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All Things Ampersand

Priming Wood Panels With Oil Grounds

Priming Wood Panels With Oil Grounds

A wood panel is a better painting substrate because it is less susceptible to expansion and contraction than flexible supports, like canvas. The movement of these flexible supports can result in cracks and damage to the artwork created on them.

Ampersand offers several ready to use sealed and primed panels, but for artists that prefer to prime their own painting panels, enjoy working with a natural wood texture, or need strong support for encaustic, collage, or mounting, Ampersand also offers three unprimed wood panel options: Hardbord, Unprimed Basswood, and Birch Wood Panel.

Commonly, artists ask us if unprimed wood panels need to be sized. The answer is yes.

All raw wood panels should be sized properly before applying ground applications, regardless of whether you use acrylic polymer dispersion “gesso” or oil painting ground.

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Priming Wood Panels With Acrylic Gesso

Priming Wood Panels With Acrylic Gesso

A wood panel is a better painting substrate because it is less susceptible to expansion and contraction than flexible supports, like canvas. The movement of these flexible supports can result in cracks and damage to the artwork created on them.

Ampersand offers several ready to use sealed and primed panels, but for artists that prefer to prime their own painting panels, enjoy working with a natural wood texture, or need strong support for encaustic, collage, or mounting, Ampersand also offers three unprimed wood panel options: Hardbord, Unprimed Basswood, and Birch Wood Panel.

Commonly, artists ask us if unprimed wood panels need to be sealed. The answer is yes. If wood is not sized or sealed properly before applying gesso, yellowing can occur. This is because water (a solvent) can cause acids that occur naturally in wood to migrate to the surface. In fact, it is extremely important to properly seal all unprimed wood substrates to prevent support-induced discoloration that can cause your paint film to yellow over time.

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Gessobord™: Top Five Reasons to paint on Ampersand’s Gessobord panel

Gessobord™ is the most trusted pre-gessoed wood panel by artists for their work.  Why?

  1. The superior quality acrylic gesso ground does not dull colors and the wonderful lightly sanded surface provides exceptional brush control. 88% thicker gesso than other brands.
  2. Made with Ampersand’s 1/8″ True Artist Hardboard™ and Archiva-Seal™ technology, the surface is acid-free, non-yellowing, and archival. Perfect for all painting styles with oil paints, acrylics and mixed media. 
  3. Only Ampersand builds their cradles by hand with premium grade 13-ply birch plywood for maximum stability and a clean, finished look from edge to edge. 
  4. All of our Gessobord panels and the Museum series panels are made in the USA.
  5. Only Ampersand™ uses true high-density hardboard made from US-grown and renewable Aspen wood fibers. Gessobord is archival, eco-friendly and formaldehyde-free. 

Click here to see the Standard Sizes we have in Gessobord.  


All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.