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anamorphicart
08-30-2003, 10:35 PM
Hi!
Is there anyone who can help me? I want to paint on quarter inch plywood but am afraid it willl warp! Is there a way to stop it from warping....a good sealer, maybe...I do not want to add any framing on the back.
Thank you for any help, Judy
If there is nothing to stop the warping.........is there any other kind of light weight panel to use acrylics on.

earthy
08-31-2003, 05:11 PM
HI back at cha! Dont know for sure about plywood that thin!
But, their is something called masonite, which I believe is just a "brand name". I think it is the same thing as "hardboard". It is thin and liteweight. If you prime it you shouldn't have to cradle/brace it unless you go really large. You can just prime it and it is available at most lumberyards or DIY places like Lowes. Lots of artists here use it! As you can tell, I'm fairly new at this too :D
There is a thread titled "Gesso Queries" here in acrylics forum that might answer most of your questions about it.(sometime in the past month or so started by: petdevils) Maybe someone will see this that knows how to give you a link to it. Also you can go to the top of the forum page to the search box and type in hardboard and then do a masonite search too and find a lot of info on it that way. I have some hardboard and I think it's just what you're looking for so do searches and see what you find out! Good Luck! Wish I could be more help, but this will get you started!

CEN
08-31-2003, 09:44 PM
quarter inch plywood will warp and it will be too stiff to lay flat. Maybe if you paint both sides it would stay flat. Large size hardboard or masonite can be reinforced with strips of wood glued on back to keep it flat.

christyc82
08-31-2003, 11:30 PM
i think if i were you, id gesso both sides, and add supports under it, cradle it like you would a bigger piece. we were taught in painting class to ALWAYS cradle wood, no matter the thickness..it makes for hanging easier as well as helps keep it flat.

anamorphicart
09-01-2003, 06:47 PM
Thank you earthy, CEN and christyc82!
I bought a panel and will try your suggestions! Maybe if I am really careful and only do a small section at a time, it might stay flat!

Thanks again for your help, Judy

christyc82
09-01-2003, 07:15 PM
also, start gessoing from the center out...i know with canvas it keeps it from warping on larger canvases as you gesso it...so it might help w/ that too.

Einion
09-02-2003, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by anamorphicart
I want to paint on quarter inch plywood but am afraid it willl warp! Is there a way to stop it from warping....a good sealer, maybe...I do not want to add any framing on the back.
What size are you intending to paint? Panel stiffness is directly related to size. Ply is generally the stiffest of the three common modern panel materials - ply, MDF, hardboard in that order.

I would generally recommend hardboard over both MDF and plywood in terms of longevity but if all you're concerned about is warping then good-quality ply is just fine, it'll still last many many years.

Originally posted by CEN
quarter inch plywood will warp and it will be too stiff to lay flat. Maybe if you paint both sides it would stay flat. Large size hardboard or masonite can be reinforced with strips of wood glued on back to keep it flat.
Eh? The question of whether a panel will warp is like how long is a piece of string. There are many painters who use uncradled hardboard panels over 48" on the long dimension who don't have problems with warping so ply should certainly be capable of better performance than this.

Priming both the front and back is indeed a good idea with all panels to equalise stresses and help minimise warping, the thinner the material and the larger the size the more important this is.

Battens or cradling is a tricky business as these can cause more problems than they solve. A good stout frame is generally all this is required to keep even fairly large panels flat.

Einion

cacainart2000
09-02-2003, 07:53 PM
Hi,
I have a suggestion which I have painted on before and it works fine and does not warp. I have painted on 1/8 inch untempered masonite purchased from Lowe's Hardware. They will cut the 8 by 4 masonite for a small fee at the store. You must gesso the board three times on both sides alternating each time. I have painted large acrylic landscapes on masonite and have been taught that the masonite is even more archival than the duck cloth canvas which so many artists use. Good providence in your search and I hope this info has helped.
Carol
www.carolanncain.com

CEN
09-02-2003, 09:36 PM
Well I did a bunch of paintings on 1/4 inch plywood and they warped. Some more than others. Plus they were so strong that you couldn't flatten them by framing them. They would have pulled the frame apart. I find that flimsier stuff like 1/8 inch hardboard at least is flexible enough to lay flat in a frame even if it does warp. Also true of canvasboard which warps but is flexible enough to lay flat in a frame. Furthermore anything on canvas or canvasboard seems to sell better than on board. People seem to want to buy canvas paintings for some reason. Probably sounds more artsy.

Einion
09-03-2003, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by CEN
People seem to want to buy canvas paintings for some reason. Probably sounds more artsy.
Quite probably :D

I'm very surprised that your 1/4" ply warped, I have a panel here that I used to use to stretch paper and it was wet on one side only many times and it's still as flat as a board, hehe. Unless you sized or primed in an unusual way or the panel was very big I'd think the wood or glues might be at fault, plywood varies quite a bit in quality.

Einion

anamorphicart
09-03-2003, 07:44 PM
Thank you all for taking the time to respond! I have a very large piece of plywood , which I am underpainting . I put the piece under heavy weights to keep from warping, but won't know until it's dry. (about 4 'x3').
I am taking your great suggestions as to the priming both sides. I will get back on tomorrow and let you know the results!
Thanks again, Judy

DiGi
09-03-2003, 08:30 PM
Here's something that is great to paint on!

Go to Home Depot and find the1/4 inch sheets of MDF boards. They come in several different sizes...I get the 2'x4' sheets and cut them to different sizes. They are smooth as silk on both sides and practically bullet proof!
The 2'x4' sheets are $3.69 ea. Trust me....you will be impressed!

maverick
09-04-2003, 01:39 PM
I concur with DiGi. 1/4" hardboard works very well.

Here are my observations...nothing scientific.

Untempered 1/8" hardboard or masonite seems to work fine gessoed and painted on one side only. I have a 12 x 16 oil painting by a very good artist that was done this way. It was totally flat when I framed it, and it still is.

1/8" hardboard with canvas glued to one side can warp, especially if you paint on the canvas before glueing. Bad idea. A frame can straighten it, but I wouldn't plan it that way. If you are just painting gesso on one side, it will warp, but flatten out when dry. I would do this, but I prefer painting on canvas.

1/4" hardboard doesn't seem to warp at all no matter what you do to it, although I haven't made the mistake of glueing a partially cured painting on canvas to it. Just painting gesso on one side or glueing canvas onto it doesn't seem to cause much of a change, wet or dry.

I've only been working with sizes 8 x 10 up to 11 x 14 this way. I expect that as you get to larger sizes, warping may be more of an issue.

Painting on 1/4" plywood I've only done once. 10 x 10. It didn't warp.

Keep in mind they use different types of glue in plywood. Some are waterproof and some are not. The non-waterproof kind I've seen warp and ripple, but these were woodworking projects that were left outdoors.

There are places that sell maple plywood panels for paintings that are 1/2" to 1" think. I haven't tried them. Check out artboards.com.

acasto
09-04-2003, 07:11 PM
I have had much experience with plywood working with my families cabinet company for many years. When dealing with 1/4", one of the most important things to think about, is the quality of the plywood to begin with. In a bigger sheet, warping will not be as obvious. But the moisture content and stresses in the fiber is still there. So when you cut it to a smaller size, those forces overcome the weight and it warps. The only reliable way to overcome this problem is to cradle it.

Even if you have a piece of 1/4" that hasn't warped yet, it is most likely due to it being in decent environmental conditions. Moving locations could very well cause it to change. I have seen wood literally tear and splinter off walls because of temperature and moisture differences.

anamorphicart
09-11-2003, 12:24 AM
Sorry, I took so long to respond.....I had a piece of quarter inch plywood 49" x 24". I took the advise , and primed both sides, after each side was primed I put it under table legs until it dried. It worked perfectly , so far. I put three coats then painted with my acrylics. I used a jig saw and cut it to the shape of a little boy. It has kept its shape.
I wil post a picture this weekend. I hope to do my whole family as Christmas presents.
My first idea was to cut the places where the joints are to make them sit......but not sure yet.
Thank you all so much for your knowledgable input!
Judy
PS That's the reason I did not want to put any backing or frame, so I could have them sit down.

Laurie2
02-22-2005, 08:32 PM
Thankyou All...Questions re: warping of 1/4 " plywood came in very useful...will definitely prime three times on each side. :D

anamorphicart
02-22-2005, 08:59 PM
:wave: Hi! Just wanted to say plywood is really great to paint on. I prime both sides a couple of times and it has not warped even in very large sizes.
I'm sending a picture of my sons which are done life-size.

Laurie2
02-22-2005, 09:25 PM
:wave: Hi! Just wanted to say plywood is really great to paint on. I prime both sides a couple of times and it has not warped even in very large sizes.
I'm sending a picture of my sons which are done life-size.

Thankyou for sharing the painting of your sons...a huge project but a successful one too :D
I am wondering if I could use Water paints on 1/4 ply treated as above.
I know most use Acrylics but I really would like to stick with Water colours as I am just learning the process. :wave:

anamorphicart
02-22-2005, 09:31 PM
Hi! I think you could use water colors ......if you have it primed it should work. Try using the water color paint on a small size to see if it works. Good luck! :cat:

Enchanted
02-23-2005, 09:37 AM
I have had much experience with plywood working with my families cabinet company for many years. When dealing with 1/4", one of the most important things to think about, is the quality of the plywood to begin with. In a bigger sheet, warping will not be as obvious. But the moisture content and stresses in the fiber is still there. So when you cut it to a smaller size, those forces overcome the weight and it warps.
Your experiences are the same as mine. I've had less trouble with "cabinet grade" plywood warping, but most of the builder supply outlets in the USA do NOT stock quality sheets of plywood. One has to find a specialty wood supplier, which implies outlets only in larger metropolitan areas.

A reasonably priced alternative that I've used in the past, if one simply must paint on the wood, is to purchase a hollow core door, cut it down to size, refit it with edging and butter with wood dough if necessary, then prime. I'm not advocating this for small sizes - but for 3 ft and larger it works great. If you gallery wrap canvas around the door, you have a better support than using stretcher bars, and without much more weight. In fact, I'm going to cross post this to the "studio forum."

idylbrush
02-23-2005, 01:11 PM
Your experiences are the same as mine. I've had less trouble with "cabinet grade" plywood warping, but most of the builder supply outlets in the USA do NOT stock quality sheets of plywood. One has to find a specialty wood supplier, which implies outlets only in larger metropolitan areas.


I must be one lucky guy cause my local home depot has poplar plywood in full sized sheets that can be cut but I tend to buy the 2X4' sheets to cut apart as needed. I think the stuff is great.

Enchanted
02-23-2005, 07:33 PM
I must be one lucky guy cause my local home depot has poplar plywood in full sized sheets that can be cut but I tend to buy the 2X4' sheets to cut apart as needed. I think the stuff is great.
Hmmmm. I'll make a point of looking next time I'm at my Home Depot. I've not seen anything akin to poplar there in the past, but then I wasn't specifically looking for plywood either. Poplar is a very soft wood, and I can only wonder at it's stability, re: warpage. I know that "Luan" plywood usually looks good, but that too is something I've not seen in Home Depot where I live.

Interestingly, I know people in the eastern USA who can't find redwood and red cedar, both of which are in ample supply in my region where many outdoor decks/porches are constructed from the redwood. So I'm guessing it's a regional difference when someone can find plywoods that others can't.

artist4hire
02-23-2005, 08:27 PM
Hi all,
I am brand new to Wetcanvas, and I thought that maybe I should just jump into the conversation.....I have used MDO board (purchased at Menards) this board is what sign painters use it comes in 4x8 sheets and it is very smooth on both sides, will not warp but it is some what expensive.
Hope this helps you.

Laurie2
02-24-2005, 02:24 AM
Hi all,
I am brand new to Wetcanvas, and I thought that maybe I should just jump into the conversation.....I have used MDO board (purchased at Menards) this board is what sign painters use it comes in 4x8 sheets and it is very smooth on both sides, will not warp but it is some what expensive.
Hope this helps you.
:clap:
Hi...I am new too...well relatively new, and any tips I can pick up from these threads are gathered, cut and pasted into my WC Notes folder :)
Your input will go there too...thank you :D