Thursday, September 21, 2006

Using Masonite for Painting

I have found that painting on masonite is good for several reasons and I use it exclusively now for small paintings. Since my summer studio has limited space, the masonite takes up 1/5 the room as one piece of canvas. It also gives me a surface that I can work more detail into than using canvas.
I use to buy a 4x8' sheet of masonite, cut it into small pieces and gesso the boards but I have discovered that I can buy a sheet of masonite already primed at the large home supply centers. The board I'm talking about is used in inexpensive kitchens as backspashes and such. It has a shinny surface on it but if you take sandpaper and remove that high gloss finish, I've found that my acrylic paints stick extremely well with no problem. This saves me the trouble of applying a coat of gesso. If the board is still too smooth for you, add a thin coat of gesso. One thin coat will do the job to give it some extra tooth. An 8x10" piece after you cut it up will cost you about 20 cents or less. Don't use really large pieces of this or masonite as it can warp. The largest I use is 16x20" and I've had no trouble.
The home centers will also cut the sheets for you for a small cost. Just be sure they are very accurate when they cut it so the pieces will fit in your standard size frames. It's a good idea to use standard sizes too. That way you can mix and match frames easily.
You can view a 3 minute video on this subject HERE.


Zheila said...

Hi Roger
Thanks for the tips. I have bought prepared masonite and used sand paper on it but the sand paper took some of the white coat away revealing the underlying color, is this normal or should I coat it with gesso?
You are great Roger, I have red your blog and seen your videos and enjoyed it very much.

Zheila from Sweden

odran said...

twenty cents is far prefferable as compared to paying far more for canvas. im in art school and all my work needs to be a minimumsize of around 3x 4' so masonite is saving my life and my bank account.

Anonymous said...

Hi Roger,
I am a mixed media artist and I thought that I could remember an aunt (also an artist) painting on canvas wrapped Masonite. I decided to search the web...your site gave me just what I need. I'm off to the lumber yard.
Pam Sustaire

Anonymous said...

I'm in highschool and I'm in an art class where we're using masonite boards for our exam, and to avoid warping, we painted an "X" across the back of the board with gesso. It's helped so far and no one has had any problems.