Tag Archives: knife

Prepping canvas – a little tip learned the hard way

I am one of those artists that doesn’t really like the texture of plain gessoed canvas. I like something a bit smoother, so I usually add a coat or two (or three) of molding paste and smooth it or keep it rough. Mainly, I’ve been keeping it rough because I have a hard time laying down a smooth coat of paste.

I’ve tried wetting my cheap little plastic palette knife and the paste, doing several coats, as well as several other tips… nothing seemed to work. UNTIL… I finally bought a few nice metal palette knives. Rather small. Almost tiny.

As I began prepping some new canvases today, I thought, let me try this tiny knife. It can’t possibly work better than the larger one and even if it does, it will take forever, right? Think again.

palette knives

Small metal vs. large plastic palette knives.

I laid down those coats of paste on some nice size 16×20″ canvases in a heartbeat. Nice and smooth. And used so much less paste! I found slightly dampening my knife worked even better. So, if anyone out there is having the same issue as me in prepping those canvases, make sure to try a metal knife.

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