Monday, March 16, 2020

DIY for Artists, an Inexpensive Painting Surface

Whiteboards as an Inexpensive Painting Surface

Inspiration Board for CVP2020
Art2Life's Creative Visionary Program  

This great idea comes from Eugene OR artist, Patti McNutt  who often uses ordinary whiteboard panels for a painting surface. It’s available at lumberyards in 1/4" thick, 4 x 8-foot sheets and sometimes as small as 2x4ft. 

Ask for MDF White Vinyl panels.

To save time and effort apply a couple of coats of gesso or interior house paint to the raw side of the full sheet of whiteboard. Cut the large panel to the size you require for your work. The whiteboard side becomes the back of the panel and you paint on the side to which you apply gesso. The slick white surface offers a place for a signature, title, project number, and any other information that you want to accompany the finished work. 

If you buy a 4 x 8 ft panel you can cut it down to 32 twelve-inch square panels. Each panel will be slightly less than 12” due to the slight loss from the blade cut. These are great for practice panels but I’ve been able to insert my 11 7/8” panels into both float frames and into regular 12” frames.

Look for MDF White Vinyl (1-side) panel which is currently $23.81 at Home Depot. For $24, each 12” panel would cost you a mere 75 cents.

If you choose to use ¼” birch plywood, at $28/4x8 sheet, your 12” panels would be only 88 cents each.

Of course, some of you want panels that are exactly 12” square, just like the art supply store sells. You can still cut 20 twelve-inch panels for $1.40, as well as twelve more 10” panels from the scrap.

Unless you’re handy with a table saw don’t cut the panels yourself. Find a handyman or friend who will do the cutting for free or in exchange for one of your paintings. Don’t expect Home Depot to cut the wood accurately. They don’t have time to be careful, nor are their blades sharp enough. (Experience speaks here.)

I have lots of my own original work for sale on my DailyPaintworks gallery. Have a look here:

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