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Gessos & Grounds

Prepare surfaces for painting with Art to Art’s range of gesso primer and grounds. Whether you’re doing acrylic, watercolour or oil painting, you can find the perfect primer for you. Choose from the best brands, including Matisse, Mont Marte, Golden and Art Spectrum. Shop artist gesso online today at affordable prices and get free shipping when you spend over $100.

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Golden GAC 100


Atelier Acrylic Gesso Primer


Atelier Binder Medium


Matisse Low Viscosity Gesso


Matisse White Gesso


Matisse Transparent Gesso


Matisse Watercolour Ground Absorbent Primer


Golden Acrylic Pastel Ground


Matisse Gesso Black


Matisse High Tooth Gesso


Matisse Background Coloured Gesso


Michael Harding Non Absorbent Primer


Gessos & Grounds

Use our range of high-quality gesso primers to prepare canvas, paper, card, wood and a number of other surfaces. 



Types of gesso primer


Gesso primers can be used for a variety of artworks, including acrylic, watercolour and oil paintings. You can also choose from a number of varieties of gesso paste and grounds, such as:

  • White
  • Black
  • Transparent & Clear Primers
  • High tooth (encaustic)
  • Non Absorbent Primers
  • Pastel Primers



How to use gesso primer


For watercolour:

Use the Watercolour ground straight from the container (it has a thick, brushable consistency). One or two coats will cover most surfaces. Let it dry and cure for at least 24 hours.

If you’re priming non-absorbent surfaces like metal, plastic or glass, you will need to lightly sand them before applying the primer.

For acrylic:

Apply straight from the container (you can use a varnish brush or roller without diluting it). When priming for acrylic paints, at least two layers of gesso are recommended to ensure complete coverage.

It may be thinned with water for use on raw canvas or linen. 


For oil painting:

Apply either a oil based or acrylic based gesso (but you may need 3 coats). You can thin it out with water if needed. The primer can be painted over as soon as the moisture has evaporated (usually the next day).

Buy gesso primer and other art mediums online or in-store at Art to Art. When you shop online, you can get same day dispatch and free shipping when you spend over $100. Don’t forget you can buy art supplies now and pay later with Afterpay too.






What does gesso primer do?

Gesso is used to prime a surface, normally raw canvas, Linen or Wodden Boards, to prepare it for painting. This ensures the artist paint doesn’t absorb straight into the art canvas.


What is Non Absorbent Primer?

This may be applied to linen, wood, MDF and other supports to produce a strong, flexible, permanent, highly pigmented ground. Suitable as a ground for both acrylic and oil paint. Note this is a primer, not a gesso! Gessoes or ancillary products are not needed alongside.

Is gesso necessary for acrylic painting?

Gesso prepares the surface for painting, making the surface slightly textured and ready to accept acrylic paint. Without gesso, the paint would soak into the weave of the canvas. When you buy a pre- stretched canvas, it’s usually already primed, so you don’t need to apply any extra gesso. However, they are usually under-primed and a few more coats can make a huge difference.

Do you let gesso dry before painting?

Yes! 48 hours is ideal.