Do you have a painting you messed up on and certain you want to paint over?
We all have our fair share of “mess up paintings”. There’s no shame in it. Messing up means you’re practicing, taking risks and growing in your painting skills!
But what do you do with the canvas? You can always paint over your mess up paintings with…your next acrylic painting! Sometimes I just cover the painting with a solid color (or colors) of paint.
But if you want to return the canvas to a blank white canvas, I recommend using gesso and sanding it! I actually find this process very therapeutic!
This post contains affiliate links.
What is gesso?
Gesso is a mixture of paint and other ingredients such as binders & chalk. It’s used to prime a surface so the paint won’t soak into it. The canvases that you purchase at the store have already been prepped with gesso. You can purchase gesso to prime your own surfaces and to turn a painting into a blank canvas again.
Acrylic Gesso is generally very thick, gloppy and opaque. It kind of reminds me of Elmer’s glue mixed with chalk.
How do you gesso over a painting?
- Basecoating Brush (at least 2″)
- Optional: Small wooden block to fold sand paper over (I use a Jenga block ;-P)
- Large board/ covered surface because you’ll be laying your canvas flat and painting.
1. Make sure your acrylic painting is completely dry!
4. Wait for the first coat to dry (about an hour or two depending on your humidity levels).
5. Sand down any uneven layers or remaining texture.
Where do I get gesso?
Any arts and crafts stores such as Michaels sells gesso. You can get it on Amazon as well. I like to buy a big tub of it like this Artist’s Loft One. Tubs of gesso are fairly inexpensive and worth buying for practice paintings and our inevitable mess ups!
Do I have to gesso over a painting if I want to reuse it?
Nope! Sometimes I’ll skip the gesso process and just paint over the previous mess up painting with my first layer of paint. I do recommend, however, that you still sand down any lingering texture from the previous painting (unless it’s going to be part of the texture in the next painting).