Sunday, February 11, 2007

How do you use gesso?

Linda asks:
How do you use gesso craft paint?

Gesso is a product that is used to prepare a surface. It is not specifically a craft paint. It is, in fact, used by fine artists to prepare canvases and other surfaces.

To use gesso, you simply brush it on the surface you are preparing. I would use a sponge brush and throw it away when I was finished. Since you are asking about craft paint, I assume that you are using it on a wood surface. Put one coat of gesso on the surface, brushing in one direction (say left to right). Let it dry and apply a second coat in the other direction (top to bottom). Let that dry. Sand the surface lightly with fine sand paper to eliminate any ridges. Repeat with as many coats as you need to get a smooth, eggshell finish. Once dry, you can basecoat and paint with your craft or fine art paints. You can do this with fabric as well if you wanted to paint a doll face (such as cloth over clay).

Remember to wrap your brush in plastic wrap between coats so it doesn't dry out while the gesso dries on the surface.

Hope this helps.

Judy Leasure, TDA

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