Hi, even if I stain my canevas, do you recommend me to put gesso on a preacoat canevas?


  • Nathalie

    Check the label on the canvas. Usually they are primed and pre-coated with multiple layers of gesso.

    So a toning or staining coat is all that is required.

    Further gesso layers may be an advantage if the canvas texture is too visible or if the factory gesso has a rough or uneven surface. A light sandpaper between gesso coats is helpful to obtain a smooth surface.

    Many artists with specific smooth surface requirements will start with wood, hardboard or composite panels. Primed, gessoed and toned, a panel will give a very smooth surface.

    The aim in achieving smoothness is to be able to paint with a high level of detail when using small brushes. In this way the image is not compromised by surface texture or surface irregularities.


  • To get a smooth canvas I'll mix gesso 50% modeling paste 50% gesso. Two coats with light sanding in between with fine grade sand paper will not only fill in micro holes that are sometiems on canvas roles but make the surface so smooth you could draw on it like paper. Also this is good for filling in smal tears in your canvas after you patched the hole from the back. :)
  • Just be careful not to put acrylic over oil primed canvas.
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