View Full Version : Is there enough gesso on my canvas?

04-14-2019, 12:54 PM
I applied 3 coats of gesso, then sanded. Now some canvas fibers are just barely exposed on the edges (see photo). I either didn't apply enough gesso, or I sanded with too much pressure on the edge.

The question: is it relatively safe to start applying oil paint as-is.


04-14-2019, 01:37 PM
If there is raw fabric exposed, I would just give it a thin coat of matte acrylic medium over the top. That will seal off the surface better than a thin coat of gesso.

04-14-2019, 05:16 PM
I consider 3 coats of acrylic primer to be the bare minimum for protecting the canvas against the ravages of the oil paint.

Of course, I'm considering the fact that I purchase stretched canvas that already are primed with acrylic from the factory. I never consider factory priming to be sufficient for protecting the canvas from the oil paint, so I apply at least 3 further coats of my own. I use Grumbacher 525 Acrylic Gesso. It thin it with water until it runs off my stirring stick.

When I apply it, with a sash brush, it is thin enough to have become "self-leveling", meaning that the brush strokes flatten a few seconds after having applied it.

I generally apply 3 coats of such primer, then sand it with 150-grit sandpaper. Then I apply another 3 coats, and sand again.

I usually apply anywhere from 3 coats to 12 coats, sanding after every 3rd coat, and after the last. After 12 coats you won't see much of the canvas weave remaining.

04-15-2019, 08:28 AM
You can apply one or two extra layers of primer.