Acrylic Book - Surface Preparation - Applications and Techniques - Rex Art Supplies

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SURFACE PREPARATION
APPLICATIONS & TECHNIQUES

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The surface, also known as the support or substrate, is the basic substructure of a painting. The type of surface chosen will depend somewhat on the painting style of the artist, the desired visual effect, the purpose of the work, required longevity and the media used.

Acrylic Paints

Rules for choosing and preparing surfaces
1. Avoid oily, waxy and hard, shiny surfaces. Some hard shiny surfaces can be prepared by sanding and roughing the surface to provide tooth. 2. Never apply acrylics over oil paint. 3. Always do a test piece first. Refer to Adhesion Test below. Acrylic Paint Sets

FLEXIBLE SURFACES
PAPER Most papers are made and labeled for particular media and require little or no preparation. Types Bristol Board: Papers designed specifically for acrylic painting. Available in single, double ply and in heavier formats. Hot Pressed Paper and Hot Pressed Boards have a smooth surface. Cold Pressed Paper and Cold Pressed Boards have rough texture. They will accentuate the paint texture or grain of watercolor and airbrush technique. For airbrush artists who use self-adhering frisket film, choose papers of adequate surface strength to hold up to cutting and lifting this film.

Acrylic Mediums

Acrylic Varnishes

Oil & Acrylic Brushes

Surface Preparation
Papers are sometimes sealed prior to painting. This allows the paint that is applied to lie on the surface rather than being absorbed by the paper fibers. The heavier the weight of paper, the less warping that will occur when painted with acrylic paint. Tape down edges of paper to backing surface while sealing to prevent warping. Do not remove tape until paper has completely dried. Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish or Matte Medium allows color of paper to show through. Liquitex Gesso and/or Liquitex Colored Gesso provides a "tooth" to paper surface and establishes a colored ground. FABRIC Liquitex Acrylics can be applied directly on fabrics of both natural and synthetic fibers. The tighter fabric weaves yields brighter the colors when dry. Types Liquitex Acrylic Colors are suitable for fabrics such as cotton, cotton/poly blends, woven fabric, knits, felt, suede, leather, terry cloth, silk, velvet, velveteen, corduroy and flannel. Refer to Part 2 Applications & Techniques: Fabric Gesso Brushes Aritst Canvas and Painting Surfaces

Gessos and Grounds

Artist Smocks & Aprons

Surface Preparation
1. Wash fabric first to remove sizing or starch. 2. Always do a test piece to ensure compatibility with your materials and application. Refer to Part I Paint Additives: Flow-Aid Flow Enhancer and Liquitex Acrylic Mediums: Fabric Medium CANVAS

The Mahl Bridge from Watermen Art (1)

Resources:

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Palette Knives Types Join the Rex Art mailing list Get our specials. Substrate Induced Discoloration (SID) When acrylic mediums are used directly over primed or Unprimed cotton. linen. flexible and nonyellowing. As temperature increases above 900 Fahrenheit some synthetics do not maintain proper surface tension. Jute: Used in applications that call for extreme texture as well as lower price but is not considered a permanent surface and is too textural for most work. surface texture is an important factor to consider when choosing a canvas. A yellow or brown discoloration in the medium may occur over time. The amount of discoloration in the acrylic medium will vary depending upon: 1. Raw Canvas Cotton Duck: The most common canvas used and the most popular style. The unique resin formulation used in all Liquitex Paints and Mediums is clear. They allow natural color of canvas to be seen after sealing. Thank you for the help what wonderful customer service!!! Happy Holidays. Do not use canvas pliers. Lacks the consistency or texture of cotton. Available in a variety of natural and synthetic materials and weights. which can be further smoothed with more layers of gesso and sanding. Different surfaces contain different colorants and contaminants. It is suitable for both oil and acrylic paint applications. Quality of the acrylic medium. Synthetic: Most uniform in texture. Thickness of the medium application. It is not a problem if color is mixed with the mediums or if the mediums are over painted with color. A stark white canvas will often fool the eye and cause a number of false starts in making proper color judgments. canvas) but also provides a ground that will readily accept the application of paint. Gel mediums are more susceptible to SID than fluid mediums. for example. Just as with paper.lasting. This ensures a tight surface.m. Although linen is preferred as a "professional" surface. Primed canvas is more difficult to stretch than raw canvas and requires the use of canvas pliers to stretch. They are thicker. non-yellowing ground with excellent tooth for proper paint adhesion. when used for acrylics it offers little benefit over cotton. This is temporary and the canvas usually returns to normal with lower temperatures. MA T T Acrylic Gesso Liquitex Acrylic Gesso is the highest quality gesso and provides a flexible. Matte Medium or Matte Gel Medium can be used as a sealer (size) for raw canvas. wood or hardboard. The high oil content of linen may make it less suitable for use with acrylic gesso and paint. Single and double primed versions. Substrate used.) Canvases are available pre-stretched on either standard or heavyduty stretcher bars.Surface Preparation . (One square yard of 10 ounce duck. coupons and exclusive deals! Pre-Primed Canvas Commercially prepared with acrylic gesso or oil ground. 2. SID will only be noticeable in areas that are left unpainted.Rex Art Supplies Rex Art Blog Glossary of Art Terms Color Index Tip Zone Currency Converter Gallery Affiliates Email Us Color Wheels Canvas is made from cotton. It not only seals and protects the substrate (i. Canvas is sold by width and by weight. Directions Gesso should be applied to raw canvas after it has been stretched and stapled onto stretcher bars. SID occurs with all acrylic mediums currently used by major fine art paint manufacturers. The weight describes the thickness of a canvas and refers to the weight of a square yard of the material. Liquitex Gesso is available in traditional white as well as color versions. Be careful not to stretch the cotton material too tight as considerable shrinking will take place as the gesso dries. weave patterns and textures. jute and natural or synthetic fibers. WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY Marshall.Applications and Techniques . linen. weighs 10 ounces. 3. Washing the canvas before use can greatly decrease or eliminates SID.Acrylic Book .e. http://www.] . Unbleached Titanium Colored Gesso establishes a colored mid-value tone and provides a background color that is easier for establishing color relationships.html[18/01/2014 09:21:28 a. exceptionally strong and long.rexart. Palettes & Palette Cups Email address Submit Follow Us: Share | Acrylic Painting Books Surface Preparation Acrylic Medium Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish. Linen: Superior strength and longevity. the water content may draw impurities out of the support as it dries.com/appsurfaceprep. contain more water and take longer to dry. Portrait quality linen has the finest and most consistent weave.

For the most economical multiple coat surface. If absorbent surface is not desired. one layer of gesso is often adequate. Let dry. A second layer will even out and produce a smoother surface. Do not over thin gesso with just water. The gesso will take on a paste consistency. Most boards can be used as supports to which canvas. For increased adhesion and flexibility it is recommended to thin gesso with equal parts water and Liquitex Matte Medium. Surface Eggshell Canvas Surface 1. Matte-surface acetate.Rex Art Supplies Thinning Liquitex Gesso may be thinned with up to 25% water without adversely affecting adhesion or causing gessoed surface to crack. suitable for use as a ground for pastel. Single Coat vs.com/appsurfaceprep. spray a small area with water and sand in a circular motion with 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper.rexart. Increasing Absorbency of Gesso A mixture of 75% Liquitex Gesso and 25% Liquitex Acrylic Modeling Paste will make an Absorbent Gesso. ACETATE Acetate is a transparent. Resin Sand. 6. somewhat brittle plastic available in varying thickness and surface textures. allowing each one to dry thoroughly before proceeding to the next. Add more Airbrush Medium as needed. 3. Apply three coats of Liquitex Gesso.Applications and Techniques . 2. 4. filling in the texture of the canvas surface. http://www.     RIGID SURFACES Rigid surfaces provide smooth or textured surfaces for artists who paint dimensionally and attach objects to rigid surfaces. Smooth acetate is not recommended. This surface is highly absorbent. mediums and gesso will not repel away from its surface. 5. mediums and gesso. 7. Thin gesso with Liquitex Airbrush Medium approximately 1:1. paper or other material can be glued. causing any paint that is applied to sink rapidly into the surface. When spraying it may be necessary to thin gesso. smooth acetate that is chemically treated so that acrylic paint. CANVAS PANEL BOARDS Prepared canvas panel boards are commercially available in a wide variety of sizes and a limited number of surface textures. Natural Sand. Apply second layer. Paper smooth canvas surface that is excellent for portrait and airbrush techniques.m. lightly sand with fine-grit sandpaper. Surface Tooth and Absorbency Dilute Liquitex Gesso with Liquitex Matte Medium to get less absorbency and tooth. as this may cause surface cracking. Multiple Coat For standard Cotton Duck canvas. Application Liquitex Gesso can be brushed. When dry. apply Liquitex gesso with a large painting knife or squeegee (in half-circular motions) or use a house paint pad. as the surface is smooth and slick. Sand between coats with fine sandpaper. may be mixed into gesso for textural effects. After the final coat is dry. wet sanded surfaces of this type tend to be less flexible and more susceptible to impact damage. textured acetate and wet-media acetate (also called "prepared acetate") are suitable for acrylic paints. apply one coat of Gesso. Two layers are recommended when painting with oil paint. Marble dust or sand.html[18/01/2014 09:21:28 a. Use Liquitex Matte Gel Medium to adhere canvas to board. Glass Beads Texture Gel. troweled or sprayed directly onto raw canvas. Caution: smooth. 8. apply one or two coats of Liquitex Matte Medium. Continue the circular sanding motion until the gesso sets up and dries to an eggshell finish.Surface Preparation . Work the gesso into the weave of the canvas. Wet-media acetate is a clear.] . For a brush stroke free surface. apply one coat of Liquitex Matte Medium. Liquitex Ceramic Stucco. charcoal and graphite drawings.Acrylic Book . Use caution as too many aggregates may make gesso brittle.

Let dry overnight. Untempered Masonite is subject to warping and is not stable enough for permanent use.com/appsurfaceprep. Spray or brush apply Liquitex Gesso. cement paint or silicones on surface. Sand between coats and apply the second coat at right angles to the first. stained glass and photography. Seal all sides and back with a barrier varnish such Liquitex Soluvar Matte Varnish. MASONRY AND CONCRETE There must be no waterproofing. After the primer is completely dry. they are not recommended as a permanent support. Coat with an industrial primer-sealer meant for use with water-based media. in time. Sand between coats.] . including fresco. untempered Masonite may be used. but they are very susceptible to warping and impact damage. are often used as a painting support. mosaic. inert. FIBERGLASS Fiberglass can be painted with acrylics or oils if the surface is prepared properly. COMPRESSED HARDBOARDS Compressed hardboards such as Masonite. The type of mural technique most used is either painting on canvas. wax or oil on http://www. there must be no grease. Let dry overnight. Available in a soft (untempered) and a hard (tempered) form. Not recommended for permanent work.m. then apply one or two coats of gesso. test for proper adhesion (see Adhesion Test). METAL AND GLASS Sand with 400-grit paper or sandblast for proper paint film adhesion. Prepare the top (shiny) surface by sanding to a dull finish and covering with at least two coats of gesso. Aluminum should be etched with a 5% lye solution for 4 to 5 minutes. Test for proper adhesion.Acrylic Book . Tempered Masonite is manufactured with silicones and oils that may. Glass can be acid-etched or sand blasted.rexart. This may take 812 weeks after set-up. Let dry for 3 days and test for adhesion. Let Matte Gel Medium fully dry. Directions for metal Wipe surface with a degreasing solution and coated with an industrial primer meant for use with water-based media.Rex Art Supplies They are usually made of cotton canvas wrapped and glued onto heavy cardboard. Liquitex Acrylics can be applied directly to a masonry wall. which is then attached to a wall or painting directly on the surface of the wall itself. Masonry and concrete must be thoroughly dry and cured. test for proper adhesion (see Adhesion Test)). Sand/sandblast the surface. These materials are often used during construction and can adversely effect the longevity of the paint. but it is best to first trowel on a layer of Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. MURALS Murals cover a variety of techniques. affect the adhesion of the paint film to the surface. uniform surface. FOAM BOARD Provides a smooth. stable. It should be first reinforced with a backing frame glued to the unfinished side. If permanence isn't an issue. Let dry overnight. Spray or brush on Liquitex Gesso.Surface Preparation .html[18/01/2014 09:21:28 a. When painting directly on any wall. Remove dust. After the primer is completely dry. as they may warp and the glues and papers used in their manufacture may not be permanent. Lightly sand the surface with very fine sandpaper and apply one or two coats of gesso. seals the rough texture of the wall and reduces the amount of paint needed to paint surface.Applications and Techniques . encaustic. This provides an excellent ground for the paint. All moisture must be gone or acrylic paint adhesion will not be permanent.

Good exterior grade plywood or birch plywood provides an excellent painting support. 6. Surfaces should be tested for adhesion and compatibility of material. birch. coat with a layer of Liquitex Matte Medium or Matte Gel Medium and one or two coats of Liquitex Gesso. sand the entire panel or sand only those areas that will be painted. (longer in humid conditions). Refer to Part 2 Applications & Techniques:Murals MYLAR Mylar is a film that has all the properties and uses of acetate with additional flexibility and strength. Plexiglas is an acrylic sheet material manufactured in a variety of widths. UNUSUAL SURFACES Unusual surfaces should be tested for compatibility with the acrylic paint. Plywood is available in 1/8" thickness (called "door skin") of mahogany. Some plastics will repel acrylic paint. When working with transparent colors use Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish or Gel Medium to maintain clarity. Remove masking tape slowly. PLASTERBOARD Do not use if previously painted with oil paint.rexart. Wait 72 hours for acrylic paint to cure before continuing. crack or yellow and is also available with a photosensitive surface for the reproduction of line drawings. Both sides of the sheet can be painted to yield dimensional qualities. Negative aspects. The following surface preparation procedures serve as a general guideline for most acrylic paint applications. It needs to be structurally sound and free of loose particles. The plastic must be chemically inert so that it will not react with the paint film over time. When completely dry. 4. Directions 2. Plywood sheets may be adhered to wooden stretcher bars for added strength and to prevent warping. to preserve the transparent nature of the product. some are very smooth and the acrylic paint will easily scratch off and some have a slight tooth and provide the best surface for paint adhesion. When sanded. Prepare the surface by sealing it first with an industrial primer/sealer like Aqualock. The type of surface and ground used with acrylic paint has a large effect on how the paint handles.m. available from sign making supply houses.com/appsurfaceprep. If any paint comes off with the tape. Back to Table of Contents http://www.] . Apply the paint or medium to prepared surface and let dry thoroughly.html[18/01/2014 09:21:28 a. it does not stretch. made for use with water base paints. PLYWOOD MDO Boards are varieties of plywood that are bonded with paper on one or both sides. Certain paint and surface combinations may react with one another over time. 3. The harder woods. score surface in a crosshatch pattern using a sharp knife.Rex Art Supplies the surface. Either a different surface preparation is necessary or the particular support is not suitable for the paint or medium tested.Acrylic Book .Surface Preparation . Apply masking tape to surface & burnish. Glue and nail plywood to stretcher bars every 3-4".weight. it will provide adequate surface tooth for acrylic paint. ADHESION TEST 1. 5. Mylar is available in a wet-media form that needs no surface preparation. After sanding. Like acetate. good surface adhesion has not been achieved. apply two coats of gesso with a brush.Applications and Techniques . They offer a very smooth surface quality that is hard to achieve with standard plywood. Much higher in price than acetate. maple and oak. All forms of plywood will require between 2-5 coats of gesso. acrylic paint can be applied directly to the surface. such as birch. spray or paint pad. maple and oak will require less gesso to seal and provide a smooth surface. PLASTIC PANELS (PLEXIGLAS) Depending upon the type of plastic. When sealer is dry. For the most permanent acrylic paint application.

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