Gesso a canvas halp halp!

NNemo

Triple Actioner
Hello i recently tried putting on acrylic gesso on 2 canvasas, a big one and a small one.
I am not happy with the finish product even after sanding it somewhat smooth, there is still alot of cratters and lines in the canvas from applying it with a scrapper.

Should I apply gesso through a spray gun, like 1to1 with water?

The gesso i tried was liquitex acrylic gesso, and it doesnt sand very good cause its like a rubber when dry. halp halp
 
Spray gun is good problem is the canvas will still give a pitted finish, you can layer up and sand back but that is a HUGE amount of work. Sprayed finish conforms very closely to the material it's sprayed on. I apply my gesso on my paper with my airbrush and it's good but it is being sprayed onto a smooth surface and the same could be said for the MDF board.
 
Out of interest why use canvas? Bit of an outdated substrate, especially for airbrushing. Many buy it thinking its a bit cheaper but it makes you work hard to get good results. perhaps consider trying some MDF Board painted base white or whatever color base you want, its much more forgiving, structurally sound unlike canvas and you get a super smooth surface. Considering its about $10 a sheet and you get 2-3 substrates out of it it is a very cheap option..On the canvas aspect, I assume the canvas is super tight, if not they generally give you wedges to retighten it as the cheaper canvas is as loose as and loosns more the longer it sits on a shelf and not that good for gesso or painting as the constant movement will lead to cracks (Cheap canvas isnt great to paint on in any medium), it needs to be as tight as a drum if not tighter. But I know some may like to use it specifically for the texture effect and that makes sense but spending so much time gessoing canvas to be suitably smooth for some airbrush desire, there are much better alternatives to use, best of luck...
 
Ive put gesso down on matte board before (which is similarly textured) and havent had any issues. I apply liberally with a brush and then smooth it out with a mudding knife (6" or 12" ) much like mudders do on drywall. I havent sprayed gesso but what markjthomson said I think is spot on.
 
Ive sprayed it, brushed it, squegeed it And what have you. Liquitex shouldnt give too much trouble sanding,,, however if you want a smooth canvas squeegee is the way to go, however i agree with @RebelAir , gesso on hardboard is far better than canvas unless you just want the lightweight or textured aspect.
And cheap enough i even make some up for the kids (they like to brush paint on canvas)
I buy 4x8 sheets for 12 bucks and have the local lowes cut 4 24x32 pieces and one long 12 inch piece and cut down from there. I prime it, a couple spray coats of gesso and it sands down in minutes. Eighth inch thick is pretty light and as portable as a canvas.
 
I don't know why you want to use canvas and then get rid of the texture. Then you can just gesso a piece of hardboard as been mentioned. The reason I use canvas is for the texture. I use either watercolour- or synthetic canvas because it has very fine texture.

Here are samples

Normal
canvas_classic.jpg

Fredrix watercolour canvas
canvas_frederix_wc.jpg

Synthetic canvas
canvas_synthetic.jpg
 
I don't know why you want to use canvas and then get rid of the texture. Then you can just gesso a piece of hardboard as been mentioned. The reason I use canvas is for the texture. I use either watercolour- or synthetic canvas because it has very fine texture.

Here are samples

Normal
View attachment 37798

Fredrix watercolour canvas
View attachment 37799

Synthetic canvas
View attachment 37800
That synthetic looks really nice. Ive not mastered airbrushing on canvas but it can be a very nice look.
 
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