Seven Easy Steps to Preparing a Canvas for Painting

While we understand your excitement that you might want to begin right after getting your art supplies from the art store, before you start painting on a raw, stretched canvas, you need to make sure that you are prepared to begin. Canvases that you buy from the art store  may already have gesso, therefore, you need not add more as long as you don’t want to modify the texture. However, if you find yourself using a canvas that has not been primed before, you need to apply gesso before using your painting brush. 

Regardless of whether you are painting with oil or acrylic paint, priming allows a smoother texture that is less absorbent and allows your brush to move freely across the surface. The supplies you need in order to prime your canvas are as follows:

  1. Canvas 
  2. Gesso 
  3. A wide soft quality bristle brush
  4. Bowl of water
  5. Sponge
  6. Plastic container 
  7. Paper towel

Here is your step-by-step guide to ensure your canvas is prepped and ready before you begin working on it:

Step 1: Wet the Canvas

Take the sponge, dip it into the water and wet the canvas and its side with light hands. 

Step 2: Stir the Gesso effectively

Ensure that you are stirring the gesso in its container thoroughly before you start applying it

Step 3:  Pour the Right Amount of Gesso

You want to be exact with the amount of gesso you need for the task. If you end up with extra, it is cumbersome to put it back into the jar when it is dry. Remember to close the jar as soon as you’re done since gesso dries quickly. 

Step 4: Add Water

Add water to make the gesso thinner and stir it well. First, dilute the first later since the diluted gesso will be able to penetrate the fibers of the canvas without difficulty and are easier to spread. The actual gesso is white; however, you can tint it if you want with acrylic paint. 

Step 5:  Clean Spills Promptly

There is a possibility of the gesso spilling. Ensure you have a paper towel handy to clean the spills since gesso dries fast and once it has dried it is not soluble in water. 

Step 6: Brush It On

You can lay the gesso on the canvas with horizontal strokes with a 1” or 2” brush. At this point, be wary of spreading it evenly from left to right and back. 

Step 7: Let It Dry Thoroughly

After the gesso is dry, you can start painting on it. However, we recommend you let it sit overnight. A quick tip for you: When you touch the canvas if it's cold; the gesso hasn’t dried yet. 

Clear gesso is widely used among artists and painters. Besides canvas, you can primer for painting on wood, metal, or plastic as well with gesso. Having the right art supplies is of unmatched importance in order to prep your canvas because your finished product depends highly on how you have prepped the canvas. Artright is the best art supplies store online, having a wide range of painting supplies that will help every artist or non-artists to pave their way through creativity. There is so much effort and hard work that one puts into an artwork, because of which it is essential for every artist to use the best art supplies from the best art suppliers to enhance their painting and designs.

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