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How to Use Gesso for Texture: Tips and Tricks

how to use gesso for texture tips and tricks

Have you ever wanted to create a textured background for your paintings but didn’t know how? Or maybe you’ve tried, and it just wasn’t turning out the way you wanted.

Fret not. In this blog post, we will teach you how to use gesso for texture! Gesso is an excellent material to use for creating texture because it’s easy to work with and is incredibly versatile. We will give you some tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your gesso, so keep reading!

How do you Use Gesso for Texture?

Step 1: Determine the Desired Texture

The first thing you need to do is decide what type of texture you want to create. Are you looking for a rough, bumpy texture or a smooth, polished look? Gesso can be used either way, so it’s up to you how you want to use it.

  • If you’re going for a rough texture, try using a brush or palette knife to apply the gesso.
  • For a smoother finish, use a foam roller or your fingers.

Step 2: Mix the Gesso

Once you’ve decided on the desired effect, begin by mixing some gesso with water until it reaches the desired consistency.

It should be thick enough that it won’t run but still be able to be spread easily.

If you want a more detailed texture, try adding some additional layers of gesso. Also, depending on the humidity and temperature, you may need to add more gesso or water.

Step 3: Now it’s Time to Start Texturing!

Apply the gesso in a thin layer using a brush, palette knife, or your fingers. Be sure to apply it evenly so that the texture is consistent.
If you want a more detailed texture, try adding some additional layers of gesso. You can also experiment with different tools and techniques to get the desired effect.

Step 4: Let it Dry

Once you’re finished, let the gesso dry completely before painting on top. Depending on the weather and humidity, this could take several hours to a few days. Make sure to check the gesso frequently so that it doesn’t start peeling off prematurely.

There you have it! Now you know how to use gesso for texture. Experiment with different techniques and tools to create the perfect background for your paintings.

Frequently Asked Questions

how do use gesso for texture

How do you Thicken Gesso for Texture?

Gesso can be thickened for texture, but the tricky part is to do so without drying it. You should leave the gesso that requires thickening in a margarine container. And leave the lid open.

Then, you can use a palette knife to stir the thin gesso once every two hours. When leaving it overnight, do not seal the container but simply close it. As you leave a little space for the air to get in, the agent will be thickened within two days. Just make sure you repeat the same process on both days.

How do you Thin Gesso for Texture?

Gesso can be thinned for texture by adding more water. Mix until desired consistency is achieved.

What Type of Brush Should I use with Gesso?

Any type of brush can be used with gesso, but a stiffer brush will create a rougher texture. A soft brush will give a smoother finish.

Can Gesso be Used on Canvas?

Yes, gesso can be used on canvas, but it may not adhere that well in humid environments. Therefore, always test your gesso mixture on a scrap piece of canvas to make sure it will stick.

What type of Surface Should Gesso be Used on?

Gesso is applicable on various surfaces, including canvas, wood, paper, and metal.

Always test your gesso mixture on a scrap piece of the desired surface to ensure it will adhere correctly.

How Long does Gesso Take to Dry?

Gesso usually takes several hours to dry completely, but it can vary depending on the weather and humidity. Check frequently to avoid premature peeling.

Can gesso be Mixed with other Paints?

Yes, gesso can be mixed with other paints, but it may alter the final color slightly. Always test your gesso mixture on a scrap piece of canvas to make sure you’re happy with the results.

Is Gesso Toxic?

No, gesso is not toxic, but it should always be kept out of reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. If ingested, seek medical attention immediately.

What are Some Other uses for Gesso?

Gesso can also be used as a primer for painting, seal porous surfaces before painting, and create patterns to accept the paints more easily.

How do I Remove Gesso from my Brushes?

Gesso can be removed from brushes by soaking them in warm water and soap. Be sure to rinse the brush thoroughly until all the gesso is gone. Let the brush dry completely before using it again.


We have already shown you how to use gesso for texture in this blog post! Gesso is an excellent material to use for creating a texture for canvas paintings. You can either thicken or thin it to get the canvas ready before starting your work.

And, with the right tools and instructions, you can master it in no time. Feel free to share your work result with us in the comment below. We are excited to hear how you prepare your canvas with gesso.

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