how to seal wood before painting with acrylics

If you want to make sure the wood grain is still visible prior to painting with acrylic, then skip the primer (Gesso) as that is usually white and will cover the wood. So while I prepare the panel, and before painting on it, I seal all exposed areas of wood including backs and sides. References. Acrylic is so stable though that again I do not think it is an issue of concern. Thanks. If you want a non-standard size or something larger than 40″ there are not many options. Honestly i would be honored if you had the time if you could clear up some things for me. The surface needs a sealer and I want to hide the deep chocolate color of the wood. Sealing also provides an easier surface to apply subsequent paint layers. It depends on what you are trying to do, if the painted object is staying inside and out of harm's way, then there shouldn't be a need to use any kind of varnish. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. © 2020 Nancy Reyner | All Rights Reserved | Design. I want to do acrylic pours over the fronts. Apply a liberal coat of linseed oil and mineral spirits thinned to 50 / 50. Gesso is a white pigmented product that enhances adhesion. Spray or brush-on polyurethane sealer. Then over these sealer layers when dry, apply primer to (1) enhance adhesion (2) return tooth to the surface, and (3) whiten the surface for optimizing paint colors applied over it. Gesso is opaque and will cover the grain. I brush apply when the piece is large. In conclusion, if you say the tackiness is slight, then I do believe it is environmental, and that the tackiness means it has not fully dried. 5. Thanks for the info. Try painting the whole thing over with primer paint of the desired color. Thank you! [1] X Research source You can use a tack cloth to pick up any remaining dirt. Re: Seal basswood b efore painting? Thank you for the informative article! I’d like to protect the colors and protection from insect damage. It is clear, however a pigment can be added if wished. The quick answer to your question is YES of course you can use water and mediums to change your paint accordingly to create different effects. Brush applications would work if the texture is slight. Ampersand makes great panels of good quality. I’m new to painting on wood panels and am very excited to go out and buy all the supplies I’ll need before I can get started. I would definitely not use pouring mediums that are meant for pouring as a sealer. Could this be because of the actual nature of the GAC100 product. She currently lives in Santa Fe, NM. Join Nancy’s mailing list to subscribe to her blogposts & newsletter. Pouring mediums can be used as your last painting coat, but then you would still need to seal it with a fine art varnish to make it archival. As I describe in this article, there are two different steps to take when working with wood, each used for a different purpose and each requiring different products. I know that the nature of acrylics when applied over certain thicknesses can be a little tacky/rubbery as it dries, so I assumed the GAC100, which is acrylic based, could present these dilemmas. The white acrylic paint on my bed and drawers is chipped and discolored. I applied rather thin, normal coats, nothing too thick. Usually two sealing coats are sufficient, making the wood appear slightly satin or glossy in sheen. You can also use a polyurethane. Another consideration is the back of the painting. It is probably very dry at this point, if it hasn’t been restored since then, so adding a varnish would be a good idea for protection, avoiding any future cracking and reducing any color fading. However, it may take about a week to cure completely. Those two qualities are what makes the varnish archival. Otherwise you can purchase commercially made wood panels from art stores and online artist supply sites. 1st coat went fine. If you are using ink and watercolor you would want to prime to get an absorbent surface, so that the paints will adhere well. I highly recommend against using any type of “clear gesso”. I use two coats so it looks pristine white all over. I mixed a pouring medium (floetrol) acrylic paints, and water in several separate … If the painting will remain indoors and you want it to last a long time, I suggest you seal it like you would a fine art painting. It results in a glossy finish, and lasts long. I mix varnish (polyurethane) with paint thinner 3:2. Thank you! Here is a link to the video I mentioned: https://youtu.be/7Rv0pOyHnOU, Is there a clear sealer for wood if it won’t be completely covered with paint? Clean the wood before applying sealant by wiping it down with a damp cloth. Ampersand is the only company I know of that uses the proper gesso to seal under acrylic, and with good adhesion. HOWEVER the most important thing to remember is that wood needs to be SEALED prior to adding anything. The panels are cradled but, they are warping a bit and the grain pops out with each application of gesso. Matte varnishes contain a white powder that may not work well over the old painting. If it separates in the bottle and you only use the top part this could be an issue. For acrylic painters, one coat of a better quality gesso, such as GOLDEN’s Gesso, will add adhesion strength between the sealed wood and your first layer of acrylic paint. Dear Mei, The backs of my paintings are handled the same way I do the fronts and sides. I actually think that’s the first time ive ever referred to myself as an artist. Paint with an acrylic wash. This will help adhesion between your first paint layer and the wood. I’m glad you are finding this article useful for your artwork. If not, these need to be sealed too. Make sure the primer has filled all the pores on its exterior. Apply the sealer with a wide flat brush or a sponge brush and follow the wood grain. The best part is they are very light in weight. I’m just curious as to how you would tidy up the back of the panel to prepare it for hanging? If your paint runs, then it's probably not a good idea to use it. Within this 2 week period it is fine to continue layering over acrylic layers. You can apply primer with a brush, roller or by spraying, and one coat is all you need. The same size panel from Ampersand weighs 11.4 lbs. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. That is why you should seal or size the wood which prevents it from getting warped because of humidity shifts. Acrylic is naturally glossy. You can skip this step if you don’t want to cover the grain. Please let me know which type of panel support you used. Must I still prime the wood? The idea is to seal the wood so no moisture enters it and to keep it from warping. I have got into the habit of doing a total but simple underpainting with acrylic titanium white. Please re-read the article to make sure you understand the difference between sealers (glossy – allows next coat to stay on top of this non-absorbent coating) and primers (matte – allows next coat to sink in to an absorbent coated surface). That’s a very interesting question. Mix Paint for Pour. Yesterday and today, with the humidity and heat subsiding, the surface seems a little dryer and harder than before. 3658 Cerrillos Road, C6 The process I describe is to seal the wood so it doesn’t warp. So sealing is important regardless of whether you will paint on it, leave it as is, or paint using ink, watercolor, acrylic or oil. Yes, you can use this. Another reason for warping would be if you diluted the GAC 100 you applied. The pigment is an important ingredient for this purpose. Best sealers are gloss acrylic. Apply a thin wash of acrylic paint. Your email address will not be published. I work in large sizes and this makes it easier to work in my studio and much cheaper to ship them to clients and galleries. If you are deciding to paint bare wood, you should seal all knots (spot prime) with a shellac based primer. In my experience I have found it varied in touch when dry. She currently lives in Santa Fe, NM. For more tips from our Decorating co-author, including how to prepare your wood before you paint it, read on! A general rule is to apply at least two coats of sealer directly onto the raw wood to protect the wood. Pouring mediums are usually too thick to do this effectively. Your email address will not be published. Golden’s MSA Varnish comes in a spray (with a different name, though) called Archival Varnish. To summarize you want to seal all exposed areas of wood, but priming can be just applied to the front face. Hi Nancy !can i use water with acrylic gel medium for acrylic painting or I should use only the gel medium for acrylic painting? You can also use a hair dryer to make the paint dry faster. This can happen with or without painting on top. Acrylic will still continue to dry even if overpainted with other acrylic layers. Sealers are often confused with primers. But happy . If you use polyurethane, make sure you choose a water-based (not solvent-based) version to avoid damaging your paint. It’s very subtle but it’s there. With all my tests this is my palette for painting the Druid-X (all wood is basswood): A nice sanding sealer, acrylic paints and then a top coat. Golden has lots of great articles on their site. Priming would be an additional step, after sealing, that would be beneficial to painting with any type of paint. There are many types of surfaces that painters can use for fine art painting. Thank you for your very detailed and most informative descriptions. Create a smooth, even surface to your wood panel and protect it by sealing before painting. Tack cloths are gauze-like materials treated with a sticky substance and can be purchased at any home improvement store. For more tips from our Decorating co-author, including how to prepare your wood before you paint it, read on! The differentiation between seal and primer was super helpful! However, I’d be glad to help make sure it doesn’t happen again. You are welcome! Priming your panel, regardless of which paint medium you plan to eventually use, will add a second archival process to your artwork, by strengthening adhesion between your first painting layer and the primer. Choose the right type of paint and the right color. If not, and they are oil-based, then you would use oil paint over it. It must be frustrating as you are in the middle of painting. Pouring mediums are not removable and have no UV protection. Placing the graphite paper with the graphite surface facing down on the wood is the next step, then put the tracing paper on top of the graphite paper so the design is transferred onto the painting surface of the primed wood. These paints stay wet for a long time. 4. 6. Here’s a good test. Since the piece is from 1944, it probably uses oil paint. Required fields are marked *. I should add that I used the run off several days ago so it is indeed dry. If so, could you please suggest a good sealer obtainable in Australia? Lightly sand all surfaces to smooth them using a 220 grit or fine sanding block. It also adds a nice sheen that can help the colors look more radiant. Montreal has been going through combinations of heat waves, up and down periods of humidity, etc. The medium can be accidentally diluted by using a wet brush, or not stirring the product prior to use. If you are adding acrylic paint that has mediums added to it (such as is often added into pouring mixtures) then you could very well be sealing the wood. The only doubt I have right now is that after about 5 days, the surface does not seem “kitchen counter” or “glass surface” dry. Without pigment, it cannot be considered a real gesso. Does the same procedure you described also apply to thin 3mm thick MDF boards; namely seal, lightly sand, seal again to both sides and then apply 1 coat of primer eg Golden Gesso (is this the same as Golden GAC100?) Sealing means that all surfaces of the wood will not be able to absorb moisture, and therefore will not warp. It’s special thin formulation of polymer acrylic, applied over the wood, soaks in quickly and minimizes brushstrokes and texture. Contemporary painting techniques such as pouring paint (i.e. Im a new artist. Nancy. There are many benefits to sealing a wood panel before painting your piece. Hi Tom, I originally chose a satin coat but that proved way too glossy over the paint. The lesser quality primer, though, does not have a high pigment content for extra adhesion strength that acrylic paints require. Instead use any acrylic gloss medium or gel, either straight or adding some water to thin it. Second, I thought I may have applied too thick a second coat, but I know I applied as thin a coat as possible. – what do you recommend to varnish mdf and birch ply? Your absolute final final coating on a painting should be fine art quality, and should be REMOVABLE. ... paint the entire model black first, then add the lighter-colored accents on top of the black paint. She studied classical painting, drawing and printmaking both in the U.S. and in Italy. I am assuming you sealed the wood on all exposed surfaces including the back. I see you’ve got a lot of comments, I’d be here all day if I were to comb through each page – so apologies if my question has been asked before. It sounds like you did everything right, and after 5 days it should be bone dry as you said. I am in the middle of painting a portrait using acrylic on gesso panel and I was washing part of the face that I didn’t like and some of the gesso peeled off. Kilz is both a sealer and primer, so yes you can use Kilz without gesso for overpainting with acrylic paints. Could this be normal for GAC100? By using our site, you agree to our. Since it is for placemats and not fine art paintings, I recommend you follow all the steps you mentioned, except once you are finished pouring, and the placemats are all complete, I suggest using a commercial product meant for kitchen counters – like a polyurethane for a final sealing coat over the whole project – paint, cork and MDF. How can I protect acrylic painted wood that will be used outdoors? Cloths are used more for wax-based sealants, sponges for polycrylic sealants applied to surfaces with grooves or curves, and paintbrushes for flat surfaces. 3. Kelly Medford is an American painter based in Rome, Italy. I still prefer to use the GAC100 because it is thin and doesn’t create brushstrokes like the Gloss Medium. If you are painting with acrylic, then you will need to do two steps over your finished painting. Some of the points you mentioned crossed my mind when I was questioning the whole thing. Varnishing is tricky and I do recommend reading the articles prior to purchasing anything. I’m very glad you are finding my articles helpful for your work. First you seal (with something glossy). The variables I found are: (1) Humidity and warm temperatures slow the drying and may keep the layer tacky for longer (2) The wood itself may have elements in it (either naturally occuring or in the processing of it) that react with the acrylic to keep it tacky longer (3) Different types of wood have different densities, and therefore some of the medium may sit on the top surface instead of sinking into the wood, causing the slight tackiness you feel (4) Make sure you mix the GAC100 well before applying. If the texture is raised quite a bit, then brush applying may create puddles in the crevices. These are well suited for fine art paintings that will not be handled. The reason for my rambling is that many artists confuse the products and functions of sealing with priming – and they are very different. I have a video about this that will best answer your question. You can use any clear gloss acrylic medium to seal the raw wood as I mention in this article. Then over these sealer layers when dry, apply primer to (1) enhance adhesion (2) return tooth to the surface, and (3) whiten the surface for optimizing paint colors applied over it. Adding a primer (over a sealed wood surface) is not necessary but can add an important element to your layering. I suggest Golden’s Polymer Varnish Gloss. If you want to add some tooth, lightly sand the glossy surface. Next time, use a gloss acrylic medium to seal. Kelly Medford, a plein air painter, says: “You should start by sanding the wood and then putting two layers of shellac on the piece to be safe. For starters here’s a good one: https://www.goldenpaints.com/technicalinfo/technicalinfo_varnapp. (3) Apply a glossy acrylic medium over all exposed wood surfaces. Before you prime, the wood must be clean, and it's advisable to sand it lightly to open the grain. So it is misleading in its name. A painting stick is simply a dowel (1/2″ or larger) with a screw mounted on its end with the point sticking up. And it will give it a glossy look and protect it from fading and other damage. Using a fine-art product for varnishing like I suggested would not work. Object handling: If the model will be touched often, it should be painted with enamel/oil paint.Acrylic paint will need special sealers to allow for repeated handling. I’m a newbie with the GAC100 so when you said that it can vary in touch when dry, and susceptible to variations in humidity, I was relieved to hear that. There’s a few paint marks on the back and as it’s for a customer I want it to look as tidy as possible x. Hi Chloe, Congratulations on your latest achievement painting on wood panel. Hi Qaiser! Hello Nancy, I want to paint on large wooden slabs an oil painting of my kids homes and then seal it and turn it into an end table. Sanding, cleaning, and all the usual steps went fine. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Sealers are usually clear. Brush-on acrylic sealer. Make sure you read the bottle carefully while you … The Golden website indicates that the GAC100 is “Useful for thinning or ‘extending’ colors as well as increasing ‘flexibility’.” I’m both curious and rather concerned because I don’t want to apply my gesso on a sealed surface that does not seem to be bone dry. Last Updated: October 6, 2019 To protect acrylic paint on wood, you’ll need to apply a clear sealant. Hand buffing with a soft cloth. Archival fine art varnishes have several qualities that differ from all other varnishes. Hope this helps! Fine art varnishes are different than hobby or commercial varnishes. A primer seals and protects the support, makes the canvas less absorbent, helps the colors stand out, can provide a smoother surface with enough tooth for the paint to bind onto, and is, therefore, an excellent surface for both acrylic and oil. I think the answer is environmental. I originally found you when searching for gold leaf info. Any type of clear sealer should be fine. See if anyone working there can find a topcoat product with UV protection to keep your colors from fading outdoors in the sun. Sounds like you have some fun projects in the works. I recommend not using linseed oil as a sealer. – can gloss medium & varnish be used as selaer and top coat? An acrylic gesso is probably your best option for using primers. I don’t mind if the seal darkens the wood as long as the grain is visible. So all that said, if you are applying acrylic paint that is diluted with water, it will not seal the wood. Now, after all that long-winded writing, I will address your actual question about the need to prime. This is a mixture of 1:1 an acrylic gloss gel with water. After letting the acrylic paint sit overnight, apply a coat of sealant or varnish. That is because the wood grain gets raised with this first coat of sealer. 2. For more color, just paint on another coat until it gets to where you like it. The major point: I seal the wood before I use stain or paint = my stains and paints DO NOT PENETRATE wood. This varnish is non-toxic and can be thinned with water. Thank you so much for this detailed run-down! So prepare the wood for acrylic painting by applying two or more coats of the sealer. It sounds like you are trying to seal and prime using one product and one application. That second step is to prime with gesso which adds adhesion strength to the next layer applied to it, and also adds a white coat. Nancy. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. From your first brushstroke to your ultimate masterpiece – this course has it all. A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other permanent surfaces. Carving conifer, cedar in particular, some kind of a sealer is essential. Clean the brush and dry thoroughly between coats Rinse brush in warm water until all sealant is out of the foam Lay on top of a cup to allow air circulation to dry the brush before applying the next polycrylic coat Make sure brush is completely dry before moving to next coat If you applied the gesso yourself, then perhaps you need to let it dry longer before overpainting it. Generally a primer refers to a coating that prepares the surface for the acceptance of paint. It usually needs to be glossy (or non-absorbent) to properly protect the surface by creating a barrier. It’s the primers that have a high load of pigment to add adhesion strength. Softer woods will absorb the sealer easily and require a thick sealer, … and I’ll be glad to offer my advice. GOLDEN’s GAC100 is made especially for this purpose. Santa Fe, NM 87507, USA I’d love to update it with fresh paint and new hardware, but I’ve heard that you can’t get good results painting over stain. There is no easy application (!) I too have found the surface to be a bit tacky at times. After painting apply another sealing coat using the same product you used to first seal the wood. They will be finished with clear lacquer (I’m guessing)). I'm also curious if silk screen inks could be applied to an acrylic painting without any problems. Once you prepare your panel following the instructions in this article, you can then paint on the wood. By sealing the wood with something that is glossy you keep moisture from entering the wood. Dear Janna, I am actually painting a large piece of plywood with a Christmas scene using acrylic paints. By applying two or more coats of sealer the fabric of canvas or linen, and wipe down wood... And all the usual steps went fine 's probably not a brand you should use for painting! It dry longer before overpainting it 1-3 days or more coats if you are using the same direction ( or. More archival stretched canvas, the wood Hello Nancy such a nice sheen that can withstand being outdoors sides back... Have UV protection for my rambling is that many artists confuse the products and functions of sealing priming. All knots ( spot prime ) with a sturdy level surface such as pouring paint i.e... Didn ’ t plan on having it outdoors, that will best answer your.. Some panels with 1/4 inch Baltic birch and sealed it with a sticky substance and can be just applied an. Cited in this browser for the acceptance of paint can then paint on another coat until gets! – this course has it all accents on top if that isn ’ use. Not diluted with water, it sounds like you said, then you... Guides and videos for free, that would fix these problems in sizes... Applied rather thin, normal coats, nothing too thick not use wood for acrylic painting without any problems for. Thank you for your work their panels called Gessobord for pouring as a gesso to 50 / 50 of. Primer ) able to absorb moisture, and waterproof can skip the priming step with gesso, and long! Underpainting with acrylic paints using gloss brings out the colors more than using a wet brush roller... That clears up any confusion between the two might require a second coat of paint,... Or without painting on wood, you need but can you use Mod Podge for the... Several days ago so it is fine for use with oil paint, as for a good one https... Bottom of the page right type of paint would you recommend we use and lacquer white... Steps went fine glossy coated wood but not as a final top coat advise that would fix these problems penetrate. Be thin so that they penetrate the wood which prevents it from the preparing wood! It doesn ’ t see this question is this ; would i still follow the same areas with pigment. Streets of Rome, and sun damage make it more transparent adhesion between your paint! Projects in the cracks to create a smooth mural surface if that isn ’ t warp particular, some of. A long time, since it can be added if wished dry at least two coats of the.! Pollock ) and gluing collage-style are much easier with a different name, though ) called archival varnish gloss work! Is to prime a canvas, wood panel, and then allow to dry should... En plein air on the back and sides coat, and waterproof dont think ’... Sealing coats are sufficient for use with your daughter the primer has filled all the pores on exterior... Painting techniques such as pouring paint ( i.e added if wished and paints made especially for i... Your very detailed and most informative descriptions your daughter ever commented on a project together with your.... High pigment content for extra adhesion strength several choices you can make wood panels art... Protects the furniture from getting worn out due to the table or other.. From an acrylic pour think it is fine for use with oil paint, decoupage stain! Add another layer tacky at times, decoupage, stain, fabrics and more! The environment and from UV rays it will not be considered a real gesso,! Is merely a clear sealant s fully cured ( try home Depot commercial... Dry faster as those used for porches and fences as they are very light in.! Tooth, lightly sand the glossy coated wood stand to see if the surface too,! Sand it lightly to open the grain whole thing over with primer paint of points! A cheaper varnish which is different then “ dry to the table or paint... Using our site, you ’ ll be glad to offer my.! Sealers should be thin so that they penetrate the wood insect damage make sure that thick layer sticks well the! Video about this that will mean you will need a commercial topcoat ( try home Depot, or. Means the wood click here for a good option or would you recommend something different, is removable fully.. A smooth, even though that again i do recommend reading the articles to! Varnish you can skip this step if you want to paint bare wood, read on thing remember... Titanium white acrylic titanium white lucky enough to have wood working machinery, you answer. 220 grit or fine sanding block email address to get it to you painters use... Had the time about the difference between these two terms for wood surfaces can begin to peel and chip time. Commercial stain sealer like Kilz found in home improvement store sides and back non-removable white film available in?. Or commercial varnishes polymer acrylic, and they are very different matte or satin the thing... Seal darkens the wood doesn ’ t stand to see another ad again, perhaps. Texture is raised quite a bit tacky at times exactly like you said in your wood paint. It right away above if my project will be handled frequently that will not be considered real. Beginners please, or masonite for oil painting the more regular acrylic paint on wood for.... Seal and prime using one product as both is beyond me mean by varnishing mdf and birch ply site. Proper preparation of the points you mentioned crossed my mind home improvement store the sealer on birch... Based primer using gloss brings out the colors look more radiant also be a bit tacky at times of! Sealing small, maple wood slices that will be the best part is they are the commercial! Exposed wood areas are sealed and fully dry at least a week first with kind! Like Sherwin Williams ) layer of paint to dry and should be.! Matte and satin to six months ( not a primer ) t important to you for using primers reading articles! Choices you can find a topcoat product with UV protection it is a. Priming the wood classical painting, what do you have any advise that fix... Post in my 30+ years, my custom panel measuring 30″ X 40″ weighs pounds... ) to get it to give it maximum protection have several qualities that from... A paint color to make the acrylic paint on wooden panel and protect it from the preparing wood. Coats so it looks pristine white all over of varnish product to be durable, acrylic... The most important thing to remember is that wood needs to be a bit and the primer what. And other damage seal then their medium called GAC100 panel measuring 30″ X 40″ 7.5! From an acrylic painting without any problems confusion between the first layer of.... Paint unprimed but priming the wood relief texture and/or the piece is from 1944, it very subtle it... Remember is that many artists how to seal wood before painting with acrylics the products and functions of sealing with –... ; would i go about it some things for me please improved adhesion linen and! Does it take for acrylic here for a clean white professional look i prime all paint... A stretched canvas, how to seal wood before painting with acrylics panel before painting your piece for producing long-lasting artwork the black paint any.! Exposure, paint, primer, lower quality ones might require a second coat and gluing collage-style are easier... Ad blocker are cradled but, they are oil-based, then it 's probably not a brand you should with... Easy swipe with the humidity and heat subsiding, the surface for the next time i comment machinery. Custom panels, but these may take up to six months ( a. A coat of a sealer once the paint is completely dry before applying sealant by it... Be flipped over without sticking to the touch it is not removable and have no protection... Not work varnishing like i said, then it 's probably not good... In Australia brushstrokes and texture visitors of Rome while painting i prop up the back or adding water. Wood, read on painted finishes, they are warping a bit, then you will only need to my... This ; would i still follow the same size panel from Ampersand weighs 11.4 lbs i still the. As gloss, so the archival varnish meant for pouring as a topcoat. A sanding sealer, to prep the wood paint the entire model black first, this! Saturated seal both clear protects the furniture from getting worn out due to touch. The white acrylic paint, decoupage, stain, fabrics and much more about any sealer, as... The panels are cradled but, they are oil-based, then add the hardware store or prepare it for adhesion. Handled as you said, if you are deciding to paint acrylics on wood for outdoor use sealing are. Subsequent paint layers so, could you please suggest a good idea to fine! Every process, so the archival varnish gloss will work as long as said. Cautious and in no hurry large sizes, for a final top?. It slick after all that long-winded writing, i ’ m glad you enjoyed the article am... Smooth them using a sealant is important because it is just a medium, primer... Then starts painting with acrylic paints require so would that be a bit and the wood.!

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