Interior design

Dutch pour painting: how to DIY your own art using a hairdryer

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Megan Murray
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Woman holding a Dutch pour painting

Dutch pour is the easy, DIY technique to create homemade fluid art for your walls.

Home renovation has become a big topic over lockdown as many people embrace this time at home as a chance to make changes and get creative. 

From Instagram accounts documenting whole property overhauls that have amassed thousands of followers in a matter of months, to the wave of new homeware brands which have launched recently and are leading the way on what’s hot in the interior design world, it’s a good time to feel inspired.

But, you don’t have to be knocking down walls or doing up your kitchen to try your hand at bettering your pad. Giving your home a refresh and flexing your creative muscles can be as easy as using up some old paint samples to make a piece of DIY art.

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Interior influencers have been leading the way on this throughout lockdown, offering hacks and tips on how to get your hands dirty and make something unique for your home. 

For example, style blogger Megan Ellaby showed followers that by painting picture mounts interesting colours it’s possible to make a gallery wall look brand new, and totally different from anyone else’s.

Meanwhile, Chelsea from The House That Black Built told Stylist.co.uk how blown away she was by the response to a simple piece of art she made involving only an old frame and some leftover wall paint.

The next DIY paint hack we’re keen to try, though, is one that’s already getting a lot of airtime online and goes by the name of ‘Dutch pour’ painting. 

In a nutshell, this technique uses a canvas, acrylic paints and a hairdryer to push the colours around and create an almost wave-like effect. It’s creative, eye-catching and completely unique every time. Plus, it’s easy to do.

What you’ll need:

  • Canvas in whatever size you’d like
  • Table cover (something wipeable is best)
  • Acrylic paints in six colours; one base (start with white) and three shades which will mix together (try complementary shades such as blues and greens or pinks and reds) and two which will stand out like gold or silver.
  • Hairdryer

Method:

1. Find a large flat space to position your canvas and cover it with a wipe-down tablecloth. Things will get messy!

2. Lay down your canvas and squirt on your base colour. You need quite a lot of coverage, so imagine your canvas is split into four and squirt a big blob in each quarter. White is a good colour to try if this is your first time. 

3. Plug in your hairdryer to a plug nearby and use it to push the paint around the canvas until the whole canvas is covered.

4. Pick up your first paint and make three big blobs of colour across the middle of the canvas in a diagonal line. Next, pick up another paint and squirt a different colour directly on top. Do this again with the third colour, squirting it directly on top of the previous two. Finally, take your silver or gold and continue to layer this on the three piles of paint. 

5. Take your white paint once again and squirt a line of paint across all three blobs of colour, messily connecting them all. Then, squirt white paint in an oblong ring around the outside of the paints, so that there’s a barrier of white encasing them. 

6. Turn your hairdryer on to a low speed and blow the white paint over the colours, gently pushing the paint around until the circular splodges have disappeared and only some wavy shapes remain. 

7. Add a few more splodges of white paint in two opposite corners of the canvas, and a little more around the colourful wavy shapes.

8. Turn your hairdryer back on a low speed and start in the centre of the canvas, pushing the paint outwards to the edges in slow, long strokes. Do this three times pushing out to the right and then start again, pushing out to the left.

9. Continue gently blowing with your hairdryer or your breath to reveal more colours or extend the shape of your art.

There are lots of how-to videos on YouTube, but we particularly like this one:

So, what are you waiting for? Try this fun art technique at home to get you through the rest of lockdown and update your place for spring.

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Images: Arte di Marta / Instagram

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.

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