View Full Version : Acrylic on wood ????

04-14-2010, 07:35 PM
I was wondering if there was a thread about painting acrylic on wood ...I am interested if I need to use any sealer and if someone can recommend a proper cheap available wood for this.
Thank you so much for your time

George Servais
04-14-2010, 09:18 PM
Acrylic can be used on wood. I would suggest sealing it first with any matte acrylic sealer (brush on). Do this even if you plan to cover the wood with Gesso. If you want the wood to show, what I have done in the past is to seal the wood with a 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol and clear Shellac (very smelly). There have been no adhesion problems (some of these are over ten years old). You could also use Sanding sealer. Whatever you use be sure to give it a light sanding between coats. More than one coat may be needed depending on the wood. Plywood would be your best bet as far as cost and stability. Wood boards tend to split and cup after time. Well sealed, plywood will stand up better. Plywood also comes with many different wood types so you can get a lot of different effects.

04-14-2010, 09:48 PM
Like Mr. Servais suggests, seal it first if you are so inclined. I have used goldens GAC 700 before gesso. There is a clear gesso if you want to see the wood grain as an effect.

Some of the big home stores have 1/4" plywood in maple or birch and sometimes poplar. I have been using the maple off and on for years and happen to like it.

Some of these stores have it in 2X2' or 2X4' sheets rather than buying the full sized 4X8' sheets. Just some thoughts.

04-14-2010, 11:04 PM
Thank you so much, I will give it a try -it is a pet project with/for a friend

04-14-2010, 11:14 PM
Masonite (sometimes called hardboard) and pre-primed masonite can make good supports. There are some wetcanvas.com threads that describe the process.

This video shows a very simple approach, though it is probably better in the long run to seal the panels completely (front, back, and sides) before painting. After the painting is finished, it is best to apply an isolation coat and final varnish.

But if the work doesn't have to last forever, or for 'fun' projects, this approach is probably fine, at least in the smaller sizes:


04-15-2010, 06:43 AM
You don't need to size wood and wood products to paint on them, but it may be advisable. Acrylic products made specifically as sealers, acrylic mediums of one kind or another, shellac and polyurethane varnish are all used for this purpose. My recommendation would be the polyurethane.

You can paint directly onto wood with acrylics, although most people at least prime first. Many acrylic 'gesso' primers can be thinned for the first couple of coats and that way act to better seal the surface prior to the thicker priming layers being applied - check the label or the manufacturer's website for more info.

In terms of what to paint on, hardboard is cheap, relatively easy to cut and widely available. Plywood and MDF are also options but are not considered quite as archival by some sources because of the glues used.

Solid wood is an option, but for larger dimensions you need to buy a commercial panel or make one up yourself from boards which will require some woodworking tools (at the least a plane and a few clamps, although a router would be a big help).