How to prime your own canvas and board for painting!
Have you ever found the perfect painting surface— be it canvas, paper, panel, board, or even a wall– but it is bare and unprimed? Never fear!Gessoing a canvas or priming a board is an easy task to do yourself, and you wind up with your ideal painting surface with just a minimum of effort!
See All: Gesso and Priming Materials
Raw canvas, wood panel, heavyweight paper… whatever you’d like to paint on!
Primer suited to your chosen painting medium: gesso for acrylics or oils, oil primer for oils or alkyds, pastel primer, absorbent gesso for watercolors… take your pick!
A wide, soft-bristle primer brush
A very small amount of patience!
How To Prime a Canvas Instructions:
Step 1: First, ensure your surface is clean and free from dirt or oils. A quick wipe with a paper towel or some rubbing alcohol should be more than enough.
Step 2: Take the primer brush and dip it into the gesso – most primers are ready to use right out of the tub, and so long as you don’t drop stuff in it, you can use it straight from the packaging.
Step 3: Apply the gesso in a thin, even coat to the surface, working all in one direction (say, all horizontal strokes, or all vertical ones).
Step 4: Allow the first coat to dry. (This is where the patience comes in! If your gesso is acrylic, you can speed the drying time with a hair dryer.)
Step 5: Lightly sand the dried gesso with regular sandpaper. This both smooths any ridges left by the brush, and allows for a slight “tooth” for good adhesion of following layers.
Step 6: Apply a second layer of gesso, working the brush in the opposite direction from the first layer.
Step 7: Allow to dry again, sand again, and repeat steps 3 through 5 as many times as you like!
Article written by Jerry Artarama.