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Canvas Prep

I have several questions and I hope someone can provide some guidance.
1- Is "staining" the canvas the same as applying gesso?  

2- I like a good tooth to pull the paint from my brush so; Can I color my gesso with fluid acrylic and still get the tooth that you get from just using gesso?

3- I have seen on YouTube artists using ordinary house acrylic paint that you would buy from the hardware store as a base and also adding marble dust the mix.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.



  • PaulBPaulB -
    edited October 2017
    Hi @Onerom1945

    1. No, staining is coloring the gesso'd canvas a neutral color.  This helps you judge other colors as you place them on the canvas.  If your canvas is black, all your colors look too bright.  If your canvas is red, all your colors look too green.  Neutral color gives you a better experience as you cover the canvas.  There is a good video of Mark's explaining this.

    2. I believe you can, several people do that, provided the gesso is not oil-based.

    3. I use ordinary house primer, and I like the pull versus smoothness I get.  In fact, I have a gallon of neutral brown colored primer.  A few coats of that is just great for me.

  • I mostly add burnt umber acrylic to my gesso, for priming canvases, it works great. plus the quick drying time means you can paint on the canvas the following day.
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