What is Gesso?

Author: Dana McGorlick-Appelman  Date Posted:25 May 2022 

Gesso is a must-have for priming a variety of surfaces to prepare them for painting, including canvas, wood, panels and more.

Gesso is similar to acrylic paint, but is often thinner and dries quite hard, making your surface stiffer and slightly textured so it’s ready to accept paint.

Without Gesso, the paint will absorb into the weave of a canvas.

Available in white, black and clear, you can also find it in spray, tube or tub forms.

Many stretched canvases are pre-primed already and ready to paint on, however an additional coat or two of gesso can help stiffen your canvas further and further prevent your paint from absorbing.

Gesso is best applied with a flat, wide Taklon brush. To apply, simply dip your paintbrush into the gesso and brush it onto the canvas in smooth motions until the entire canvas is coated evenly. You can also use a fine-grit sandpaper to create a super smooth coat once the gesso is dried.


Got questions? Send us an email at customerservice@artshedonline.com.au and our friendly team of artists will do their best to assist you. 

Happy creating!

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