Instead of canvas ?

I saw this in Home Depot the other day and thought it would make a good surface for oils. Have anybody tried it? SurePly® Premium Plywood Underlayment


  • SummerSummer -
    edited May 2015
    I can't answer your specific question but I do know that my husband plans to use this board for the picture holder/photo stand he is going to be building this month. Later in the fall of this year I will be getting some which I will size twice, gesso twice, and sand with fine sandpaper in between. So, I'd also like to know if anyone in this forum has had experience with this board. Thanks for your question.
  • Trying to imbed a link here of a great tutorial on how to brace boards for painting. Hope this will be useful to some of our members.
  • Martenvisser; Thanks for the info, I use " Titebond" wood glue or "Gorilla" wood glue and clamps with good results.
  • Summer; Thanks for the link, that's basically what I do.
  • I'm not sure but isn't plywood a bit unstable to paint on?
  • I would advise not using a brad nailer on the top of your board to attach to the bracing unless you are covering the panel with canvas. Use clamps instead. When gesso-ing, make sure to cover the edges of the panel well. It's hard to know what supports will work. Sometimes, you have to just try it to find out.
  • Gessoed medium density fiberboard (MDF) works well.
  • Chrisfletcher; I had good success with plywood, except a couple of boards had small blisters appear after I applied the gesso. I suspect those boards had defects in their in glue up, had to sand them out and gesso again. I think the wet gesso made them blister.
    MeganS; I agree with you about the brads, their very hard to cover, if kept close to the edge the frame will hide them. As far as support braces go, I think up to 16" x 20" just the edges is enough. The bigger you go the more braces you'll need.
    Martin_j_ Crane; how does MDF do with warping? It does have a nice surface for detail.

    Was the MonaLisa on a board?
  • I started using wood panels recently and I can't figure out why anyone would ever want to use canvas when they could use panel. I plan to stop altogether as soon as I run out. It's cheaper, sturdier, more precise, less of a hassle, and in all ways better than canvas.
  • edited October 2015
    "Was the MonaLisa on a board?"

    Yes. It is on wood panel.

  • Good to know plywood is working out for some people.

    I guess there's plywood & then there's plywood. I did some oil paintings on cheap 3mm ply 10 years ago &now they're coming apart at the edges & the paint surface is cracked all over. Maybe I didn't prepare them well. I kinda like it actually because they look really, really old. I've had better success using MDF recently, but I'd like to experiment more with good quality plywoods in the future.

    I use MDF board, 2-3 layers Gesso sanded lightly between. For extra archival strength paint first with shellac.
  • Folks

    A couple of weeks ago I bought two MDF panels 2'x3' @3/8ths and some pine lengths as cradles.

    I took them out of the garage and set them flat on a outside table in the sun. Within a couple of hours the sun had heated and dried the top surface to the point all four sides had lifted about 1/4'' off the table. During the evening the boards relaxed to flat. I resolved to buy a quality primer/sealer.

    The sealed boards now sit flat during the day. This was a very instructive demonstration of what could happen to an uncradled panel with gesso, paint and varnish on the front and an exposed rear MDF surface. Humid / dry weather cycles have a visible warping effect.

    I need a bucket of black gesso now.


  • Interesting.

    I once lent a painting on MDF against the wall near the fire place. When I went back it had warped, I lay it down on cool suface & it soon looked normal again but I don't know if the stucture is now compromised.

    Why the black gesso?
  • dencaldencal -
    edited October 2015

    I've gone over to the dark side. Black gessoed canvas is beautiful to paint on - no glare, values look right, some of it naturally forms the background, I can usually buy at a discount because no one wants it.

  • I like board because I can cut it to sizes that I like, following the instructions in most art books yields great painting surfaces. Then there are times I just feel like I want that certain bounce and pull of the weave. One thought, buy good not cheap.
  • Yeah you have to laquer the board before you Gesso them. Rembrandt or someone like that said you should start with a black board.
  • "Sureply premium plywood underlayment" . As I mentioned earlier on May 13th ,works very well, plus it looks like it has a coating of some kind of moisture barrier on one side. I got it at HomeDepot.
    Check it out.
  • another thing I like is that I can hold the panel in my hand.
  • edited October 2015
    underlayment. that's a cool word. there are so many options in the hardware store, i can't figure out what to get. I just sort of asked the dude there.
  • You get an underpayment with a big underpayment!
  • dencal

    I must try the black gesso sometime

  • chrisfletcher

    Try some black canvas paper (A4 or A3 pad) to get a sense of it.

  • I'm glad I found this thread :) Was about to start a new one when I used the searchy box up top! Thanks for the info everyone!
Sign In or Register to comment.