gesso primed oil painting boards

Gesso primed oil painting boards

Gesso primed oil painting boards

I have been making my own primed boards for oil painting for a while now, mainly because they are a much nicer surface to paint on than the shop bought boards. Shop bought boards usually have a cardboard or mill board backing that tends to curl or warp over time. I use mdf, or hardboard for the smaller sizes. In most cases I bond canvas or calico to the surface of the board with PVA. This is then primed with two or three coats of acrylic gesso which is worked well into the canvas texture. I then apply a tone, or stain of raw umber or burnt sienna. This can be either diluted acrylic paint or oil paint mixed with retouching varnish to seal the surface. I usually bond a layer of cartridge paper to the back of the board with PVA, which makes the board very rigid.