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Old 11-04-2009, 07:04 PM
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htcasper htcasper is offline
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what can I use to "gesso" over existing oil paintings?

Hi,

Can someone please help me with a question I have? I have several oil paintings that I no longer wanted, but I like to use the canvases again for different paintings. can I use some primer or oil gesso over it to cover the existing painting? (suggest brands please.) will the painting underneath show up?

or can I use white oil paint to cover up the paintings? will the underneath paintings show?

thank you!!

h.t.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:44 PM
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Re: what can I use to "gesso" over existing oil paintings?

Hi,

I usually sand my canvas with a fine sandpaper then I use gesso to re prime the canvas. I've had no problems with it yet. Besides gesso is usually what you prime canvas with before you start a painting.

Hope this helps.

Yvette
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:13 PM
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Re: what can I use to "gesso" over existing oil paintings?

Don't put gesso over oil paint. It could crack in time.
If you paint thin/lean just paint over it with titamium white.
If the paint is thick sand it down to get an even surface, then paint over with titanium white. If you are concerned about fatness put a drop of oil in the paint. Then just make sure your painting is the same fatness or fatter than the titanium white layer.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:53 AM
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Mark Sheeky Mark Sheeky is offline
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Re: what can I use to "gesso" over existing oil paintings?

The best solution is to throw them away and buy a new canvas. Paint can show though (see http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?...ldid=286471914) and acrylic gesso over oil is not a good idea. If you like to paint reasonably thickly and alla prima then stapeliads solution should work adequately.

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Old 11-05-2009, 07:38 AM
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Re: what can I use to "gesso" over existing oil paintings?

Sanding down is the usual recommendation, as long as none of the pigments in the old painting are toxic by inhalation.

Painters vary in their next step. Some clean up and degrease with an artist grade solvent, and then oil out with their chosen medium before building up a new painting. Others (I think Bill Martin recommended this on a recent thread) cover over the sanded painting with a layer of cremnitz white, for a flexible ground. This would be my own preferred method, but many would prefer not to use a lead white, especially if they have kids around. Otherwise, use titanium white with a little oil or medium added. NEVER use acrylic gesso or primer over oil paint, unless a cracked or peeled painting is what you're after.

If you ever paint in an abstract or semi-abstract style, consider keeping the texture of the previous painting and go straight to the next stage of preparation. You can get some very interesting effects this way.
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:49 PM
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Re: what can I use to "gesso" over existing oil paintings?

First, thanks to all those responded. this forum has been great whenever I needed answers.

so the famous artists do it too, i.e. paint over their existing paintings.

I do know about not using acrylic gesso over oil, that's why I am asking this question for oil painting. these are nice canvases, gallery wrapped and good sizes (at least 24"x24" and larger.) I just couldn't bring myself to throw them out. though it'll probably be the easiest thing to do.

I paint with some texture, definitely not flat. The paint on these paintings have been at least 2 years old, so I think they're more likely dried and cured.

painting on the texture of previous painting may sound interesting, but I think it'll confuse me so much I couldn't concentrate on the current painting. maybe I'll try the sanding then titanium white with little oil. should I do 2 layers? or more?

also, I was searching on dickblick. and I found a Winsor Newton oil painting primer http://www.dickblick.com/products/wi...inting-primer/
and a Gamblin oil painting ground http://www.dickblick.com/products/ga...inting-ground/
has anyone tried these previously? are these oil based thus ok to use over oil paint or are they for first time canvas priming?

again, thanks for all your help!

h.t.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:53 AM
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Re: what can I use to "gesso" over existing oil paintings?

I understand about not wanting to part with those nice big gallery wrapped canvasses. In school I eventually started taking the canvas off the wooden stretchers, flipping it over, and re-stretching it with the backside facing front. Takes a little more work but it gave me a fresh surface to paint on without having to spend any money.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:56 PM
Chestnut Tree Cafe Chestnut Tree Cafe is offline
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Re: what can I use to "gesso" over existing oil paintings?

h.t. I think these are both alkyd based grounds. I could be wrong, but I think of alkyds as being leaner than oils (I guess because they dry alot faster).

I would go with the titanium white plus a drop of oil rather than these, but I have never tried doing this myself.

Chris
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:56 AM
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Re: what can I use to "gesso" over existing oil paintings?

it dawned on me that if I were going to use the oil painting primers, which I would have to buy anyways, I might as well buy some new blank unstretched canvas. that way, I can try to take out the existing canvas and stretch a new canvas over the existing stretcher.

I am not emotionally attached to the old painting in any way and covering over them is not as clean a solution, though I haven't try it. I may try both (paint over them in white and replace the canvas) and see which I like better. I don't want to be afraid to make a bad painting, so I have many of them. but the headache is having so many sitting around that I don't know what to do with, and they eventually wear out their welcome. so I need to find something that work well for me.

This has been great, thank you guys very much!

ht
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:45 AM
bono1234 bono1234 is offline
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Re: what can I use to "gesso" over existing oil paintings?

hi h.t. glad you asked the question. I tried gessoing over a painting after sanding and cleaning down; I thought if it didn't work, what the heck as i would only be practicing on the canvas anyway...well would you believe it, the new painting was half decent, so i'm kicking myself now as the paint keeps lifting off the canvas; you live and learn.
May i ask the guys a question on Gesso? my local large art store here in France only sells 2 types of Gesso DR System3 and Pebo studio acrylic gesso; as it was on offer at approx £7.50 per 1 ltr i bought some Pebo, but wondering now if it's good enough. Has anyone used Pebo or can give general advise on the pros and cons of different brands?
Bono
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:06 PM
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Re: what can I use to "gesso" over existing oil paintings?

If sanding, use wet sanding techniques. Do not dry sand, the dust is potentially harmful.
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:46 AM
B125 B125 is offline
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Re: what can I use to "gesso" over existing oil paintings?

No need to wipe out the old image with gesso or sanding.
You could paint directly on top and use specific details of the old work as a basis for the new one.

Picasso did this.

Probably other artists as well
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