Tag Archives: what is gesso

Material Monday: Gesso

26 Dec

And we’re back with a vengeance!!!


What it is: A liquid that is a mixture of white paint and a binder and has some carbon in it to increase absorbancy.

Important Note: Today’s Gesso in a craft store is caled Acrylic gesso because of its mixture of acrylic paint, binder and carbon. Traditional gesso is actually a mixture of glue (usually rabbit skin), chalk, binder, and white pigment. Both are used in priming canvas’. However, Traditional Gesso easily cracks and should only be used for hard surfaces, such as walls and boards.

What it comes in: Various sizes of jars, you can also buy it by the gallon at some local craft stores.

What it does: Provides a base layer upon which to paint a surface. Also, on wonderflex, it creates a surface that covers up the texture.

What Can Go Over It: Mainly paint, but virtually anything.

What It Goes Over: Canvas, paper, cardboard, wonderflex. It would probably be easier to say what it didn’t go over, which is fabric.

Places to Buy: The local craft store like Michaels, A.C. Moore, JoAnns and Hobby Lobby will have it the cheapest, but you can also get it online at Amazon

Pros: Good cover surface, great base layer for paint. Covers texture in multiple layers.

Cons: If you use Gesso to cover texture, be prepared to sand (various grits) and paint in several layers (10+) depending on the texture.

Helpful Hint:  You can check out several threads and forums online to ask questions and see what other people are doing with it: