View Full Version : Wall paint as a ground?

10-02-2005, 01:20 PM
In the past I have restored furniture that was pretty damaged, finishing it off with interior latex house paint. (wall and trim). Then I used acrylics to paint flowers, then sealed the piece with a varnish.

So, I reasoned that I might be able to use the same paint as a ground for my fine acrylic paintings on canvas board. Is there any reason you cannot use wall and trim paint as a ground? This morning I painted a gorgeous light blue on a Frederick Acrylic Canvas Panel and want to do a spray of flowers on it. Will this ground affect my acrylics? Will it affect the longevity of the painting? Will it yellow over time? Appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

10-02-2005, 01:53 PM
We use latex wall paint all of the time in the art department at our university. Economical for poor art students. Some of the paintings on the walls have been there for 30 years and still look good. Of course, I don't know what they looked like 30 years ago :)


10-02-2005, 05:03 PM
Just my opinion but I don't see why you couldn't. After all doesn't the container say that it is "ACRYLIC" latex. You'd be painting with acrylic on acrylic. The only thing is that the ground may not be as "toothy" as gesso. Of course there are going to be thoes out there who will pu pu the idea because latex isn't supposedly as archival and of much lower quality than artist acrylic gesso. (And as NodakerDeb said, latex also cost much much much less) I have used latex wall paint from WalMart that cost only $5.00 a quart, verses $5.00 or more for only 2 ounces of mediocre artist acrylic paint or gesso to paint whole paintings, from the ground on the board or canvas to the hues themselves. Of course I don't have any illusions that any of my work is going to be hanging in any museum in fifty or a hundred years. I paint because I love to and whatever gets the job done I will use. It's hogwash that you can't get good results with latex paint. It's the person (artist, if you will) and not the product that makes art. Just look at the people who use garbage and junk from a land fill to make their art and then sell it for thousands of dollars.

10-02-2005, 05:14 PM
Deb and Alf,

Thank you so much for your replies. I am just going use it and not worry now.

When I am done I will post the results. Cheers!!! :clap:


10-02-2005, 06:31 PM
I've used it and had no problems. The only thing I noticed is it's smoother (less tooth) than gesso, but that's not really a problem. I would prefer gesso but think it's a good (and very inexpensive) alternative!


10-03-2005, 05:45 AM
Remember though that it is NOT archival. It's not artist quality and if you use it, particularly on a flexible ground such as canvas, it could cause problems in future such as cracking. It also won't work the same as acrylic paint, in terms of how it moves with the brush. Remember that house paint is designed to fade and change, so people have to buy more and repaint their rooms or outsides!

For student work, it's fine.


10-03-2005, 10:36 AM
Is there any reason you cannot use wall and trim paint as a ground? Can't? No. Shouldn't? Perhaps.

Basically it comes down to longevity. If you're not worried about the very long term don't worry about it, if you are then it's generally a good idea to work with materials made specifically for artistic use.


10-03-2005, 11:01 AM
Good point about the longevity. I'm a beginner, know little about acrylics and used it on my first painting a couple of weeks back, so it doesn't matter whether it lasts or not. I wouldn't dare use it on a canvas.


10-03-2005, 04:39 PM
I was curious as well, but the fade issues definitly make sense.