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Prime Canvas for Painting

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Learn how to prime canvas! Make your own canvas. It can be fun and save you some money too.

You will need the following materials to prime 

  • your homemade stretched canvas:
  • Acrylic Gesso
  • A Paint Brush
  • Palette Paper (or a paper plate)
  • Sandpaper

You can follow the pictures or watch the video at end of this lesson to see how to prime your canvas.

Prime Your Own Canvas - Materials


Step 1

First, shake your Gesso really well, then pour it onto your palette paper (or paper plate). Grab your paint brush, saturate it in the Gesso, then paint away on the canvas.

Prime Your Own Canvas - Gesso

Step 2

Let the Gesso dry on the canvas. This can take  anywhere from 20-40 minutes. If you want to speed up the drying process, use a hairdryer to dry the Gesso on the canvas. When the Gesso is dry, use your sandpaper to make the canvas surface smooth.

Prime Your Own Canvas - Sanding

Step 3

Now it's time to stretch the canvas material over the stretcher bars. Pull one side over and staple it to the bar. Then turn the canvas over and pul the canvas material tightly, pull it over, and staple to the other side. Repeat this step on the opposite sides.

Prime Your Own Canvas  - Finished

That's it! You're finished! Congratulations! Enjoy painting on your very own canvas.

Check out this video to learn how to prime your canvas

Priming a Canvas with Pamela Wang

Once your canvas is dry you are ready to paint on it with oil paints or acrylic paints.

Have Fun Painitng!

How to make your own canvas at

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