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Best Floetrol Alternative & Homemade Floetrol For Pouring With Cells

You have probably seen Floetrol and especially Australian Floetrol prices lately…Not fun! Time to look for a good, reliable Floetrol alternative that can still give us a perfect liquid consistency and cells.

Besides, Floetrol as a paint additive is not archival, which means it is not guaranteed to last for years without yellowing.

*silent panic*

Gladly, we have at least 15 alternatives for Floetrol that I will recommend below, including, a simple, practically free recipe of a homemade “Floetrol” aka pouring medium.

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What can I use instead of floetrol?

Remember we talked about Floetrol? Amazing medium, and yet…

As I said it was not made for pouring but it does thin and extend the paint, slowing the drying time.

There is a range of pouring mediums and acrylic liquid substitutes that were designed by manufacturers specifically for pouring and fluid art.

Floetrol is an easy way to make your pouring medium. It has many other advantages but it is really expensive and hard to get in many countries.

If you are creative and love experiments, I suppose one day you will want to try something else.

When you choose between mediums for acrylic pouring, make sure you choose latex-based products. You can not mix acrylic paint with an oil-based pouring medium!

If you are using Floetrol NOT for pouring but just because you want to increase paint flow, you may try cheaper ways to do so by simply thinning the paint.

Here I suggested 3 best ways to do so and 3 never-again methods for thinning the paint (not for pouring).

The most accessible and affordable substitutes for Floetrol will be Elmer’s Glue or Mod Podge mixed with water. They have similar consistency and flow well. But aren’t professional.

Can I use water as a pouring medium?

Water may seem to be an almost free-of-charge pouring medium. Perfect! But wait…

Unfortunately, even if you use distilled water, you need to know that water breaks paint quality, lessens adhesion, and is likely to result in cracks. And it doesn’t have any magic additives for cells either…

I do not recommend water as a professional pouring medium.

Check out my collection of 40 Stunning Paint Pouring Color Combinations

However, you can add a little bit of water (approx from 2 tbs to 1/3 of the mix) to Floetrol to make it more fluid.

Some people also add 1/3 of glue to Floetrol for ghost pouring technique.


15 Great Floetrol Substitutes

If you choose to try any floetrol substitute, take a look at these recommended pouring mediums.

They all have the same functions: improve flow, increase workability, and prevent cracking, this is why I will not mention it in the notes for each of them.

Liquitex Professional Effects Medium, 237ml (8-oz), Gloss Pouring Medium
  • A fluid medium incorporating an acrylic polymer with high resin solids.
  • Creates even puddles, poured sheets, and flowing applications of color.
  • Mix with Soft Body Acrylic Color to promote drying with a smooth even colored film.

The best Floetrol alternative for pours is a professional pouring medium like Liquitex or Pebeo.

A homemade Floetrol can be made with Elmer’s glue and water but it won’t have any good properties of original Floetrol.

floetrol substitute
BrandGradeNotePrice
Liquitex Pouring MediumProfessionalThe medium is white when wet but dries to a beautiful clear gloss finish. It increases color transparency, which enhances paint layering effects and dries to a beautiful gloss finish.

Biggest advantage: Unlike Floetrol, Liquitex pouring medium is archival and won’t be yellow.
Check price
Atelier Pouring MediumProfessionalThe biggest advantage of Atelier Pouring Medium is that it is self-leveling like resin which makes a glass-like smooth, even, and glossy finish to your pouring.
Ratio: 1 part paint:3. parts medium
$7.69 – $62.23
Novaplex 233ProfessionalNovaplex 233 is technically an acrylic paint extender that increases flow and gloss.
Can be used for thinning paint for pouring.
Doesn’t interact well with water.
Link
Golden GAC800 Pouring MediumProfessionalThe best results will be with Golden products. Dries with a smooth, even film, glossy level finish with moderate clarity.
The downside of GAC 800 Pouring medium is that it requires a high ratio to mix: 10:1 medium to paint so you will spend a lot of money on just medium.
And also it is the most expensive substitute.
$76.44 for 1 gallon
PVA Glue Elmer’s GlueCraftStudent-grade acrylic pouring, also do pre-mixed pour paints.
The downsides of using glue are lumps in paint and a non-archival finish – the paint will yellow over time because Elmer’s glue is acid.
It also dries flat, dulling all the colors.
$14.98 for 1 gallon
Lineco Neutral pH AdhesiveCraftAn acid-free alternative to Elmer’s glue that won’t yellow. Just dilute with water for pouring. But just like glue (as it is ad adhesive) it will dull the colors.
Pebeo Studio Acrylics Pouring MediumStudent-gradeStudent-grade acrylic pouring, the brand also does pre-mixed pour paints.
I love their acrylic gel and use it to make my own paints.
$15.21 – $80.99
DECOART Pouring MediumCraftCraft quality with the best consistency.
Preserve the brilliance of the colors.
Quick-drying, cracking free.
$61.99 for 16 oz
Sargent Art Pouring Acrylic MediumStudent-gradePremium quality with the right consistency.
Doesn’t alter the colors
$35.04 for 1 gallon
U.S. Art Supply Gloss Pouring Effects MediumStudent-gradePromises exceptional cells. Great for Dirty Pour Technique, Flip Cup Technique, Dutch Pours, Tree Ring Pours, and other techniques$32.96 for 64 oz
Vallejo Pouring MediumProfessionalVallejo Pouring medium creates cells even without Floetrol$8.25 – $200.00
OwatrolProfessionalIn Europe and UK, Owatrol is the closest product to Floetrol and will perform well.Website
Tri-Art Liquid Glass Acrylic Pouring MediumProfessionalIt works best with fluid paints and it dries almost to a resin-like hard glossy finish, like a glass (hence the name). Pricey.
It doesn’t create cells by itself, but they have Tri-Art Liquid Glass Cell Flow in the same product line that you can mix in, it is basically silicone oil so you can use your own if you have one.
On Blick
Amsterdam Acrylic Pouring MediumStudentI love their paints but I rarely see their pouring medium in the store.
Dries to a very smooth and glossy finish. Doesn’t make cells on its own.
On Blick
Apple Barrel Pouring MediumCraftFor fun kids’ projects, both Apple Barrel Paint and their pouring medium are great value for money. It is very affordable. Not archival (can yellow over time) and is quite thick.
Not for professional use or for pouring for sale.
Link
US Art Supply Pouring MediumCraftRather thick pouring medium and flows worse than Floetrol. Mixes well, but can take longer to dry, and once dry it lacks water resistance.
Affordable and still good for small crafts and hobbyists.
Link
Silicone OilAdditiveSilicone oil creates cells in seconds just like (or even more) than Floetrol but you only need a few drops!
Certain brands work better than others, for ex., I dislike craft-quality Mont Marte silicone oil.
Buy any 🙂
Thin X paint additiveIt is a similar product to Floetrol, just cheaper and less promoted. Works absolutely the same way (just a bit thinner)
Using Pre-mixed acrylic pouring paintsPaintTo avoid the hassle of choosing a pouring medium or alternative for Floetrol you can simply buy pre-mixed fluid paints!
Floetrol alternatives overview

What Can I Use As an Australian floetrol substitute?

American Floetrol is the closest substitute for Australian Floetrol.

Otherwise use special pouring mediums for acrylic paint like Pebeo, Liquitex, and DECOART.

There is one pouring medium craft quality that I DO NOT recommend – Mont Marte (link to my review), but I really love their pre-mixed pouring paints. Funny, how it works, right?


Acrylic Pouring Recipe with Lots of Cells Without Silicone AKA Homemade Floetrol

To stay on budget you don’t have to invest in expensive pouring mediums or buy gallons of Floetrol. You can still create stunning pours with cells using this recipe.

Rubbing alcohol – this household product will help you create cells and you don’t have to buy silicone drops.

For the homemade pouring recipe Mix by weight 1:1 paint, rubbing alcohol, glue, and distilled water.

Done!

The original recipe is created by Danny Clark and you can watch his full video here.

Household Products to Make Homemade Floetrol:

  1. household products with silicone,
  2. Behr Premium Plus Faux Glaze (additive for extending house paints)
  3. torching the pour,
  4. oil additives,
  5. Minwax wood conditioner
  6. Mod Podge
  7. Elmer’s Glue mixed with water
  8. Dish soap

While it is more kids’ friendly to use dish soap or glue, the quality will be low.

Both additives are not made or tested with paint in terms of longevity and they are not archival, nor they are resistant or self-leveling. If there is any unevenness in the pour, they will highlight the imperfections.

Final Thoughts

Although I believe there is nothing quite like Floetrol that gives both cells and fluidity to acrylic paint, I agree that professional substitutes like Liquitex pouring medium or GAC are amazing for pouring.

At the same time, I am usually disappointed with craft pouring mediums based on glue. They are harder to mix and control, lack consistency in results, and sometimes end up making my paint too runny.

What is your experience with finding a substitute for Floetrol? What has the best value for money?

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API