View Full Version : re using a painted canvas

02-11-2010, 01:20 PM
i have a previously painted canvas i wish to re use i am pretty positive it is an acrylic painting ..

how would i prep it for re painting over ?? could i use gesso ???

George Servais
02-11-2010, 03:01 PM
If it IS an acrylic painting just lightly sand, apply gesso to cover. Not all gesso is created equal. some of the economy stuff is barely suitable for do-overs. Use a thicker more opaque gesso like Grumbacher. I do this all the time and the grumbacher brand really covers well.
If it is not an acrylic painting you are going over and if it is done in an oil based medium there will be a failure and flaking of the newly applied paint.

Charlie's Mum
02-11-2010, 03:16 PM
Make sure it's acrylic and not oil underneath,

You don't have to gesso but if you use up any paint already on your palete - plus more - just make sure nothing is showing through that you don't want to see!
I made this mistake and had to re-do after photo'ing the work ... the error showed up on screen much more than in real life, but it bugged me!!!

02-11-2010, 04:22 PM
I find that a good heavy grade of gesso does the job perfectly as long as the under painting is not heavily textured. Highly textured areas will show through the final painting if it is not sanded down first. I also find left over paint from other projects covers the painting very well in most cases, many artists purposely prepare for their next painting by doing this. If the first painting is smooth one can paint directly over the existing painting without first adding a coat of gesso. I use these methods routinely if the canvas is good quality and in good shape.

02-11-2010, 06:35 PM
thanks folks pretty sure it is acrylics so looks like i can re use it !!

02-11-2010, 07:05 PM
If you are sanding, it is best to use a good respirator that fits properly.

Some commonly used pigments are quite toxic in dust or spray form, even in very small amounts. The lungs are a particularly dangerous route of entry for these pigments.

If you can avoid sanding, so much the better.

If the painting is bare acrylic, it should be all right just to wipe down the surface with a clean, damp cloth (microfiber cloths clean better than most). Sanding shouldn't be necessary.

You could also use one of the high-adhesive acrylic products, if you are concerned about adhesion.

A raw (unvarnished) acrylic surface should have enough pores and microscopic tooth for good adhesion.

If texture is an issue, you could use something like light modeling paste to even out or alter the surface texture.