A Step-by-Step Guide to Master the Art of Gesso on Paper

Gesso is a versatile material that can be used for many different purposes, including papercrafting. Gesso on paper can help create unique textures and designs, allowing you to add dimension and depth to your project.

To use gesso on paper, you will need some basic supplies:

  • Gesso
  • Paint brush
  • Old toothbrush (optional)
  • Paper or cardboard of choice
  • Container of water

To begin, spread the gesso onto your paper in thin layers using the paint brush. Work quickly as gesso dries fast. If you want more texture on the surface of your project, dip the old toothbrush into the container of water and lightly flick it over the gesso.Paintbrush

This will create small, speckled dots on the surface of your paper. Allow the gesso to dry before adding any additional layers or other materials such as paint or ink. With some practice you can create beautiful textures with gesso on paper that will add dimension and interest to your project!

Can you apply Gesso to Paper?

Yes, you can apply Gesso to paper. Gesso is a versatile primer that can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including paper. It serves as an opaque base coat for painting and provides an even texture for the surface. This makes it especially suitable for paper surfaces as it helps to reduce warping and buckling by providing a strong foundation.

To use gesso on paper, start by cleaning the paper with a damp cloth or brush to remove any dirt or dust particles from its surface. Then, use a foam brush or roller to apply a thin layer of gesso over the entire surface of the paper in even strokes. Allow the gesso to dry completely before applying paint or other media on top.

When applying gesso to paper, it is important to use a foam brush or roller in order to minimize the risk of air bubbles forming on the surface of the paper. Additionally, it is best to apply several thin layers of gesso rather than one thick layer in order to ensure an even texture and finish. After each layer has dried completely, you can continue adding additional layers until you achieve the desired thickness and texture.

How To Gesso Paper | Gesso Painting

Gesso can be used on many different types of paper, including watercolor paper, sketchbooks and canvas boards. It provides a great foundation for artists who want to create vibrant paintings with vibrant colors that will last for years without fading or becoming discolored. With proper care and maintenance, you can use gesso on paper to create beautiful works of art.

Why put Gesso on Paper?

Using gesso on paper has many advantages. Gesso is a white acrylic primer that provides the perfect base for painting, drawing, and other art media. Painting directly onto paper or cardstock can be difficult because the surface can absorb some of the paint’s moisture before it sets, resulting in uneven coverage and poor adhesion. Applying a layer of gesso to printable surfaces like paper helps to seal these materials, creating an even surface with increased tooth which allows better absorption of paint while preventing smudging and other damage. Additionally, using gesso on paper gives artists more flexibility when working as they can easily modify their composition without having to start from scratch. Gesso also makes it possible to create collages by allowing different layers of paper to blend together more seamlessly.

When using gesso on paper, it’s important to properly prepare the surface. Gesso comes in a variety of forms, such as thick or thin, and clear or white. Clear gesso is best for surfaces that need a subtle texture, while white gesso will provide more opacity and coverage. Before applying the gesso, make sure the surface is clean and dry. If there are any imperfections or debris present on the paper, use sandpaper to lightly scuff them away before adding the primer. Then apply the gesso with a brush or roller in even strokes until the entire surface is covered. Allow it to sit for 24 hours before painting or drawing on top.

Gesso is a great way to add texture and stability to paper for any art project. Preparing the surface beforehand will make sure that the gesso is applied properly and provides the best results for your work. With the right materials, you can create beautiful works of art with ease!

How do you prepare Paper for Gesso?

Before applying gesso to paper, it is important to prepare the surface. Start with clean paper that is free from debris and dirt. If desired, lightly sand the paper for an even smoother finish before applying gesso. When working with large pieces of paper, use a brayer to apply gesso more smoothly and evenly over the entire piece. Once the paper is prepared, add a thin layer of gesso using a brush or sponge in gentle circular motions until completely covered. Allow the first layer to dry completely before adding additional layers as needed. For best results, always let each layer dry thoroughly before adding another one on top. This will ensure that your project won’t have any bubbles or lumps after being finished!

Do u have to apply Gesso on Paper before painting acrylic?

Yes, it is recommended to apply gesso on paper before painting with acrylics. This will provide a good base for the paint and help the colors to remain vibrant. Gesso is an acrylic-based primer that helps create a smoother surface for your artwork. Applying a thin layer of gesso allows you to get even coverage and prepare the surface of your paper for accepting paint without soaking in too much color. When using gesso on paper, make sure to use long strokes and apply several thin layers rather than one thick coat. Allowing each layer to dry completely before applying the next one will ensure that your prepared surface won’t become uneven or lumpy. Once you have finished prepping your canvas with gesso, your paper will be ready to paint. Enjoy creating with all the vibrant colors of acrylics!

How long does Gesso take to dry on Paper?

When using Gesso on paper, the drying time depends on several factors such as humidity, thickness of the Gesso layer, and the type of paint used. It is recommended to wait at least 2 hours before applying any other medium over Gesso on paper. If you are in a particularly humid environment, it may take even longer for your project to dry completely. It is best to allow ample time for the project to dry properly before attempting additional layers or painting. Additionally, if you are layering multiple coats of Gesso, give each coat enough time to fully dry before adding more layers. This will help ensure that your project looks its best and gives the desired coverage.Paintbrush

If you’re in a hurry, there are certain techniques you can use to speed up the drying time of Gesso on paper. You can use a blow dryer or heat gun set to low/medium heat and wave it over the paper for a few seconds at a time. This will help evaporate the water from the Gesso more quickly. Be sure not to leave the blow dryer in one spot too long, as this can damage your project. Another option is using an industrial fan pointed toward your project, which will circulate air around it and aid in speeding up the drying process.

No matter which technique you choose, always make sure that your Gesso has plenty of time to fully dry before attempting any additional layers or painting on top. This will help ensure that your project looks its best and gives you the desired coverage and finish.

For more information on Gesso, check out our website for resources such as tutorials, tips, techniques, and more! We hope this guide helps with all of your Gesso projects!

Should you Gesso both sides of Paper?

When using gesso on paper, it is important to consider which side you are gessoing – the front or back. If you are using gesso on both sides of the paper, make sure to put a thin layer of gesso on each side and allow it to dry before adding any additional layers. This will help ensure that the finished product looks even and professional. When putting down a thick layer of gesso, make sure not to put too much pressure as this could cause the paper to warp or tear. After applying your first layer of gesso, wait until it is completely dry before applying the next one. Doing this will also give you control over how much coverage you want for your project. Finally, be sure to prime the edges of the paper with gesso as well, since this area often gets overlooked. This will help seal the project and give it a more finished look.

What is Gesso? How To Use Gesso + Why It's Important For Sketchbooks & Paintings!

If you are using gesso on only one side of the paper, make sure to put a thin layer on that side first. This will provide an even base for your artwork to start from. If you want additional coverage, then add another layer after drying time has passed. As with applying a thicker layer of gesso over multiple sides of the paper, be sure to prime the edges evenly for best results.

Overall, whether you are using gesso on both sides or just one side of your paper project, taking the extra steps to prime the paper will not only give your artwork a more professional look but also help protect it from damage over time.

Do you have to let Gesso dry?

Yes, it is important to let the gesso dry before adding any other layers. Gesso can be applied directly onto paper or canvas and will typically take about 60 minutes to completely dry. If you are working on a large area with several layers of gesso, you may want to wait longer for each layer to fully dry before moving onto the next one. You can use a hairdryer set on low heat (no more than 90 degrees) to speed up the drying process. Additionally, if you are using an airbrush or spray gun application of gesso, make sure that there is adequate ventilation in your work area since it may contain harmful fumes. After your project has dried you can then begin painting or drawing on your surface. Enjoy!

Are you supposed to add water to Gesso?

No, you do not need to add water to Gesso. It is a ready-to-use product that can be applied directly from the container or with a brush or roller. However, if you prefer a thinner consistency and easier application, you can thin Gesso with distilled water or an acrylic medium such as glazing liquid. To thin it out, simply add small amounts of either of these materials until you achieve the desired consistency and apply it like normal. Make sure to stir well when adding any liquids so that everything is evenly distributed within the gesso. Using Gesso on paper has many benefits such as providing a better surface for paint adhesion and creating a smoother finish for your finished art piece. With proper application, it can help to preserve your artwork and make it more vibrant over time. So, if you plan on using Gesso on paper for your project, remember that adding water is not necessary but may give you the desired effects!

Happy creating! 🙂

What is the best way to apply Gesso?

Gesso is a white paint mixture that is used to make paper more durable and to prime it for painting. To effectively apply Gesso on paper, you should ensure that the surface of the paper is clean and free from dust or other particles before starting.

The best way to apply Gesso on paper is by using a brush or roller. Use long, smooth strokes and avoid going over an area multiple times as this can cause uneven coverage. You may need to do two coats of gesso depending on the type of paint you will use later. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next coat.

When you are finished applying Gesso, it is important that you allow your paper to dry completely before you start any painting. Make sure to seal the paper with a layer of matte varnish after your project is finished in order to protect it from dirt and moisture.Paintbrush

With proper preparation and technique, Gesso can provide a great foundation for your painting projects on paper. After applying Gesso, you will be ready to create beautiful art with ease!

How do you seal Paper before painting?

Gesso is a great way to seal paper before painting. It creates an opaque, semi-gloss layer that helps prevent the paint from soaking through and damaging the paper. The best way to use Gesso on paper is to apply several thin layers with a brush or palette knife. Start by brushing on a thin layer of Gesso over the entire surface area of the paper, then let it dry completely. Repeat this process until you have built up enough of a protective layer for your desired effect. You can also add additional layers of colored Gesso if desired. Finally, when you are ready to start painting, make sure that all surfaces are clean and free from any debris or dust so that your colors will remain bright and vibrant. Have fun creating!

How long should you leave Gesso before painting?

When using Gesso on paper, it is important to allow the primer to dry completely before continuing with your art project. Depending on the thickness of the coat and environmental conditions like temperature and humidity, this could take anywhere from several hours to overnight. If you are in a rush, try using a hairdryer on the lowest heat setting to speed up the drying process. Make sure that all areas are totally dry before applying paint or other finishes.

Additionally, make sure you use a good quality brush when applying Gesso and always start at one edge of your paper, working away from you in smooth strokes until you have evenly covered the entire surface. Avoid applying too thick of coats as this can lead to cracking or bubbling when the Gesso is drying. If you would like to achieve a more textured finish, add some sand or other granules to the Gesso before application.

Make Your Canvas SMOOTHER Than Paper

When using Gesso on paper, it is important to be patient and allow ample time for drying in between each layer and coat. This will ensure that your project looks great and that it lasts long enough to enjoy!

Is Gesso just white paint?

No, Gesso is not just white paint. It is a special type of acrylic primer used to prepare surfaces for painting, such as paper or canvas. It has a thicker consistency than regular paint and dries quickly. The main purpose of Gesso is to provide tooth and adhesion to the surface so that other media (e.g., oil paints) will adhere better. Additionally, it can be tinted with colorants to create a colored base coat on which further layers of paint can then be applied.

How do you prepare Paper for acrylic painting?

When preparing paper for acrylic painting, it is important to create a layer of adhesion between the paint and surface. This can be done by using Gesso, a primer which provides the necessary adherence for acrylics to properly adhere to the paper.

To apply Gesso on paper, use a wide soft brush or roller and cover the entire page in an even coat. You may need to apply multiple thin coats until you have achieved an even consistency throughout the page. Allow each layer of gesso to dry before applying additional layers.

If you are using a canvas instead of paper, start with rough side of the canvas up and lightly sand the canvas with fine grit sandpaper in order to make sure that it is properly rough enough so that the Gesso will adhere. Then, use a large brush and apply Gesso to the canvas in even strokes until it is completely covered. Allow the first layer of Gesso to dry before applying additional coats if necessary.

Once your paper or canvas has been prepared with Gesso, allow it to dry completely before beginning your acrylic painting project. Now you are ready to start expressing yourself with your art! Enjoy!

Do you have to sand after Gesso?

Yes, it’s important to sand the surface after applying Gesso to paper. This helps to remove any bumps or imperfections in the Gesso and ensure a smooth, even finish. It also gives your artwork a more professional look. When sanding, use a very fine-grit sandpaper and lightly go over the entire area until it is completely smooth. If you are using acrylic paints with the Gesso, be sure to use very light strokes when sanding so as not to damage the paint beneath it. Once finished, wipe away any dust particles that have been left behind with a damp cloth before continuing with your project.

Is Gesso the same as primer?

Gesso and primer are both used to prepare a surface for painting, but they are not the same. Gesso is made from a combination of white pigment (usually chalk or titanium dioxide) and an acrylic polymer emulsion with additives that give it its texture. Primer is usually latex-based, and is designed specifically to provide a base coat layer on top of which paint can adhere better. Gesso tends to be more rigid than primer, so it’s often used as a thicker base coat over which paints can be applied. It also helps add texture to the finished painting and provides protection against moisture, dirt, and other elements.

Gesso is widely used in mixed media art projects because it creates a smooth and archival surface that works well with both acrylic and oil paints. Gesso also helps to block out watercolor paper fibers, so the colors of your painting won’t become muddied.

Should I Gesso Paper before painting?

Yes, it is generally recommended to gesso a paper before painting on it. This provides a smooth surface for painting and helps the colors adhere better to the paper. Applying Gesso also prevents the paint from seeping through the paper and onto other surfaces, as well as sealing in any underlying textures or patterns that could affect your final painting.

To apply Gesso to paper, you’ll need some clean rags or sponges and some water. Start by laying down a few layers of newspaper beneath the paper, then wet one side of a rag or sponge with water. Next, pour a small amount of Gesso onto your palette and apply it to the dampened side of your rag or sponge. Gently rub the Gesso into the paper in a circular motion, trying to evenly distribute it over the entire surface. Once all of the paper is covered, let it dry for at least an hour before adding your paint.

If you want to add additional layers of Gesso for extra protection or texture, wait until each layer has completely dried before applying another one. With enough layers and care, you can create a sturdy canvas that will keep your painting safe from wear and tear for years to come!Paintbrush

Note: It’s important not to use too much water when applying Gesso as this could cause it not to stick properly or lead to warping or dampness in the paper. When working on thicker papers, you may need to use more Gesso and extra layers for added protection.

Happy painting!

How many layers of Gesso should I use?

The number of layers you should use is subjective and depends on the desired effect. If you are looking for a thick, dimensional finish, it is best to use multiple layers of gesso. Begin by applying two coats with a brush or roller. Allow each layer to dry before adding another. Depending on the type and brand of Gesso you can apply up to 5-6 layers for a thicker finish. For paper art that does not need as much thickness, one coat may be enough depending on your preference.

When using Gesso on paper, remember that some papers are more prone to buckling or warping than others when wet media or additional layers are applied. To reduce this risk, make sure to apply Gesso in light coats and allow each layer to dry thoroughly before adding another. It is also important to choose a paper grade that is thick enough for the layers of Gesso you would like to apply.

How I Apply Gesso on Paper to Paint With Oils. Cesar Santos vlog 094

Gesso can be used with many different art mediums, such as acrylic paint, oil paint, ink and even watercolor. To get the best results from your project, make sure to test out any products you are using on a separate sheet or piece of scrap paper before applying them to your artwork. This will help you get an idea of how they will look and feel when applied.

Good luck! Have fun creating with Gesso on paper! 🙂

How do you stretch Paper for Gesso?

Stretching paper for gesso is an important step to ensure that your canvas remains flat and won’t buckle under the weight of the gesso and paint. To stretch the paper, begin by taping it down onto a firm surface with masking tape or artist’s tape. Make sure to leave at least 2 inches of extra paper around each side so that you can fold it over onto the back. Once your paper is securely attached, use a sponge brush to gently apply water across its surface until it is damp but not soggy. Allow the paper to dry until it’s slightly cooler than room temperature before folding the sides over and securing them in place with more tape. Finally, allow the stretched canvas to fully dry overnight before applying gesso. By stretching your paper, you will ensure that it remains flat and won’t buckle or ripple under the weight of the gesso and other materials. Doing this will create a strong base for your artwork.

How do you apply Gesso to Paper?

Once you have stretched your paper, it is ready to accept the gesso. Start by adding an even layer of gesso across the surface of your canvas. You can use a brush or palette knife for this task, depending on which application method works best for you. Make sure to cover the entire surface evenly so that there are no gaps or thin spots in the layer of gesso. Allow the first coat of gesso to dry before adding the second coat. For a more durable surface, you can add several layers of gesso until the desired opacity and texture is achieved. Once dry, your paper is ready for painting or drawing!

Gesso can be used on any type of paper surface, including canvas, watercolor, and illustration board. With proper stretching and application techniques, it will create a strong base for your artwork that won’t buckle or ripple under heavier materials like oil paints. Now that you know how to use gesso on paper let the creative process begin! Have fun creating beautiful pieces of art with this versatile medium!

Environmental Protection & Energy Saving

Gesso is an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient alternative to traditional painting methods. It helps reduce the amount of water and oil used in the production process, eliminating harmful gases and chemicals that are released into the atmosphere. Gesso also requires less energy to dry than other paints, allowing you to complete your projects faster while saving energy. Gesso is also a great way to reduce the amount of waste created by painting as it can be reused many times before needing to be replaced! To get started with using gesso on paper, make sure you have all the supplies necessary for a successful project. You’ll need gesso, a brush or roller, sandpaper or steel wool for surface preparation, paper or canvas board for painting, and a container to store the gesso in. If you plan on using other mediums with your gesso, such as watercolors or acrylic paints, be sure to have those on hand as well.

Once you have all your supplies ready, start by prepping the surface of the paper or canvas board that you are going to paint on. Use sandpaper or steel wool to make sure the surface is even and free from any bumps or rough areas that could affect how well your painting turns out. Next, pour some gesso into a container and mix it with water until you reach the desired consistency. Dip your brush or roller into the mixture and begin applying it evenly onto the paper or canvas board. Make sure to cover the entire surface with a thin coat of gesso, letting it dry completely before applying additional coats.

Now that your paper or canvas board is prepped and ready to go, you can begin adding color and other mediums to your painting. Gesso works well as a base for any type of paint or drawing material, so feel free to use whatever you’d like! If you’re having trouble getting the desired effect, try experimenting with different brushes and techniques to get the results you want. Once you’ve finished your project, make sure to give the gesso enough time to dry thoroughly before storing it away in its container. This will help preserve its integrity and ensure that it remains usable for future projects.

How to prep your paper before painting with Acrylics – Gesso

Gesso is a great option for artists and crafters alike who are looking to save energy and protect the environment. It’s an easy and efficient way to get your painting project done quickly, without having to worry about waste or energy consumption. Plus, it can be reused multiple times before needing to be replaced, making it an economic choice too! Next time you’re planning on using gesso on paper or canvas board, just remember these few simple steps and you’ll be sure to have success with your project!

Safety Tips

  • Always wear protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses, and a face mask while using Gesso.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling dust particles or fumes.
  • Avoid contact with skin and eyes when handling Gesso. If contact occurs, wash thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Keep Gesso away from children and pets.

Basic Terms

Before you get started, let’s quickly run through some basic terms associated with using gesso on paper.

Gesso is a paint-like substance that is used to prime surfaces for painting or drawing. It’s usually made from gypsum, chalk, pigment and an acrylic medium like PVA glue.

The primary purpose of gesso when used on paper is to create an even surface that provides the best support for your artwork. By adding multiple layers of gesso to your paper, it can also create a texture which can be useful when you want to add more depth or texture to your artworks.Paintbrush

Once you have applied a few coats of gesso to your paper and let it dry, you are ready to start painting or drawing.

Best Practices

When using Gesso on paper, it is important to follow best practices to achieve the desired results. Here are a few tips for applying Gesso:

  1. Always make sure your paper is clean and dry before applying gesso. This will ensure that the gesso adheres properly to the paper surface.
  2. Begin with a thin layer of Gesso, and let it dry completely before adding any additional coats of Gesso.
  3. Use a foam brush or other soft brush to apply the Gesso in even strokes across the entire page surface, being careful not to leave ridges or streaks behind.
  4. If you plan on painting over the Gesso, apply several layers until you achieve an even surface.
  5. Allow each coat of Gesso to dry completely before adding additional coats. This will help ensure that the gesso adheres properly to the paper and has a smooth finish.
  6. Once your Gesso is completely dry, lightly sand it with fine-grade sandpaper for a very smooth surface if desired.

Following these simple steps will help you get the most out of using Gesso on paper and create amazing artwork! Good luck!


How do I prepare the paper for Gesso?

Before beginning, make sure to trim the paper to your desired size. Preparing the surface is key to a successful application. To do this, apply a layer of gesso primer and allow it to dry completely before adding any artwork or colors. This will ensure that the Gesso has something to adhere to and won’t just be sitting on top of the paper. You can also sand down any parts of your paper you would like to be smoother.

Do I need to use a special brush when applying Gesso?

Yes! Using a stiff bristle brush, such as one made of natural fiber hair, is best for applying Gesso. This will help you achieve an even and consistent coat of Gesso. Make sure to always clean your brush after using it with Gesso, as the paint can harden and make the bristles unusable if not cared for properly.

How much Gesso do I need to apply?

Depending on the look you are trying to achieve, it may take multiple coats of Gesso for the desired effect. Generally a light layer is best, and building up from there until you achieve your desired coverage. If you find that the paper becomes too stiff or rigid with multiple layers, try applying an acrylic medium between each one in order to keep flexibility in the paper surface.

Is Gesso waterproof?

No, Gesso is not waterproof. If you are looking for something that can withstand water exposure, try using an acrylic medium instead. This will give you the protection and flexibility needed for pieces that may come in contact with moisture.


Gesso is an incredibly versatile medium that can be used in a variety of ways. Whether you’re using it to prime paper for painting, create texture, add dimension to collage pieces or simply use as a decorative element—gesso can help take your artwork to the next level. Just remember to always start with a thin layer and build up if needed! With practice and experimentation you’ll find endless possibilities with gesso on paper. So get creative and have fun!






2 responses to “A Step-by-Step Guide to Master the Art of Gesso on Paper”

  1. John Doe Avatar
    John Doe

    What is the best brand of gesso to use?

    1. admin Avatar

      It really depends on personal preference, but some popular brands include Liquitex, Golden, and Winsor & Newton.