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Old 15-05-12, 12:20 PM
Koo Schadler's Avatar
Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
Tempera Painter
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Alstead, NH & Zirahuen, Mexico
Posts: 317

Bron is right - very shiny isn't good. It should appear more like an unpainted piece of sheetrock (albeit a very smooth one, once you've sanded it). A harder gesso recipe (one with more glue in it) may give you a wee bit of shine, but still there shouldn't be too much (if you want a workable surface). Does it get more and more shiny the more you sand it? This would affirm Bron's idea that there's too much glue in the mix.

(Another indication of too much glue would be fine cracking - but this may not show up right away, only after you've wetted and worked the surface for a while.)

I use a ratio of 1 part glue to 16 parts water - pretty standard, and not one that makes for super hard gesso. In my experience you can go down to about a 1:12 (maybe, just maybe, even a 1:11 ratio) and still make a workable gesso - but any more glue in the mix and it gets too hard. Perhaps the glue you used is a really strong one (although I've never run into a glue so strong that at a 1:16 ratio it made gesso too hard). How did you measure the glue - by volume or weight? Any chance that you altered the 1:16 ratio?? Sorry, don't mean to be presumptive, just trying to understand what happened...


Last edited by Koo Schadler; 15-05-12 at 12:56 PM.
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