Cheap Painting Surfaces

by Shannon Bridgeman
(Macon, Georgia)

Oil (linseed/safflower thinner) on Masonite

Oil (linseed/safflower thinner) on Masonite

I have used masoninte board as a cheap painting surface. Masonite is the brown compressed board (some have little holes, like for hanging tools), usually with a shiny surface on one side and an unfinished surface on the other. Masonite is not very heavy and I usually get the store I buy it at to cut a 4 foot by 8 foot piece into smaller sizes for me. A 4' x 8' piece is under $20.00. I use two coats of Kiltz primer to prep the shiny side surface. I have used masonite for acrylic and oil painting. Painting with oil is much different than on canvas. You need softer brushes and/or more paint, so that you don't pull lower layers of paint off with the brush after it has dried!

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Jan 03, 2014
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Great Post
by: jammy

If you are looking out for a cheap painting surface, then masonite will be a perfect choice. It consists of a shiny surface on one side and an unfinished surface on the other side. It is easily available at very cheap rates.

Sep 05, 2014
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cheap painting surfaces
by: carolhama

If you are a beginner, you can paint oils and acrylics on just about anythig...card board, coreplast, corrugated plastic, newsprint, pages in an old phone book etc...then discard when you are done..afterall when you are done all the stuff that you just taught yourself will be enbedded in your head.


Sep 05, 2014
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Linseed and Safflower oils are not considered to be thinners.
by: carol hama chang

Linseed oil and safflower oil are not thinners. They are stand oils.
Thinners are more like cleaners...some sort of distilate.

Sep 05, 2014
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Prime masonite with gesso or casein
by: Carol Hama Chang

Yes,painting on masonite is a cheap alternativeto canvas, but never use regualr house paints for artwork that you want to keep. Regular house paint is cheap cheap cheap...it has an additive in it that will cause it to detriorate...the paint company wants you to paint more and use more of their paint, so their paints are designed to fall off the walls after a few years. Exterior paints will peel and interior paints will start forming a layer of "dust" as the paint wears off. That is why you are saying to not use a tough brush or the paint will peel off....STOP using ultra cheap stuff to produce art. You cannot expect to make a silk purse out of sow's hide...or whatever the saying is.

Masonite is deadly HEAVY!!! Whatever makes you think the stuff is light??

It is highly recommended that you lightly sand the masonite to prep it before layering 2-3 undiluted layers of gesso ROLLED on (use a small roller dipped in water to start and squeezed as dry as you can (you do not want to dilute that gesso), but you want to make the roller absorb water to help you rinse out the gesso when done...this will make it easier to wash up) do not attempt to brush...brush marks will distract from your painting. Makes your painting look like you painted over a used board....like a secondhand painting! You have noticed of course, that commercially preped canvases do not have brush stroke on it. While you have your hands on the gesso remember to gesso along the edges AND paint a huge X corner to corner on the reverse side, to prevent warping as the absorbent masonite absorbs moisture from the gesso application and may warp. It will also absorb moisture from the air after the painting is done and hanging on the wall and warp terribly on humid days! Give a light sanding between layers of gesso to ensure each layer will adhere to each other, and a final light sanding before painting. Always use a fine sand paper and a light touch.

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