art, spray with a clear spray paint first, apply the embellishments, then seal with liquid glass or resin to help protect your delicate embellishments.
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