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Gessoing while painting is nearly finished

This is an oil painting in progress but I was curious to know if I could gesso (acrylic gesso)  the back side of it to help penetration of oil paint.  Would it interfere with the oil painting?



  • Nice work! I understand that some artists do use acrylic gesso to cover the back of the canvas to protect against mold and mildew etc., before they begin painting, but I have no other knowledge about this application at a later stage on canvas.
  •  The gesso on the top surface (surface you paint on) should act as a barrier to protect the canvasmaterial from degradation from the oil paints.  There should be no reason to paint gesso on the unpainted surface.  It would not interfere with your painting, but it may reduce the life of the painting. Although I have done this a long time ago where I painted an oil painting on the back side of another oil painting.  I can't remember why I did that (it was like 20 years ago).  That painting experienced no ill effects from it, but I would not risk it on a painting I cared about keeping.  As a side note, if you are just starting out, you may or may not care about your first paintings later on because once you get good they won't matter any more.
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