Rigid Panel, Oak, Birch, Masonite, (do not use pine)
Good quality large flat brush
Sand paper or metal straight edge scraper or finishing sander
RABBIT-SKIN OR HIDE GLUE:
For glue of average strength
Soak 1 ounce of glue (dry weight) over night in 12 - 16 liquid ounces water.
The glue will absorb the water and expand a great deal.
Warm soaked and softened glue in original container, do not add or remove water.
It is best to heat the glue container over warm water as in a double boiler rather than applying direct heat.
Never boil glue.
Dilute this average strength glue by half with water.
1 part warm, prepared rabbit-skin glue of average strength
1 to 1 1/2 parts filler
1. Slowly sprinkle filler of choice (artist grade chalk or gypsum) into warmed glue.
2. Allow the filler to sink in on its own. Do not throw it in all at once.
3. Add enough filler to saturate the glue.
4. VERY, VERY slowly and carefully blend them together. Slip a round brush into the mixture
and gently/ slowly move in one dirction around the container.You do not want to get air into
the mix or you will have bubbles and therefore holes in your finished surface.
5. Strain into clean container.
6. Use right away or allow to sit, it will gel. Re-heat by placing over warm water.
DO NOT KEEP HEATING IT, YOU WILL GET BUBBLES.
Gesso can be kept a few days in the refrigerator.
TECHNIQUE FOR GESSOING A PANEL:
1. Clean panel
2. "Sizeing" the panel
First coat: Apply size coat (weak glue, see above) to panel with brush, allow to dry.
Second coat: apply thin layer glue, dry over night or longer.
3. First coat: Apply thin layer of prepared gesso to dry sized panel in small patches using finger tips to rub in quickly in circular motion.
This will look messy, don’t worry about it. If the gesso starts to get tacky leave it and move on.
4. First real coat. Apply like house paint with brush running all strokes in one direction.
5. Second coat, when previous coat looses it bright shine repeat step 4 in opposite direction.
6. Continue alternating directions, apply 4 to 6 layers.
7. Dry over night
8. Sand smooth