How to Gesso a Canvas

How to Gesso a Canvas


How to Gesso a Canvas. You can’t expect to paint a masterpiece
on untreated cloth. Here’s how to gesso, or prime, a homemade
canvas in a hurry. You will need Some gesso Water A plastic mixing
bowl Drop cloth Fine-grit sandpaper A large 4-inch house paintbrush Squeegee and a smaller
1/2-inch detail house paintbrush. Step 1. In a plastic mixing bowl, combine gesso and
water, according to the instructions on the gesso container. Step 2. Mix vigorously. Mix the substance thoroughly and smoothly,
into a consistency similar to melted chocolate. It should run off the spoon like paint and
have no lumps. Step 3. Place some drop cloth down in your work area. Step 4. Lay the canvas down on top of the drop cloth. Step 5. Gently sand the canvas surface down to get
rid of stray strands of cotton and create a consistent, even surface. Step 6. Wet your house paintbrush with water and squeeze
it dry so it doesn’t soak up excess gesso. Step 7. Plop a dollop of gesso on to the canvas and
begin working it back and forth in parallel strokes with a house paintbrush. The gesso should be as evenly and thinly distributed
as possible. Some painters prefer to use a squeegee for
this instead of the brush. Step 8. Don’t forget to coat the edges. The edges will drip a little, so use a smaller
brush to work the excess gesso back into the sides. Step 9. When the first coat is complete, wash your
paintbrush thoroughly. Step 10. Leave the canvas flat and allow it to dry
for at least an hour. Step 11. Once the first coat is dry, gently sand it
to even out the surface, and then dust off any grit. Step 12. Repeat steps 6 through 8, but this time make
your strokes perpendicular to the original application of primer. Step 13. You can continue adding coats until the surface
is as smooth as you need it to be, but two will usually suffice. Allow the canvas to dry overnight—now the
real work can begin. Did you know Canvas was first used as backing
for paintings during the 15th century Italian Renaissance.

26 thoughts on “How to Gesso a Canvas

  1. I use both, but another thing I like about hardboard is you can really press on the surface and not worry about denting it. Fixing canvas dents is a PAIN and doesn't always work. I also like that you can transport thin panels easily, I am building a pochade box with extra storage for a long trip I'm going on, bringing only 1/8" hardboard.

  2. They sell it in black already. I sometimes add some black to the gesso but I never make it all the way black.

  3. Very good video! I would wrap the sandpaper around a small block of wood to make sure that pressure is applied evenly. Otherwise small pressure points where the fingers
    press down could produce uneven areas on the gesso.

  4. hi, question: do i have to wet my canvas before applying gesso? and what is the best brand for gesso for acrylic surface? thank you

  5. So what's the purpose of it? What's the difference between painting on gessoed and non-gessoed canvas? Also, do canvas boards that are purchased at craft stores already have gesso on them?

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