Preparing masonite for oil painting

In this quick video tutorial you’ll learn how to prepare a masonite panel (or any other smooth wooden surface) for oil paint by gessoing it (or alternatively using acrylic paint) . Oil paint needs a bit of a texture to hold on to, that’s why canvas is a popular option. The texture of the canvas acts like a million little teeth that hold the paint when it is applied. If you are painting on a very smooth surface you’ll notice that streaks become more common place and paint application becomes more difficult. So follow the steps in the video to achieve a nice textured surface.

Cover the entire surface evenly with acrylic paint or gesso. 

Use a criss cross motion to avoid having all your “streaks” going in one direction. 

Let it dry for 3 to 5 minutes. The surface should still be a bit wet, and some areas tacky. 

Repeat the criss cross motion in the opposite direction you were doing previously. This further diversifies the marks across the surface of the masonite, and creates a subtle texture which is conducive for oil painting. 



This post was written by Jer

Educator and creator of I look forward to watching your progress!