Can be used house paint on canvas

Canvases come in all shapes and sizes. But does it have to be primed before painting? And if so, with which primer? We bring light into the dark and show you what you should pay attention to when priming canvas.




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What does priming mean?

The canvas is probably the most popular painting surface. This is not least due to the sheer variety. You have a wide selection available from different structures, already stretched on a stretcher frame or sold by the meter on rolls. In our article we assume that you already covered stretcher frames using.

But is a primer even necessary? If you are thinking of the car paint shop or painting outdoors, in most cases a primer is needed. This ensures good adhesion of the following layers, as well as uniform suction or protection against penetrating moisture.

Priming your canvas has a similar function. It protects them from environmental influences and regulates the absorbency. This ensures that the paint adheres well and at the same time does not attack the fibers of the canvas over time. Because be it acrylic, oil or another painting medium - colors sometimes contain aggressive substances or are acidic, which can have a negative effect on the life of the canvas.

Nowadays, many canvases are already primed. However, this primer is not always sufficient, especially for cheap canvases. It is therefore worthwhile to prime pre-primed canvases yourself. Because there is nothing annoying than when your work of art shows the first signs of age after a few years.



Why should you prime your canvas?

  • Protection against the sometimes aggressive colors
  • Ensure an even suction force on the painting surface
  • Reduce the structure of the canvas
  • Protection against the paint being pressed through onto the back of the canvas
  • First basic color as a basis for further colors
  • Improved color brilliance on a primed surface

So you see, a primer brings you many advantages.



The right primer

The best primer for your canvas is Gesso. Gesso consists of white color pigments, binding agents and chalk. The white color ensures a uniform coloring and is the ideal basis for further paint applications, the chalk ensures good adhesion and the binding agent regulates the absorbency. Gesso is also available in different consistencies, although you should choose a thinner variant for priming. Gesso is very economical, so you will be able to prime many canvases.

By the way, Gesso doesn't only work on canvas. With Acrylic binder As a substrate, you can coat almost all surfaces with Gesso and thus obtain a very suitable substrate for various painting media after drying.



Materials required

You will need the following materials for the primer:



Priming canvas instructions

Priming your painting surface is very easy and takes a few minutes. With the following four steps you have perfectly prepared your canvas:

  1. As is always the case with painting Preparation is the be-all and end-all. Therefore, have the gesso, the brush and possibly a sufficiently large vessel ready. You can now either take the gesso directly from the original container with the brush, or you can first pour it into a container. This has the advantage that you can also add a little water to thin the consistency.
  2. You should do the gesso job Paint on as evenly as possible. You will get the best result by first applying it from left to right and then from top to bottom. By applying crosswise you minimize the traces of paint on the canvas. Another important factor is the brush. This should have the finest possible bristles so that no brush strokes are visible at the end.
  3. Let the surface dry well. If you are in a hurry, you can run a hot air dryer over the screen in quick movements. This way you dry the primer within a few minutes and you can apply the two layers straight away. If the canvas is primed, a layer of gesso is usually sufficient. Otherwise, we recommend that you apply at least two coats.
  4. You can do that as a conscious style element Also apply gesso thickerto get more structure on the surface. This can look very attractive, especially for abstract works. For realistic painting, however, we recommend aiming for a surface that is as smooth as possible.



Prime canvas for oil paint

At the Painting with oil paints it is extremely important that your canvas is very well primed. Because the primer is also of elementary importance for the durability of your picture. Among other things, oil paint also contains turpentine, which can attack the canvas surface. Gesso prevents this effectively.



Further Gesso variants for creative effects

In addition to the traditional white gesso, there is now also transparent gesso and black gesso. In this way you can prepare your painting surface for special techniques. For example, you can use black gesso as a primer and then work with neon paints.