View Full Version : Matt board as a ground?

04-25-2008, 10:40 AM
It is possible to pick up pieces of matt board relatively cheaply at framing outlets. Does anyone have experience and/or pointers with respect to using it as a ground for soft pastel work? Is it worth trying?

04-25-2008, 11:56 AM
i use mat board (rag only) and paint colorfix primer on it for plein air boards. i hated throwing away those cut-out middles from matcuttings, but they were too small for another mat. this is a super solution for me, it makes a great useful painting supply out of 'trash', and is cheap, plus the boards don't bend or blow around in the wind.

WC Lee
04-25-2008, 12:25 PM
I get the cut out middles from a local frame shop and also prime them with colourfix. It's better than pastel paper and cheaper than sanded supports. Another plus is if the painting doesn't come out good, it can be wiped off and be reused or re-primed.

maggie latham
04-25-2008, 05:03 PM

Here is a link to one way of preparing matt board for pastel work.


Good Luck,


04-25-2008, 07:57 PM
I gesso the front of matt boards (then this becomes the back)
then gesso and pumice(add acrylic for colour) the back of the matt board which becomes my working surface,
I use foam rollers
I use full size boards and all the sizes down from that
used 9 insides today at life drawing

alaskan rose
04-26-2008, 12:02 AM
Has anyone ever used linen matboard with the AS primer or gesso with pumice? I'm wondering if it would still retain the linen look but not gobble up the pastels to much.

Donna A
04-26-2008, 01:17 AM
Hi! Chewie and WC both have great points----first about using rag (or museum) mat board---which is what anyone matting their paintings should be using!!! And then the AS Colourfix Primer to give a wonderful tooth for the pastel painting!!! And, yes, alaskan rose---you should be able to retain at least some feel of the texture of the mat board surface.

One thing to always consider when refering to something as 'cheap' is that so often it is indeed 'cheap' cuz it ain't got no value. :rolleyes: We always need to take archivalness into consideration when we are getting ready to paint. If we are only 'practicing'----practice on what you want to seriously paint on!

I love the AS Colourfix Primer! It has been one of the 'angels' in my life the last 9 years (along with the Cfix papers and boards!) I have wonderful papers from my years of etchings and other printmaking that transform into marvelous pastel papers!!! And I've repaired a couple of paintings for myself---and a few for the artists who study with me with the Cfix Primers!

To give a good piece of rag matboard left over from a mat a new life---nothing could be better than the AS Colourfix Primer!!! Enjoy! Donna ;-}

04-27-2008, 09:35 AM
I use matboard and Corlourfix alot!! I get boxes of the god stuff from my framer for free, and I always have ground to play on:D

04-28-2008, 09:00 AM
WOw, this is encouraging. I agree with the archival comment, but this seems like a 'sensible' way to get the most out of one's materials (and environmentally sensible too!). Now, I just need to find a source for colourfix primer. Have tried gesso mixed with with a sanded gel and acrylic colour (I think I should have diluted it). I found it certainly 'grabbed' the pastel - but then didn't hold it at all well. The slightest vibration caused it to fall. I need to experiment more. Will follow up the link suggested by Maggie.
Thanks for the tips.

04-28-2008, 09:26 AM

Try something drastic, like using plain, rough tentured. mat board virgin! No primer, colorfix, pumice, coating of any sort. It works and works well! Have a pleasant day!