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Uncommon Grounds Acrylic Dispersion Grounds: a.k.a. Gesso

9 thoughts on “Uncommon Grounds Acrylic Dispersion Grounds: a.k.a. Gesso”

    • Hi Mary –

      No, it would not cause any problems. It will make the gesso a little less absorbent and likely a touch less opaque if applied thinly, but in terms of adhesion, flexibility, etc, you should be fine.

    • Hello, Féline.
      We have yet to do formal testing of oils on aluminum panels, but for interior applications, you have several options to start the process. Commercial primers, called DTM, or “Direct to Metal” primers are a good start. These bonding primers will state their use and preparatory instructions to increase adhesion. XIM brand makes several DTM bonding primers you can use, including UMA (Urethane Modified Acrylic) and one called 400 White. You can also use alkyd primers such as those sold by Sherwin Williams and Ben Moore. These primers can be applied, allowed to cure, and then acrylic gesso may be used prior to oil painting. There shouldn’t be anything in the oil that causes issues over the primers and base aluminum panels that we are aware of. We do plan on doing some testing to verify this, at some point in the future!
      – Mike Townsend

  1. For those of us that are not technical and are just beginning, I wish people would answer a question with a simple yes or no. lol

    Can I use Pebeo Bindex, acrylic binder, to prime a wood panel for oil painting? YES or No.

    Thanks in advance for simplicity!

    • Unfortunately, we do not have a quick yes or no whether this can be used as a ground for oil paints, as we are not familiar with this product, nor have we ever tested this product. You might consider contacting Pebeo and see if they recommend it in this application.

      We hope this helps!

  2. Hi! I was wondering if I could get some clarification on tooth. From reading this (“A toothy surface has adequate micro-texture to allow a subsequent coating to physically conform to that texture.”) I take away that the tooth is on a microscopic level and not necessarily a tactile observation. I’ve heard a few painters remark that a gesso that is “slick” to the touch doesn’t have enough tooth to adhere the paint, but is this confusing what tooth actually is? I’ve heard that the Golden acrylic gesso is slicker than others, but is it still toothy on a microscopic level? Thank you!

    • Hello Tony,

      appologies for our late reply. We have already communicated this trhough the MITRA Forum, but for the sake of other readers here the same reply: A toothy surface isn’t necessarily rough to the touch. On a microscopic level a matte surface shows a fairly toothy terrain. In terms of adhesion even a glossy acrylic underpainting or clear primer will work fine for oils. Acrylic dispersions form relatively porous films and linseed oil can sink into the microscopic pores and anchor. The question of what type of acrylic or oil primer to use is really dependent on personal preference. My colleague Greg Watson wrote a nice article about working with oils over GOLDEN Gesso here: https://justpaint.org/differentiating-between-acrylic-gesso-and-williamsburg-oil-ground/

      Mirjam Hintz


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