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"The best primer!" Topic

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1,254 hits since 22 Jul 2010
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Enzedmaster Inactive Member22 Jul 2010 6:50 p.m. PST

I have used many different primers over the years (tamiya, gw, car primer) and have just tried gesso. I am absolutely stunned. No matter how much gesso I put on it dries very very thin with absolutely no lose of detail. You don't even need to thin it! Whats more, it has a certain "chalkiness" that makes the paint actually stick on the model rather than sit on top of the prime (I found this with gw). From now on I will do all my priming with gesso, I highly recommend it to everyone! Plus, it is a much cheaper alternative to spray cans and non-toxic!

Timmo uk22 Jul 2010 11:33 p.m. PST

Does it 'bite' the metal though like a proper metal primer does?

Enzedmaster Inactive Member22 Jul 2010 11:55 p.m. PST

Yep! Honestly I cannot praise it enough.

blacksmith23 Jul 2010 2:41 a.m. PST

Regretfully no Gesso where I live (Spain)

combatpainter Fezian Inactive Member23 Jul 2010 3:24 a.m. PST

Regretfully no Gesso where I live (Spain)

If you have internet, you have Gesso.

Acharnement23 Jul 2010 3:46 a.m. PST

Were you brushing it on or spraying it? I had not thought gesso was available in a spray but here it is:
Can anyone vouch for the suitability of spray gesso? Can we get the same results as the brush on stuff?

phil bagnall23 Jul 2010 3:46 a.m. PST

I have to agree entirely on this, I was converted to gesso at the beginning of this year following comments here on TMP. I'm using it to prime 10mm figures up to 40mm with no loss of detail & good grip. A tub of Rowney black gesso cost me about the same as a single can of GW black spray paint, has primed several hundred 15 & 10mm figures and is still 3/4 full. It can be used indoors with no fumes. No contest for me…

phil bagnall23 Jul 2010 4:12 a.m. PST

"Can anyone vouch for the suitability of spray gesso? Can we get the same results as the brush on stuff?"

The problem with spray priming to me is coverage – I always had to do a fair bit of brush touchup when I spray-primed, especially the recesses which i WANTED to be black. Brush-on gesso does occasionally need the odd touching in, but nothing like spray priming. Spray on gesso is probably there for artists preparing flat canvas or other surfaces – they wouldnt run into the problems we do with 3D shaped figures

RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member23 Jul 2010 4:48 a.m. PST

@ blacksmith. you'll find gesso in your friendly
local artists supply store. It is used primarilly to treat

CPBelt Inactive Member23 Jul 2010 4:51 a.m. PST

Been using it for years. I noticed that Liquitex now has plain white gesso in their Basics line and it is much cheaper than their normal bottles. I assume it's the same? No black in the basics line. You can tint gesso with Liquitex Medium or Heavy Body Artist Colors. Never tried it.

cfielitz23 Jul 2010 5:10 a.m. PST

Regretfully no Gesso where I live (Spain)

Wait a second…you live in the country that brought us El Greco, Velazquez, Goya, Dali, and Picasso, and you can't find Gesso huh?

Pat Ripley Fezian23 Jul 2010 5:24 a.m. PST

you might find its called something else in spanish perhaps yeso?
its one of those basic things that artists use to treat canvas and other materials for acrylic paints as ravenscraftcybernetics says. I've just bought some "flow extender" so i can thin my gesso for airbrushing.

Personal logo elsyrsyn Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2010 5:27 a.m. PST

I'm assuming it will work fine, since the selling point is that it dries ultra-thin, but just to be sure – has anybody tried this on 6mm figs?


WarWizard23 Jul 2010 5:28 a.m. PST

Is this something they sell at Michaels or AC Moore here in the US?

Twilight Inactive Member23 Jul 2010 5:52 a.m. PST

Is this something they sell at Michaels or AC Moore here in the US?

Yes, I bought mine from Michael's last year and can verify that it makes excellent brush on primer.

Delthos Inactive Member23 Jul 2010 6:51 a.m. PST

Wouldn't a spray on gesso kind of defeat the whole purpose of using gesso over a spray on primer in the first place? That being that the fumes from spraying aren't so good in doors and the poorer coverage in the details?

blacksmith23 Jul 2010 7:37 a.m. PST

Hum, I'll check it out in an artist supply store. I just thought Gesso was a brand and not a product :(

nycjadie Inactive Member23 Jul 2010 8:27 a.m. PST

I prefer Golden brand gesso. Great stuff. Liquitex is a bit cheaper, at least here in New York.

Cavalcade Wargames

ming31 Inactive Member23 Jul 2010 10:15 a.m. PST

Remember you should( must) let it dry completely before painting . It shrinks as it dries you can cause the paint to crack .

CeruLucifus23 Jul 2010 10:30 a.m. PST

CPBelt, Liquitex Basics is a budget line for student artists. In pigment this means less paint concentration, less finely ground pigment, and sometimes lower quality ingredients. I assumed the Basics Gesso would likewise involve some sort of compromise -- possibly it has less fine pigment, possibly it doesn't thin as well (which admittedly wouldn't matter for figures since we don't thin gesso), possibly it doesn't bind as well.

Their Acrylic Gesso isn't that expensive, why run the risk? Wait for a discount coupon at your local chain art store if you have to.

Regarding coloring gesso, you can mix paint with all the Liquitex acrylic media and the gesso is no exception. However their standard gesso is a color match for their bright white (Titanium White), so mixing color with it is like mixing with white paint. If you add black you'll get gray, add brown you'll get tan, etc. (I've tried it, also mixing with gray and black Colored Gesso; all act exactly like the color of paint they appear to be.)

Liquitex makes a Clear Gesso which is intended for sealing a prep surface over paint (for putting glazes on top, I guess). It can be mixed with pigment -- I've primed a lot of figures using clear gesso mixed with Raw or Burnt Umber -- but translucency can be a problem. I usually end up with streaks of figure showing through and have to touch up with a second application. Also clear gesso has a slightly rougher tooth than standard gesso, which bothers some people, though I've found it fine to work with (I paint mainly 28mm) and kind of like it (what's really neat is the clear streaks which look unpainted but you can feel the roughness so you know the primer is there).

I can't speak for other brands; when I started using artist's paint products, I decided to just use Liquitex. They have good literature and according to their web site, they invented acrylic paint.

Acharnement, that spray gesso from Krylon is interesting. I may try that and give up trying to get gesso to spray through my cheap airbrush.

Lord Hypnogogue Inactive Member25 Jul 2010 7:14 a.m. PST

I grew tired of varying quality and availability of spray primer, so I switched to black gesso a few months back. I love it. Wouldn't go back at gunpoint!

maninthemoon1965 Inactive Member24 Aug 2017 8:20 p.m. PST

Has anyone tried this primer….

I use to use Floquil Spray Grey Primer, which was my favorite for over 20 years and is no longer made…

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