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Forming beautiful cells in acrylic casting solution using silicone

Although there are many different factors that make up a great piece of art (color, texture, surface treatment, etc.), there is no single aesthetic feature like acrylic that is sought after for acrylic casting solution.

The cells create a unique appearance and are immediately marked as a piece of acrylic cast. They are one of the most difficult parts of the process and one of the most rewarding parts!

As most experienced pour artists will tell you, silicone is the key to creating dynamic cells in your paintings. Although technology can certainly work, it is still the right material to use. You need to use the right mixture of pigments, media and additives, especially silicone, to create the space for cell formation.

In this guide, we will explain why we love silicone so much and outline the different types you can use. We will tell you which ones are the best we have found and give you some general advice on using silicone in your pour. let's start!

Why use silicone first?

There are several different motivators that need to happen in your paint cells to form. First, you need the paint to flow smoothly. That's why we always start with mixed pigments and a good casting medium like floatrot or liquitex.

To learn more about casting media, check out all the guidelines we have written about acrylic casting media. The smoother your painting, the more you can create effects, including cells.

You can of course get some cells with just one perfusion medium (and possibly a little water), but most of the perfusion media are well combined with the paint. Because they are designed to maintain perfect consistency as much as possible, there is usually no delamination separation and sliding effect that produces the most significant cells.

However, they can definitely help you achieve your goals! The casting medium also extends the drying time, which gives you more opportunities to form once the cells are formed. And floretrol helps to flatten the silicone crater, so you get the appearance without such an uneven texture finish.

What you really need is that the killer cells don't mix well with your pigments. Enter silicone! No oil can be mixed with water-based paint, so adding an oil or other lubricant to the paint can help the paint layer separate and slide against each other. This is the perfect formula for cells! You are most likely to create at least some cells just add to your paint and don't even need a torch for it.

Silicone is considered to be the best lubricant for acrylic casting because it is predictable, neutral and durable. It is easy to operate, unlike water. It does not affect color, nor does it smell like many natural oils. It is also chemically inert as long as you get pure silica gel. This is why it is the perfect archive and commissioned work.

Type of silicone lubricant

As we mentioned, silicone oil is the tool of choice for many painters. It's light and concentrated, it works very well, making most paint and pouring cells apply. However, not all silicone lubricants are equal! You can get it in a variety of forms and categories, including:

Spray lubricant

These are common in hardware stores and home tool libraries. Brands include Blaster, Liquid wrenches and CRC Heavy Duty, and even WD-40 with silicone (but not ordinary silicone-free blue cans).

These things can be cheap, and most people have such things to experiment around the house. When you mix the paint, you can spray them directly into the cup from the jar.

However, we prefer to spray the oil into a separate bottle or a lidded container and then add it to the paint with a dropper. It is more accurate and less likely to cause confusion. Spray outside to avoid smoke! Once you have a small dish, you can mix some of the effects into your next try.

A disadvantage of spray lubricants is that they contain other chemicals and mysterious ingredients in addition to silicone. They smell bad and make many people feel dizzy, and the color is a bit yellow, which is sure to be seen in your work.

You can use these in a critical moment, and many of us started this way, but it's best to upgrade to pure liquid silicone oil.

Liquid silicone oil

Liquid silicone oil is used by most of us to make amazing cells. We recommend using treadmill belt lubricants because it is 100% silicone oil without adding any other ingredients. It's completely clear, not as bad as a spray, and is usually packed in a convenient dropper bottle so that the right amount can be easily dispensed into your paint.

You can of course find other products in this type of product because silicone oil is used to maintain everything from the lock to the sewing machine. Just make sure to choose 100% silicone.

You don't want any additives or mysterious ingredients to fade or react with the paint. One hundred percent silicone will be completely clear without any coloration, turbidity, or inconsistency.

Dimethyl silicone oil products

Dimethicone is a skin-friendly silicone oil that is commonly found in hair care products and sometimes in personal lubricants. It usually does not have any odor.

You can buy a hair product rich in dimethicone or, better yet, buy a pure product to use in your paint. As with silicone, you should avoid any mysterious ingredients or compounds that can cause paint color.

We have a good effect on coconut milk hair serum, we have a video here showing that it is being used. You may also want to consider the personal lubricant of KY reality show. Here's a video review and test.

Although we believe that dimethylsiloxane products and silicone are equivalent to creating cells, some people swear they give them larger cells. As always, be prepared to try out different options and see which one is best for your painting recipe.

It is worth mentioning that dimethyl silicone oil is more expensive than silicone. Silicone is costly to sell and bulky because it is often used for maintenance tasks. If you can work without gloves, it is important to you, dimethicone may be worth the extra cost. If not, stick to silicone.

Personal lubricant

You can find personal lubricants in women's hygiene products near pharmacies or supermarkets. However, the best way is to buy online to save your blush in the store!

Look for silicone-based lubricants or products that use dimethicone. Just make sure that silicone or dimethicone is the first or only ingredient.

Can't I use water?

Most pouraholics will tell you that you really need to use additives to create the best cells. Although some painters claim to be able to create beautiful large cells with only pigments and water, many of these people dilute the pigments very thinly in order to get results.

The use of large amounts of water makes the material difficult to control, so the finished product is both a result of technology and a result of opportunity. When the diluted paint dries, they are also prone to cracking or cracking.

Due to the reasons we explain in the casting media, these aqueous mixtures are likely to peel off from your painting for a long time. Adhere to the use of perfusion media and silicone additives, the best results!

The most reliable way to create beautiful cells, depth and movement in your paintings is to use additives.

What about other oils?

You may already have something around the house that looks like they can be used to create cells. We have done a lot of experiments ourselves and can tell you with confidence that although many things look tempting, they won't work very well. Here are the things we found:

Many new artists think they can use ordinary cooking oil. This is quite logical: you have heard that some type of oil is used to make cells, so why not take olive oil or coconut oil from the kitchen? Not so fast. These oils are too heavy to form cells on the surface of your debris. Over time, they also rancid because they contain organic ingredients.

But what about other oils like baby oil? Some painters have used it and reported that it did create small cells for them, but they also said it was very greasy, making the paint too sloppy to use.

If you have a beauty product like this at home, you want to give it a try. Usually, no one answer is for everyone. Test these products quickly to see if you can get the results you want. You may be lucky. Still, most people are willing to stick with silicone or dimethicone.

Is alcohol bad for cells?

Some painters in the YouTube and blogging communities have achieved good results with alcohol instead of silicone. We don't believe it. Here's what the founder of acrylic resin casting, Deby Coles, said about using alcohol:

“I did a good job and found that it worked only for me in a very limited range of colors. The strange thing is that these colors make the cells very good, other brands seem to have little reaction to alcohol. So this is another A field, I said don't be afraid to try it for yourself. You never know, your paint may like it!". ”

You can see Dibby's YouTube playlists with alcohol to learn more about the results.

You can also check Dibby's contrast experiment with different additives, in which she tried many different ways to create cells:

So, how much silica do you need to add?

We hope that this question has a simple answer! The answer is as much as the painter. You just have to try your brand of paints and additives to see what is most effective. A good way is:

1 tbsp paint
1/2 tbsp magnet
About 1 teaspoon of water (as needed)
5 drops of silicone oil

You may want to add lubricant to all of your colors, or just add some. Try side-by-side testing to see how it affects your downside.

Ignite, or not?

Most people who use silica gel also use cooking torches to help complete the cell manufacturing process. When you gently place a flashlight on your painting surface, it has two functions:

The bubbles are heated, float to the surface, and then burst, so when your painting is dry, you won't leave holes and defects in the painting (finger fingers crossed!) Yes.

The oil is heated, causing it to flow more and more around the paint. Silicone oil rises to the surface, bringing color, and creating motion in the paint, producing cells. Often, burning causes a large number of small cells, not fewer, larger cells.

If you want fewer, bigger cells, you might not want a torch. You will also find that using a large amount of magnetron in your mixture helps to level the material, so the fire is not that important. However, there should be a flashlight in your toolbox!


Keep in mind that the above products are used and recommended by us, but there are no rules for acrylic casting. If you have a light oil product in your home that you think might be useful, give it a try. Don't forget to tell us the story! Even better, share a video of your process and results with our facebook group.

If you have tried some of the products listed above and have a preference for any of them, we would be happy to hear from you! Did you find that dimethyl siloxane gives you bigger cells? Do you prefer to use a special spray than pure liquid oil? Which method is most effective in getting some interesting cells when you pour, how do you use them accurately to get the best results? Please leave us your comments and suggestions.