wood panels and drying time

Hey! I’m new to this forum. I have been using acrylics and pastel for years and now I am interested in working with oil paint. I have some newbie questions and hopefully someone can help me out.

I prefer working with Russian Birch as a support. I have prepared two panels (1/4”):

panel #1 : two coats of PVA Size and five coats Acrylic Gesso front and back
panel #2 : two coats of PVA Size and two coats of Winsor & Newton Oil Painting Primer front and back

Which of the two panels is better prepared for oil painting? Other Suggestions? Is the PVA Size necessary for wooden surfaces? Are there enough coats of PVA Size, Gesso or Oil Primer?

What would be the recommended curing time for gesso and oil primer? Time is of the essence as I want to work on these panels as soon as possible.

Also, I have made the recipe as suggested by Mark Carder for slow dry medium. I tested the medium on paper canvas. I am very happy with the results, although after two weeks the paint is still fairly wet. Is this normal for this kind of medium? What would be a normal drying time? For quicker drying, would I subtract some of the oil of cloves?

Lots of questions!


  • Welcome. You seem to be well on the right track.
    Either of your surface preparations are fine as prep for an oil painting.
    the gesso will most likely be ready first. (did you sand between coats?)
    Drying time estimates are subjective- everything from temp, humidity, and how thick the mediums were applied will factor into the answer.
    As for the SDM - without it some paints (umbers esp.) will dry within a day or two.
    yes if you reduce or omit the clove oil the dry time will be shortened.
    play around. have fun. post your work.

Sign In or Register to comment.