I recently came across a video of an artist who makes his own art panel and uses oil primer for priming canvases as an alternative to Gesso. I decided to test it out on an MDF panel purchased at Lowe’s.
I applied two coats of the Zinsser Cover Stain Primer. It dries within 15 minutes and works really well! Below you can see the panel is completely covered. The panel can be sanded if you prefer an extra smooth texture. I do not mind textures in my panel, unless I am painting portraits.
Here is a progress shot of the painting “Anew.”
The oil paint took to the wood very well and the colors remained vibrant, more so than when using Gesso alone. I toned the canvas and did my preliminary sketch using acrylic paint. So, acrylic paints work fine with this primer. I will definitely be using this as an alternative to Gesso when making my own panels in the future.
Here is the finished painting:
Anew: 24″ x 24″ Wood Panel