Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Gesso Recipe!

Hey Crafters! 
I recently shared a technique making DIY Washi tape and then, in part 2, we used the tape to make cards. I had lots of questions about, and requests for, the Gesso recipe.  

You can see the video HERE 

Lets get to it! 
What is Gesso and how do you use it? 
Gesso is thinner than paint, it dries hard, making a surface more stiff.  Think of gesso as a primer. It is a first layer. It is commonly used on canvas to give the surface texture and the paint something to adhere to. Without it, paint soaks into the weave of the canvas and it is difficult to get consistent results.  I applied a thin layer of gesso to Masking Tape for the purpose of the project in the video. It can also be applied to surfaces such as canvas, paper, chipboard, vinyl records, wood, and others prepping them to accept acrylic paint, ink, watercolor, or even marker. 

Apply & Let it Dry! 
You can use a heat tool to speed this process along, being mindful your original surface and how reacts to heat.  It is better to use thin layers. For something thin and less porous, like masking tape, a single thin layer is enough to give the paint a nice foundation to stick to. 

When prepping canvas or large surface for painting, make sure it is clean and free of dirt and oil. Alcohol on a rag or paper towel for a quick wipe down is generally sufficient; you don't want the surface to be wet with alcohol, use a light touch.   Apply a thin layer of gesso to your surface working in all one direction, vertical or horizontal, and allow this layer to dry. Apply a 2nd layer going the opposite direction and allow it to dry. You can lightly sand between layers for a smoother surface, or you can go over the area multiple times with layers of gesso to add extra texture, this is common in multi media projects.  

There are many brands of Gesso avail be to buy at art supply stores and it generally comes in White, Back or Clear.

Here is my quick and easy DIY Gesso Recipe:

1/4 Cup Baby Powder
2 Tablespoons School Glue 1 Tablespoon Acrylic Paint
1 Tablespoon Water

I mix and store my gesso in plastic container with an airtight lid. You can increase the quantity for large projects, adding the water slowly to get the consistency that is right for you.  White or Black is most common for the Paint choice as it will tint the Gesso, you can mix up white and add any color paint if you want to have a specific color background.  Keep in mind the darker you go with the gesso color, the more paint it takes to cover.


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