How to Prepare a Canvas for Painting : Preparing a Canvas: Paint With White Gesso

How to Prepare a Canvas for Painting : Preparing a Canvas: Paint With White Gesso

Okay, so the next thing we are going to do
is paint the gesso onto the canvas. And for this you want to use a bigger brush. This
is not actually as big as I would like, but just something with a more wide bristles,
also flat is preferred. So, let’s get some gesso, put it on there. This is a small canvas
so it probably isn’t going to take that much, but you can see how thick it is. And I could
be watering it down, but the thing about gesso is it is so nice because you are really creating
a nice surface to be painting on top of with your acrylic. In fact, if you are even using
a canvas that has been previously painted on, sand it and paint over it with gesso and
it will be just like new. So you want to get about an even consistency across the whole


  • YourDarkAccomplice says:

    Ahh… Gesso! that's what I need to begin. 🙂

    Thank you.

  • iENJOYpaintingSTUFF says:

    rabbit skin glue, real turpentine + Lead white <— best materials for prearing canvas if your oil painting

  • NOISEcore says:

    If you water it down, it'll be easier to create a flat surface since it is smoother. The trick also is, to always brush in the same direction. The first layer can be in random directions, but the second, and later layers should be always in thesame direction (Horizontal/Vertical)
    This will create to perfect surface to paint on.

    If you texture isn't smooth on it's own (like a wooden plate with dents or a clay plate)
    Just mix your gesso with some wax. And then water the next layers down

  • Peter Byron says:

    thank you kind woman

  • M CDD says:

    Can I use an spatula instead of a brush??

  • dd. says:

    @HananColours This gesso is TO THICK!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gesso has to be fluid………………. and you need to paint it in several layers. And then sand it a little bit with very very fine sand paper.

  • Rexie R says:

    @paranormaalutrecht To each their own. What you consider too thick, may be what the next person wants on their canvas. Your methods may not work for others. It's good to have options as this sort of thing is never set in stone.

  • Germán Vicencio L. says:

    Isn't better to use a paint roller?

  • John Wentz says:

    @rexenne Not really "to each their own." You have to build up to thick layers or the gesso will come right off in time. You cannot just put on one thick layer as in the demonstration. There is no way the painting will last.

  • John Wentz says:

    It's pretty bad advice to tell someone to just gesso over an old painting and it'll be "like new".
    1. You can NEVER gesso over oil. If that old painting was done in oil then DO NOT re-gesso over it.

    2. You can if the painting is in acrylic, but you still risk the gesso coming off in time depending on the acrylic that was used and if you used any medium with the acrylic.

  • Adi Jian says:

    @Chenet7 Yeah.

  • MrCredulo says:

    @corneliusapplebaum She said to sand it first… Would that make a difference? Also, why can't you gesso over oil? thanks…

  • Ora Maar says:

    A hard compound of whiting in glue, used as a base for gilding or painting on wood or fabric.

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