1. Lightly sand the surface of the panel in a circular motion with a medium grit sandpaper. This helps the sealing solution to sink into the board better. Wipe off the board with the paper towel. Seal the panel with 2 coats of PVA size. Sizing helps to stop the oils and chemicals that are in the wood from penetrating into the oil paint and discoloring it as the time goes by. Apply sealant with a large bristle brush. Then take a lint free rag and rub in the sealing solution to avoid the bubbles forming on the surface of the panel. Don’t sand the sealing solution. Next you can apply acrylic gesso or oil ground. Some acrylic gessos (like Jackson’s Acrylic Gesso) have size already added to it and you can skip this step. If you are going to apply oil ground onto the sized surface, let it dry for 3 days.
2. *This is an optional step. Apply 1-2 layers of acrylic gesso with a trowel. Sand the surface in between the layers to get a smoother finish with a fine grit sandpaper. If you like more texture on your panel, apply the acrylic gesso on the panel using a bristle brush or a large palette knife to create texture. I like to create textures with the gesso rather than oil ground, since it dries much faster. Let it dry for a few days before applying the oil ground on top of it.
3. Thin the oil ground with some Gamsol. Mix it until it has a consistency of a heavy cream.
4. Apply the ground unto the panel with a large plastic trowel. Keep this layer thin since it will reduce the drying time.
5. Even out the ground with a foam paint roller.
6. When the first layer is dry to the touch, apply the second layer in the same manner.
7. You can sand the layers of ground to get a smoother finish.
8. Panels will be ready to paint on in 4-5 days.
How to oil prime and prepare a raw linen or cotton canvas for oil painting?
Gamblin PVA Size
Gamblin Oil Ground
Large bristle brush
Sandpaper 100 (medium) and 400 (fine) grit sandpaper
Unprimed linen or cotton canvas