Priming a canvas or a wood panel

I do not recommend using acrylic “Gesso” for priming a canvas or panel for painting in oils. Gesso is an Italian name for Gypsum, which is never used in acrylic dispersion grounds.

I recommend using a lead oil ground made by Rublev specifically for canvas supports. It contains ground calcite, a high concentration of white pigments and linseed oil to make a paint film that is flexible and tough, creating an excellent foundation to accept paint layers. It also provides some leveling, so brush marks are minimized. Rublev lead Alkyd ground is made specifically for rigid supports, like ACM or wood panels.


Stir well before using. Brush the first coat of Rublev Colours Lead Oil Ground evenly across the canvas or panel using a bristle brush. Remove any excess and smooth the surface with a brush or palette knife. Let it dry completely to hard dry. Repeating the process by applying another coat. Allow the canvas or panel to dry thoroughly before painting. Use the fingernail test to check if your panel is dry before applying a second coat. Press your fingernail into the surface, if it leaves a mark, wait for it to harden longer. Wait at least two weeks for the primer to harden before beginning to paint.

Do wear gloves and protective clothing when apply lead ground. Avoid getting it on your skin. Allow the canvas/panel to dry in a dust-free environment, preferably in a closet. Do note that in colder weather it will take longer to dry.

Clean brushes with odorless mineral spirits and then wash your brushes after with Murphy’s soap and rinse thoroughly.

Related Articles


Comments are closed.