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"Do You Use Gesso?" Topic

48 Posts

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24 Mar 2017 12:49 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

1,016 hits since 29 Sep 2016
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian29 Sep 2016 4:13 p.m. PST

When painting wargaming models, do you use Gesso?

Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 4:17 p.m. PST

Yes, yes I do. Gray Liquitex gesso.

TiberiusAugustus Inactive Member29 Sep 2016 4:20 p.m. PST

Yes almost exclusively. Although I may need to replace mine, had it a few years and now it seems to not take hold as well as it used to.

ecaminis Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 4:35 p.m. PST

no use spray paint that is for palstics

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 4:36 p.m. PST

Yes, unless I am painting plastics then spray.

Personal logo svsavory Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 4:48 p.m. PST

I prefer spray primer, but if the weather is too humid or too cold to spray, then I use Liquitex gesso.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 4:50 p.m. PST

Yes, for soft plastic figures.

45thdiv29 Sep 2016 4:54 p.m. PST

I tried it a month ago and was not impressed. The bucket has become a door stop. I prefer spray primer. I just spray a lot of stuff in advance on nice days. I may not have much painted, but I have a lot primed.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 5:26 p.m. PST

I used to but not any more.

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 5:43 p.m. PST

Am going to try spray gesso on my next batch of soft plastics

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 5:47 p.m. PST

Question – Is gesso flexible when dry?


377CSG Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 5:58 p.m. PST

Always use and works fine on metal and plastics.

chuck05 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Sep 2016 6:17 p.m. PST

Yes. I switched a couple of years ago and never looked back.

Desert Fox29 Sep 2016 6:23 p.m. PST

Yes, for a few years now. Both metal and plastics.

VonTed29 Sep 2016 6:23 p.m. PST


Syrinx029 Sep 2016 6:29 p.m. PST

When I didn't own an airbrush, yes. Now days very rarely.

Oberlindes Sol LIC29 Sep 2016 6:35 p.m. PST

I just use spray primer.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 6:37 p.m. PST

Yes, I use it as an undercoat for both 25/28mm and 15mm metal figures. My son has used it for both 28mm metal and plastic figures. Seems to work well if you let it dry and cure for at least 24 hours before putting paint on it. And we always brush it.


The G Dog Fezian Inactive Member29 Sep 2016 6:48 p.m. PST

Just used it on a Shapeways 1/144 Black, Strong and Flexible model with great results. Really helped prepare the surface for painting – in this case as good or better than my typical coats of gloss coat followed by gray primer.

rmaker29 Sep 2016 7:08 p.m. PST


Personal logo The Nigerian Lead Minister Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 7:15 p.m. PST

Once. So no, not anymore.

recon35 Inactive Member29 Sep 2016 7:43 p.m. PST


Cyrus the Great29 Sep 2016 8:15 p.m. PST


SultanSevy29 Sep 2016 8:39 p.m. PST

Yep.. all the time.

CeruLucifus29 Sep 2016 9:00 p.m. PST

Yes switched to exclusively Liquitex Gesso (white), Gray Gesso, Black Gesso, Clear Gesso. I brush on or when I need to spray I airbrush it. No fumes. Cleans up with water.

It is true it gets harder if allowed to cure at least overnight.

It is flexible. Its original use was for priming canvas after all.

Do not dilute. If you apply it full strength it shrinks as it cures and does not obscure detail. If you dilute it, as it shrinks there will be bare spots and you'll need to touch up.

Personal logo x42brown Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 9:12 p.m. PST

Not anymore might use it again for soft plastic and some resins but spray cans the usual nowadays.


nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Sep 2016 11:20 p.m. PST

No. Walmart flat black. 97 cents a can.

Atomic Floozy29 Sep 2016 11:47 p.m. PST

I use it all of the time.

PatrickWR29 Sep 2016 11:55 p.m. PST

Gess, gess I do.

steamingdave4730 Sep 2016 12:03 a.m. PST

Yes, on all sorts of models from 1/3000 metal to 1/72 plastic kits. Bought a £7.00 GBP bottle of acrylic white gesso 3 years ago, haven't used half of it yet. With smaller scale models, I tend to dilute it and use two thin coats. No problems seen with any of my models as yet, paint sticks well to the gesso. Used to use matte white car spray primer, but had to take trays of figures ourdoors to do it and the smell lingered for ages afterwards. With gesso I can do 1 or 20 figures anytime, not constrained by English weather and no complaints from SWMBO. about stinky fumes (although I have to make sure windows are opened in my study if using UHU, plastic cement or Araldite, all of which offend her sensitive nose)

TamsinP30 Sep 2016 3:12 a.m. PST

I have done for several projects and will do for any additions to those armies. I used Liquitex grey.

I've largely switched to Vallejo surface primer now, run through the airbrush.

B6GOBOS Inactive Member30 Sep 2016 3:55 a.m. PST

Yes, use it to prime all my figures. Use black gesso and then highlight it with white paint. Get the best of both worlds. Used to us spray paint to prime but too wasteful.

Curious why those who have said used to use gesso now say they do not?

Personal logo Dervel Supporting Member of TMP Fezian30 Sep 2016 4:38 a.m. PST

For soft plastics and sometimes resins or difficult surfaces..

Rakkasan30 Sep 2016 5:12 a.m. PST


Karellian Knight30 Sep 2016 5:17 a.m. PST

I don't know what gesso is. Therefore I have not used it.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2016 5:48 a.m. PST

No problems seen with any of my models as yet, paint sticks well to the gesso.

I use it in the few instances I can't use a proper primer. The issue isn't how well paint adheres to the gesso, rather how well the gesso adheres to the surface. Sorry, but it's nowhere near as good as an oil based primer.

Curious why those who have said used to use gesso now say they do not?

Because an acrylic based chaulk suspension doesn't adhere to metal or plastic as well as a dedicated surface primer. Gesso is designed to prep porous surfaces, like canvas.

Spray a primer on a figure, and paint gesso on another. Wait 24 hours and then rub your finger on the surface. You'll see.

I still use gesso and it has some applications, especially during poor weather. But I can't pretend it's the same as a dedicated primer.

boy wundyr x Inactive Member30 Sep 2016 6:52 a.m. PST

Yes, though I need to find a local source for Liquitex grey as my current bottle is nearing the end.

Personal logo Scott MacPhee Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2016 7:45 a.m. PST

I tried Gesso once, but I found that if I painted it on thin, it did not work to prep the figure. If I painted it on thick, it obscured details. I stick with my cheap Walmart rattle cans for priming figures.

GurKhan30 Sep 2016 7:48 a.m. PST

Gess, gess I do.

I gess not.

Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2016 9:23 a.m. PST

I make flags out of metal foil. I used gesso once as a primer base, painted the flag, and when I tried to add furls, the gesso cracked and took the paint with it. Never had that problem with spray primers.

HidaSeku Inactive Member30 Sep 2016 10:56 a.m. PST

No, but I want to try it, I gess.

KSmyth30 Sep 2016 2:34 p.m. PST

Not often, but sometimes. I use Liquitex brush on.

Tiberius30 Sep 2016 3:08 p.m. PST

Always Australian made artist paints

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2016 3:26 p.m. PST

I used it for years, but found Vallejo and AK surface primers gave me a smoother, thinner base. I still use it on buildings and terrain. Sticking to the figures was never an issue for me.

14Bore30 Sep 2016 4:34 p.m. PST

White brush on gesso
Have also used it as paper whiteout

ced110604 Oct 2016 5:29 a.m. PST

I've used it as post-apoc sidewalk texture, and sometimes as glue for basing!

VicCina Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2016 2:37 p.m. PST

Yes all the time. It's especially great during the winter months here in Oregon. I don't have to stand in my garage when it's cold to try a spray prime my figures.

Rollo the Cat Inactive Member26 Jun 2017 10:44 a.m. PST


last time I used a spray primer I got fuzzy, lumpy results on 300 figures. They had to be washed and scrubbed in Pine Sol for hours and hours. I will NEVER use spray primer again.

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