Friday, September 23, 2011

Gesso Questions Aswered

Howdy guys.
 I really wanted to do this post early this am but my day seemed to get away from me.
 That ever happen to you? You crawl in bed at the end of the day and say,
"I didn't do ANYTHING I wanted to do today."
 Seems like that happens ALL the time for me.

 Anyhoo, I really wanted to do this post and answer a few questions 
I got on my coffee table redo using gesso paint.
 I couldn't believe what a response I got
 and from the bottom of my heart I want to say

It was brought to my attention from Gail over at My Repurposed Life 
that I should answer your questions in a post.
 I had an Ah-Ha moment. Like, "Why didn't I think of that?" LOL.
 So, I wanted to take some time and answer some of the questions you guys might have.
You asked:
 Susan said... Deanna, what a beautiful job you did. The
"new" coffee table looks fabulous. Exactly
what is gesso paint?

Welp, gesso is a primer. Artists sometimes apply it to a surface before painting on it. 
In fact, gesso looks a lot like paint. Gesso makes a surface a little stiffer. It prevents paint from soaking into the support (canvas, paper, wood, etc.), and it gives the surface a little more texture (called "tooth"), so the paint sticks better. 

Laura said...  I am stunned! What a marvelous update!! I love it and I want one!! I will go fratically thrifting today, looking for a coffee table like that to update like you did! All I can say is wow. wow! Wowowowowowow! Can you get said gesso paint at Michael's, or Home Depot or art supply stores or what?
              You can find gesso at artist supply stores but I find mine at Michael's.

MyChampagneTaste said... is this yours or is it from a magazine :) it looks pretty
One question can you post a picture for the gesso paint? thx
visiting from romantic home 

The picture I think she was asking about
First, let me say that I was almost brought to tears that someone
thought my table was from a magazine. It is my home. 
Ain't it funny, I see the Wii and speakers in the background?
 Back to the question ...  Here's a picture of the gesso I use:
Again, I get mine at Michael's.

I found a GREAT site Villabarnes who inspired me to try gesso.
Her stuff is BE-U-TEE-FULL!!!!
After trying it, I gotta say, I like the result it gives.

Honestly, I started to do some research on chalk paint.
I know, I know chalk paint (also known as ASCP) is REALLY
beloved in blog-land. I can see where some say, "you don't need to buy a primer
 and no prep work, so it makes it cost effective", but I'm
 I mean I pick up someone else's junk.
 I couldn't see getting a free piece of furniture and putting a $51
 paint on it (the quart + the shipping - that doesn't even include the wax , GULP).

 So in my research gesso paint kept coming up.
 That's how I found Rosemary (she's a sweetheart by the way).
 See, originally, gesso was made with a mixture of calcium--like chalk--in a thin base of animal glue 
 which would help in adhering to what ever it's painted to.
Gesso now adays is a mixture of calcium carbonate, a pigment and an acrylic polymer medium. 
No more animal glue.
 Say it with me, EW !!!

So, I gave it a try and boy was Rosemary right.
 The other cool thing is that it comes in white, gray and black.
 I haven't played with the gray yet but I will : )
I have used Rosemary recipe to mix 1/2 gesso with 1/2 flat paint.

 I can see MANY more projects in my future.
 I also have found that Briwax is comparable to AS's wax.
 Briwax comes in multiple colors too which makes
 antiquing a lil' easier and can be wiped on or brushed on.
 Anyhoo, I hope I answered whatever questions you guys might have.
 Check out gesso if you like to play in paint. 
 Shoot, for a $3 jar of sample paint or even $.50 oops paint
 and a small jar of gesso, which would run ya bout $8 without a coupon
 you can paint ALOT.
Just a cheaper alternative : )
Thank you guys for keeping me on my toes and thank you
Gail for being such a sweet friend to guide this girl's blog along.
Oh, a lil' side note ... 
 I stumbled on yet another recipe I wanna try
to mimmick chalk paint :
 3/4 cp. flat paint
 2 TB. pre-mixed grout (many recipes call for unsanded so who knows)
 1 TB. glaze.
 Again for under $20 I should be able to make some chalk-like paint.
 I'm gonna try it soon.
I'll let ya know what I think : )


Wende said...

Just beautiful and thank you for all the info. If you can stand it, one more question. Help me out with the wax part of it. What is Briwax? Where do you get it? How is it applied? Is it a one time application? I so want to try this out. Thanks in advance.

wbeducian at


Amy-Thrifty Treasure Hunter said...

I think the recipe you posted at the end will make Chalk-Board Paint... I found another really good TUT on it here,

I read on somebody's blog they mix Earth Elements powdered pigments in, I sent for the color swatches and I see quite a few matches to ASCP colors in their pigments.

I am getting ready to experiment w/tinting the gesso w/artist pigment tubes, hopefully it works, can get those at Micheal's w/coupon too..

Now to find Briwax...


Amber said...

I hear you on the cost of chalk paint! We are experimenting right now with kilz premium primer and tint. The ratio is high because I'm doing black, but I'm excited to use it. I'm painting a hutch with it so I'll share once it's done. Thanks for your tips!! Your painted items all look amazing AND professional! AND your house is gorgeous! ;)

Stephanie Shelton said...

I was wondering if you find the paint peels when you distress it? It could be the brand of gesso I used

Stephanie Shelton said...

I was wondering if you find the paint peels when you distress it? It could be the brand of gesso I used