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Old 03-11-2008, 02:19 PM
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BillyName99 BillyName99 is offline
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Question Gesso Alternatives

This may be a stupid question, but I'm going to ask anyway.

I have just gotten back in to painting after several years, and I have switched from ois to acrylics. I need to know if there is a viable and inexpensive alternative to the $25.00 a pint gesso sold in the art shops.

I will be painting on masonite panels.
any suggestions?
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:33 AM
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Re: Gesso Alternatives

I get Liquitex acrylic gesso for $13 per pint at a retail store here in CT. You can probably get it even cheaper from a mail order place like Dick Blics. There are other discount art suppliers on the web if you search. Of course one of the nice things about acrylic is that you don't even need to prime your support. The acrylic binder is extremely adhesive and will not damage cellulose fibers like oil does. Many painters paint directly on hardboard panels using the brown color of the wood as their midtone. Wipe down the panel with rubbing alcohol to make sure that it is free of any grease (use only "untempered" hardboard. The "tempered" kind contains oils that make it water resistant and repel acrylic paint.) You may want to rough it up slightly with some fine sandpaper just to assure good adhesion.

I really can't think of any substitute for acrylic gesso that would not cost more money in the long run. Using pure acrylic media might be a bit cheaper and some painters prefer the slicker surface to gesso's chalky texture. Even the best quality house paint won't have the adhesive quality of artist grade acrylic. If you are just practicing and prefer to paint on a sealed or pure white ground you can try it.
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:36 PM
MoonRise MoonRise is offline
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Re: Gesso Alternatives

Alternative to $25 a pint gesso?

As Tomk said, look online for better prices and then either order it online or see if the local art place will price match or at least give you a better price.

Or look for the sale and sale coupons. Around here the two big chain art-n-craft stores ALWAYS have a weekly 40% off coupon. Or a 25%-30% off weekly sale.

So that gesso is now $15 a quart, on sale or with a coupon.

On-line, gesso is under $10 for two pounds here http://www.cheapjoes.com/art-supply/...d-gesso-oz.asp

And about $12 here http://www.cheapjoes.com/art-supply/...s-gesso-oz.asp

Other discount on-line places may vary slightly, but -should- be in the same price ballpark.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:08 PM
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wabbitt wabbitt is offline
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Re: Gesso Alternatives

Unless you're not liking the tooth on your support (paper, canvas, wood, etc.) you don't have to gesso for acrylic, however it'll take alot more paint for the first layer over your support and it'll tend to dry more quickly (it'll suck up alot of water) until it's covered.
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:34 AM
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Einion Einion is offline
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Sorry, didn't see this thread earlier. Check out the prices of acrylic primers at Dick Blick, here.

They're a longtime supporter of WC! so like to recommend them but they're often the cheapest of the online vendors too and have great service and shipping rates to boot.

If you're ordering anyway you may like to lay in a stock of acrylic paint, which is also much better value when bought online compared to most stores. Blick's own-brand acrylics are definitely worth a shot and they also stock Tri-Art, probably my favourite artists' acrylics, in addition to the old standards on the American market, Liquitex and Golden.

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Old 04-15-2008, 10:15 AM
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Re: Gesso Alternatives

Hi Billy
Use normal acrylic undercoat , from your nearest hardware shop you can give it a couple of coats , on board or canvass try it out , it works for me .
John .England
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Old 04-19-2008, 02:52 PM
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BillyName99 BillyName99 is offline
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Re: Gesso Alternatives

Thanks for all the replies, I have a lot of things to consider now!
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