Sealing wood panels in preparation for painting


So far I have been practising painting on paper but wanted to experiment with painting on wood panels

So I ordered a basswood panel. (
It's cheap but I figured its just raw 12x9 wood so as long as there's no seams and depending on the actual type of wood it would be fine.

I know ill have to seal it and prime it. I plan using winsor and newton acrylic gesso. I used it before on paper and suppose I can use it.

Now the sealant. I heard that gac100 is good (GAC 100 236ml - K&M Evans Trading Ltd. ( but I was wondering if i could just use something that I could buy in a hardware store? Something like this (No Nonsense PVA 5Ltr | PVA Sealers | or this (Rust-Oleum Clear Satin Multi-surface Sealer, 0.13L | DIY at B&Q). Not those exact ones but something from a standard hardware store. I work in one and it would be easy to get something there and I would probably get a nice discount.

I also saw a video of Stefan Baumann using a rustoleum spray primer ( This seems like the easiest option by far. If it works as a sealant for wood that is and gesso is going to adhere to it?

So could I just use a standard sealant or the spray that Stefan Baumann recommended, or do I need something more specific for oil painting? Is anything else wrong in my thinking? Thanks for reading it came out longer than expected:)


  • edited February 2
    There are two ways to go. You can go with the materials for sealing and priming recommended by art conservators. If so, you can check out this page:
    Under Painting Materials you will find:

    Adhesives and Sizes = GAC100 or Gamblin PVA size are both suitable for sizes. Don't use normal PVA glue, it isn't the same - there are many PVAs. From the hardware store shellac and polyurethane - I'm not sure about which polyurethanes are suitable.

    Grounds and Primers = Provides a good overview. Gamblin Oil Ground good to use with their PVA, or if you check the Golden website you can find which GAC they are now recommending for use as a ground.

    If you are not as concerned about very long term conservation of your materials, I have used the Rustoleum 2X Ultracover recommended by Stefan Baumann. It does both things - seals and primes. Two coats and away you go. But then i contacted their technical department and they said their Zinsser Coverstain was a much more suitable product. "Spray/ brush 1 coat, allow to dry for 2hrs. then apply another coat if required. Allow this to dry a further 24hrs before applying oil colours. The TDS is available on our website:" was from them. But I decided that since their product was recent there was not the evidence that it would last longer term I would use instead materials recommended by conservators. Otherwise I would use this. I can't comment on other hardware store materials.
  • Thanks for the answer @Abstraction :)
    seems like a great resource the link you've sent. Been looking for something like it:) I ordered Gamblin PVA Size so. Kinda wish there was a good art  store in the area for all this stuff but the closest thing is a book store with some Paints and a few brushes. 
    I'll definitely be trying to figure out the right way to keep the paintings last longer as I go.
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