Gesso 3: How to apply Gesso for texture with a Palette knife

Why to Use Gesso?

Gesso is used for tooth adhesion for your support. This allows the subsequent layers of paint to “stick” your surface. Make certain you clean your lids and close them properly to prevent your gesso from clumping.

Create a textured surface using a colored gesso and palette knife

  • Normally Gesso is used with a brush but if you want to create a more textured look you can apply the gesso with a palette knife.

Application of the Gesso – Creating bumps

  • Using your palette knife and Gesso, turn your surface in various directions and apply different amounts of Gesso to create “bumps”.

Creating texture

  • Move your palette knife in different directions as you apply Gesso in thick and thin fashion.

Creating more texture by “thumping” your surface

  • Texture your board by smacking it with your palette knife once again rotating your surface. Vary your direction and marks if you can. Try different sized palette knifes.
  • Once dry, you can paint away on your more interesting surface!
  • Close your lids to your Gesso or you will obtain clumps.

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2 Responses to Gesso 3: How to apply Gesso for texture with a Palette knife

  1. Beja from Texas July 29, 2017 at 10:02 am #

    Thanks for this tutorial! I am in charge of an art project for our stage for a women’s event at church and I needed to put texture on wooden half circle ornaments that will have yarn tassels hanging down. Think macrame with sculpture. I had a feeling my inspiration piece from the Anthropologie store window used gesso, and I feel a lot better after seeing your tutorial that I can recreate that look.


  2. Teyjah July 29, 2017 at 10:27 am #

    Hi Beja from Texas, Thank you for your comment! Let me know when you are done with piece. I’d love to see it.

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