Use Gesso for Prepping Canvases?

A common question when using acrylic paints on canvas is should I use a primer beforehand, what are the benefits, and can I just skip this step.

Gesso is known as glue gesso or Italian gesso and is used to coat porous surfaces.

Creating a barrier between the canvas and the paint of a painting can provide a smoother surface. However, you technically don’t have to, the raw canvas is slightly more porous and has an absorbent surface to work on. SO the answer put plainly is a personal preference.

But if you do opt for Gesso which is made by Golden it will make for a really smooth surface to glide that brush across the canvas. It has many other uses as well as it is not limited to just canvas, it can be used as a primer for a multitude of rough and very porous surfaces, including wood.

Projects like guitars, toy boxes, and planks benefit greatly from using this product beforehand. You will use less paint and it will be vibrant instead of losing pigments due to the absorption of the surface.

Modge podge can also be used to create a barrier in helping to stop the absorption of precious paint.

However, using gesso to cover up an old oil painting to paint over is not possible, you need an oil-specific primer to do this as they do not mix. Why? Well over time due to the nature of the oil paint it will not adhere properly and over time it will peel away.

Gesso and varnish, no unless you sand the surface before applying any gesso to it you must get rid of the varnish so that the gesso will be able to stick to the wood otherwise you end up with the same problems as that oil paint I mentioned.

When applying gesso make sure to do at least two coats to any surface. The first coat will penetrate and support and reduce the likelihood of paint de-lamination. The second coat bonds to the first layer and begins to even out the surface. Run your hand over it once it’s dry and you can feel the difference.

Gesso is also great to use for those mistakes, sometimes a painting doesn’t turn out how we would like and instead of throwing that canvas away we can simply apply coats on top and start again.

I hope this helps artists get a better understanding of Gesso and what it’s capable of, and don’t forget you can also use it to lighten up paints too, it’s cheaper and it works great.

I use this product on some of my projects so I hope it will help you achieve your next greatest masterpiece.

Published by Lizzywhothefunkc

Home site: Home grown from Ontario Canada, a city girl. Just an ordinary girl with a dream and a plan. Always had a sense of style and clarity looking beyond the city life. As a child, a sponge absorbing the world and all in it, I then became a mother of two. I realized that life is too short not to want to be all the things you dream of. Because of it, I have now decided that nothing is more important than being who you are and loving yourself and all that you do. Discovering things all over through child’s eyes and wonder on my own, I am reborn again and refreshed. Eat breathe sleep art. Kids are inspiring me to discover the new and unchanged part of the creative me now morphing into Lizzywhothefunkc. Pushing to the limits and thinking outside the boundaries of art. Lost in color, lost in paint, lost in me. No one can tell you not to live a dream no one can tell you to put the paint brush on your self-worth down and be someone who reflects only another. Be free, be whom you want to be, most of all be happy. I am and never have been happier than I am right now the present moment. Don’t ever let go of what you think will bring out your soul. A fire has been lit within and I will never put it out again. Headphones on world out, this funky lady is Dj for her own life song.

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