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I am almost exclusively a solo gamer and look at the gaming scene seen through those eyes. I also literally like alliteration. TWITTER: @onesuponagame
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Canvas Primer? Surely You Gesso!

Kevin L. Kitchens
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Gainesville
Georgia
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I mentioned yesterday (Slow and Steady Wins the... (ahem) Race?) that painting yellow over my grey primer took too many coats to keep the grey from showing through. The other cars are darker paint and only takes 2-3, but I still have pink to do. It was suggested that I just use white primer over the grey, but since I'd already painted out small details already, I didn't want to do completely re-prime the whole car either.

So last night, I remembered a discussion in the 1 Player guild Miniatures Painting Thread where we'd briefly discussed using Gesso to prime miniatures. Gesso typically comes in white or black and is used by artists to prime their canvases before a painting. It was not new to me that some use this to prime miniatures as well, but my previous experience was less than stellar.

I'd watched a video showing how to use the product which explained that gesso shrinks as it dries. So if you put it on too thin, it will recede into the low places and leave higher areas uncovered. They did a time lapse of a mini drying and it sure enough showed the primer doing just that. Their solution was to make sure you put in on "thick" to overcome this. So I did and it didn't and I was then left with a nasty globby mess, losing much detail on my Gears of War: The Board Game creatures. I had those things soaking in Simple Green for weeks and it still never all came off, even with a good scrub.

On the painting thread others mentioned never having this issue using gesso, so in light of the idea to white prime the cars receiving a lighter paint and a hope that the "sugGESSOtion" to use gesso in general was a good one, I decided to retry. Hey, I'd spent $8.99 (less 40%) on that bottle just sitting there, better to use it!

And I'm happy to report that simply using a brush and painting on the gesso primer as if were paint appears to have worked quite well. Sitting overnight, the primer has held quite nicely and will hopefully give me a good foundation for applying the lighter pink color later tonight. If it goes on splotchy, it might not be mixed well enough. My bottle says to shake or stir well and I gave it a vigorous shaking before using. It is thicker than paint and will build up on your brush faster, so make sure to wash the brush well afterwards (water cleanup is just fine).


From grey headed to pink, with a brief stopover in white.


Full Series Index

All the entries for this series.

1. Send in the Clones - DIY Thunder Alley Miniatures - Part I
2. I'm Certainly No Earl Scheib, But I Don't Charge As Much Either
3. Slow and Steady Wins the... (ahem) Race?
4. Canvas Primer? Surely You Gesso!
5. Let the Good Times Roll
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