View Full Version : Gesso new stretched canvas

Singing Wind
12-16-2009, 12:22 PM
Do I need to gesso a new stretched canvas that has already been gessoed with two coats from the manufacture? I use WN mostly...If so, how many coats should I put on and why?

TKs, Kathy Neff

12-16-2009, 10:11 PM
Gesso performs two main functions: a) to protect the fiber of the canvas from the oil paint, and b) to reduce or eliminate the bumpy texture of the canvas weave.

For a mid-to-high range quality canvas, the manufacturer's gesso is adequate to protect the canvas. If you are satisfied with the canvas's texture, you do not need to add more gesso.

A really inexpensive canvas on the other hand, even with two coats of gesso from the manufacturer, may not be protected enough (because the gesso layers are too thin or not evenly applied). Or, regardless of the canvas quality, you may like a really smooth surface with no "bumps."

In such cases, you can add layers of gesso. One or two layers should be enough to reinforce protection of the canvas. If you like a smoother surface, you can add more layers, sanding lightly between dried layers, until you achieve the smoothness you like.

I often use WN canvas and have painted directly on the manufacturer's surface without any problem.