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Why the Dirty Pour Works

You may have seen several epoxy videos out on the internet talking about the Dirty Pour. Someone takes several different cups of epoxy, adds various colors or additives into it, then dumps them all into a large bucket and pours that out over the surface, instantly creating a magical stone-like display for your project.

By understanding why this works in the first place, you can use the same principles to take your projects to the next level, either for home renovations, or dazzling art pieces.

The trick is to use different types of material as the additives. If everything you chose were all metallics, they would tend to blend together. But, if you select some metallics, base tints, spray paints, and so on, the different additives fight with each other, resulting in great areas of interesting effects.

An easy formula for a successful dirty pour:

¨ Metallic Color #1: ______________________

¨ Metallic Color #2: ______________________

¨ Base Tint Color #1: _____________________

¨ Base Tint Color #2: _____________________

¨ Spray Paint #1: _____________________

¨ Spray Paint #2: _____________________

Choose your colors for each type. Try to use at least 2 colors of any one type (Metallic powders, Dyes or tints, and spray paints). Mix it up, and watch the magic happen.

Create different effects using the dirty pour principle


Spread a thin layer of a darker color across your board, to lubricate the surface. When you pour the dirty pour mixture out, pour it in large streaks across the board. The dark undercoat will fill in the gaps between your streaks as it settles and flows, creating a natural travertine look to the surface.

Veins: Create a small amount of dirty-pour selected materials into your cup, then pour over your created board in a single line through it. This will make a natural-looking vein that contrasts from your other patterns.

Natural Stone:

Pour the bucket out across the board, using a random, circling pattern as you pour it out.

Painting Backgrounds for Artwork:

Using the same principle, add the different materials, one at a time, directly onto your board. Since you are doing this for an artwork instead of trying to mimic stone, you can use whatever colors you like. I will use colored India inks for my base-tints, and mix against bright metallics, or other various paints. Then, use a heat gun, and spread the different color layers against each other. You will watch your art transform as the different colors begin to fight with each other and make spectacular patterns.

Here is an example of the dirty-pour in action to create a beautiful bathroom vanity. I advanced the video to the dirty pour formula for your benefit below:

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