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ArtistEnigma
10-03-2001, 05:24 PM
how many of you have used primed masonite or hardboard panels? I'm getting ready to start painting on them and I was wondering what kind of experiance good or bad you have had with it. Hardboard panels are so much less expensive then canvas so I want to start messing around with that a little more.

mirza
10-03-2001, 06:00 PM
Funny, I spent the afternoon bunny-gluing canvas to Masonite ("down here we call it hardboard"--one of the more subtle Yankee go home messages I've gotten). I also mixed gesso for panels for tomorrow's non-painting project. So I'll let you know how it goes.

ArtMarkie
10-03-2001, 06:56 PM
Hello Mirza,

I don't know where you are, but "down here" in my state
we call it Masonite. We even had a Masonite plant.

Verdaccio
10-03-2001, 07:16 PM
Love It! You can buy it at Home Despot - they have it cut to 4x8 sheets or 2x4 foot sheets. Be sure to sand the surface before priming, and coat both sides to prevent warping.

mirza
10-03-2001, 07:24 PM
ArtMarkie--"down here" is eastern (wa-a-a-y eastern) NC ("down here" they call it "down east," but I moved here from Maine so it's been a bit of a problem for me). I guess it's my accent. Though it's not noticeably Boston (where I grew up: Boston's South Shore), it's certainly north of here. Of course the sheet of "hardboard" I bought had a big white label saying "Masonite" on it.

ArtistEnigma
10-04-2001, 05:13 AM
I got mine at home depot, about 5 minutes from my house. I ended up springing for the 4' x 4' panel. I've heard many different reasons for sanding it first, what reasons do you sand it?

Verdaccio
10-04-2001, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by ArtistEnigma
I got mine at home depot, about 5 minutes from my house. I ended up springing for the 4' x 4' panel. I've heard many different reasons for sanding it first, what reasons do you sand it?

You need to sand it for a couple of reasons:

1. Adhesion of your ground. Whether you put an acrylic gesso, or an oil ground on hardboard, you need to rough up the surface to allow the gesso to penetrate into the board better. The surfaces of these boards are quite smooth - at least the ones you can buy from the Despot are. Further, I usually thin my first coat of gesso (acrylic) with some acrylic polymer medium which is a strong glue and it thins my gesso enough so it really soaks in and bonds to the fibers of the board.

2. Remove any surface oil or dirt to improve adhesion.

3. Tempered vs. untempered. I have noticed that many HW stores are not telling you anymore if the hardboard is tempered or non-tempered - and it is not always easy to tell. Normally, you would want non-tempered board because of the process under which they make the tempered may or may not introduce oil into the structure of the board which might cause adhesion problems with your ground. Sanding the board that much more will help to mitigate any adhesion problems (we hope) from using a tempered board.

mame
10-04-2001, 09:06 AM
Haven't used very thin board myself but I understand attaching cross bars on the back are good insurance against warping. Number of cross bars depends on overall size.

Verdaccio
10-04-2001, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by mame
Haven't used very thin board myself but I understand attaching cross bars on the back are good insurance against warping. Number of cross bars depends on overall size.

I use 1/4 inch hardboard and have done paintings up to 36 inches with no need for bracing. Anything over 36 inches and I might indeed consider it. There are definite concerns over gluing braces to the back of the panel. As glue ages, it contracts. Further, the bracing wood needs to be completely cured or it may contract or warp too as it dries - don't buy green wood for your braces. This could cause problems with warping or cracking of the surface of your painting down the road.

tammy
10-05-2001, 12:34 AM
Love the stuff. I have it laying around everywhere. I buy a huge sheet of it at the Lumbar yard and my carpenter hubby cuts it down into whatever sizes I want. One piece makes lots of 8" x 10". I sand them and put gesso on them and away I go! I usually get the 1/4 " thick ones too. More stable. I did have a problem with one batch of them where the gesso wanted to chip off the cut sides of the panel. Must of only been that one sheet as I haven't had that problem since. I makes sure that I sand the sides too just in case that was it.

vallarta
10-05-2001, 01:48 PM
I use only 1/4 inch....and it is fine up to about 36" where u then need bracing.

The subject matter determines what I use however. Masonite is very good for smooth surface work. I put on about 5 coats of gesso underpaint and sand between each coat to get a fine smooth surface for portrait work or still lifes.

For landscapes and impressionistic work I usually use canvas. Stretched canvass for impressonistic and either stretch or glued on canvas for landscapes.

If you want to do impressionistic work on masonite then you can if you follow this method. Apply two coats with a house painting brush and sand each coat. Then apply diluted coats of gesso with a rough brush such as used to spread wallpaper paste. One coat verticle. One horizontal. One verticle. Of course you wait at least 1 hour between all coats.

I usually spend a day preparing my boards. Put up a couple of sawhorses and some boards and then do a series of boards all at once. I cut a full sheet of masonite into the shapes and sizes I need and coat them all at once. One major advantage of masonite is that you can store more paintings in less space.

Also you can cut lots of small rectangles to be used as plen air trial boards and acrylic/oil sketches...then enlarge them in the studio. They travel well when I go into the field...since they can be packed in a group of 5 paintings with the spacers I use between the boards.
vallarta

Leopoldo1
10-05-2001, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by ArtistEnigma
how many of you have used primed masonite or hardboard panels? I'm getting ready to start painting on them and I was wondering what kind of experiance good or bad you have had with it. Hardboard panels are so much less expensive then canvas so I want to start messing around with that a little more.

I like and use hardboard because it allows me to incorporate traditonal gesso methods (rabbit skin glue/whiting) that otherwise would be discarded with the more flexible canvas. I use both in my work and it depends on a feeling of how I want the brush to react to the surface, either with a rigid surface like hardboard or with the more flexible reaction of canvas( palette knife can workbetter here).

DURON, the latest technoglogy in hardboard is a superior grade that works fantastic. 1/4" sheets by 4'X8' at your local lumber yard cut to your specifications is ideal when beginning the hardboard adventure. Certainly alot cheaper than canvas. Make a X with your gesso on the back of your Duron and you should be fine for the occasional cupping on larger sizes. This stuff is pretty indestructable and moisture is not a problem unless your live in the rain forests of South America!:oL

ArtistEnigma
10-06-2001, 04:04 PM
As far as sanding is concerned, would a belt sander be a good idea or are there any problems that you know of with power sanders with this? I'm looking forward to using hardboard a lot more because of how inexpensive and strong it is. I'm with you guys as far as 1/4", I looked at the lighter stuff but it was just too flimsy.

Leopoldo1
10-06-2001, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by ArtistEnigma
As far as sanding is concerned, would a belt sander be a good idea or are there any problems that you know of with power sanders with this? I'm looking forward to using hardboard a lot more because of how inexpensive and strong it is. I'm with you guys as far as 1/4", I looked at the lighter stuff but it was just too flimsy.

A belt sander is a bit of a overkill, you might not only sand off your gesso but might go through the other side, no controll with this machine. Hand is better or if you can afford the expensive of a vibrating oscillating sander, like Makita offers, that comes with 5" diameter sanding pads you are better off. 400 grit works well for your, I assume acrylic gesso grounds. Traditonal gesso requires no sanding and a moisten rag rubbed vigorously can perform wonders of smoothness depending upon your preference. :oL

Linda Ciallelo
10-07-2001, 02:24 AM
I use one of those cordless Black and Decker sanders. It really works perfectly. It has a base shaped like a "steam iron". The sand paper is attached by velcro.

ArtistEnigma
10-07-2001, 01:44 PM
I'm just talking about the sanding of the hardboard. I usually don't sand the gesso, I have a really good technique applying it.
I guess I'll have to try it first. I think the only problem I would run into would be it taking off too much of the surface. The piece I am working on is 4ft. x 4ft.