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View Full Version : Kilz instead of Gesso???


JavaJive
08-02-2002, 04:08 PM
Can you use the well known "Kilz" water or oil based white primer instead of the real expensive gessos they sell in art stores? I use MDF hardboard cut to size and prime it.

Wayne Gaudon
08-02-2002, 05:10 PM
I asked this once and was given a definate no. I'm sure Luis will give you the exact reasons why not.

Luis Guerreiro
08-02-2002, 08:23 PM
Originally posted by JavaJive
Can you use the well known "Kilz" water or oil based white primer instead of the real expensive gessos they sell in art stores? I use MDF hardboard cut to size and prime it.

Hi Java,

The answer to your question is a very definite and firm NO! NO! NO! :D
DIY and hardware store products are not designed for one of the most important points in regards to Art: PERMANENCY! This is not a "snobbery" thing. It is very real. Decorators' products are designed by the manufacturers in view to a certain life cycle which has nothing to do with products designed, planned and manufactured for Fine Arts purposes, in which case they have a life cycle planned to last a very long time, in the order of hundreds of years. Raw materials are selected for permanency and top quality. Fine Arts materials and products manufacturers are very careful about this.
I can tell you from experience that Fine Arts materials are selected and tested at arrival at the manufacturer, against accepted standards for Fine Arts Industry. If they fail the criteria, they are promptly REJECTED and RETURNED to the supplier with a "nice" complaint saying usually something like: "If this happens again, we'll have your head on a plate!".

Your choice of using MDF is an excellent one. MDF is a permanent material for artists. To prime it correctly for Fine Arts purposes, you MUST use either:

1. Traditional Gesso (gesso sottile)
2. Acrylic Gesso or Acrylic Primer (I recommend LASCAUX or LIQUITEX for professional artists). A big bucket will last you nicely.
3. For Oil Priming on MDF, try Winsor & Newton "Oil Painting Primer" which is a modern alternative to traditional oil priming, but very effective and offers an excellent surface to paint on.

For more detailed information, visit my site on http://www.oils-studio.co.uk/materials_for_grounds.htm and browse around. You will find a lot of tested and approved information on the subject.

Have good fun.

Best

Luis :)

Einion
08-03-2002, 11:25 AM
Originally posted by Luis Guerreiro
Your choice of using MDF is an excellent one. MDF is a permanent material for artists.
Tsk, all my typing wasted :D

Einion

timelady
08-04-2002, 03:55 PM
I have to ask, is gesso far more expensive in the US than over here? I've seen this comment more than once and didn't really understand it. You can buy large quantities of acrylic gesso here for reasonable prices (12-18 a litre). Considering that we worry about our supports, the quality of our paints and brushes, why would we skip on gesso? (okay, okay, I know some think using acrylic gesso is skipping, but ignore that difference of opinion)

Tina