Prepraring Painting Supports

How to Prepare Painting Supports

Proper preparation of an artist's support is essential for producing long-lasting artwork. This preparation links the support and the paint and is essential to the artwork's life. The type of paint chosen directly influences the choice of support, size, primer, or ground. This guide gives the artist an understanding of the materials best suited for particular applications.

What is a Ground or Primer?

The ground or primer is the layer used to prepare a support for painting. The color and tone of the ground can affect the color, and tonal values of the paint layers applied over it. The ground for flexible supports, such as stretched canvas, often differs from primers applied to rigid supports, such as wood panels.

Preparing the Panel for Mounting and Painting

Note: Use only the coated side of the panel for painting and mounting.

  • Remove the protective film from the coated side slowly and carefully to avoid static build-up.
  • Pre-clean the panel surface with ethyl or isopropyl alcohol, using a non-colored cloth for best results. It is important not to use solvents, soaps, or liquid cleaning materials as they may leave a film residue that can affect adhesion. Additionally, cleaners containing silicone can interfere with adhesion and are not recommended. A 70% solution of isopropyl alcohol is recommended as the only cleaning material.
  • Scuff the surface with abrasive paper, preferably using a grain size of 360 grit. Do not grind through the coating to the aluminum metal.
  • Remove dust with a lint-free cloth moistened with ethyl or isopropyl alcohol.
  • For coating and mounting, please follow the instructions of the coating or the adhesive manufacturer.

Hints for Better Mounting and Painting Results

  • Acclimate the panel to room temperature before use—especially when the panel has been stored at low temperature.
  • Avoid fluctuating humidity or too dry environments—this can lead to static build-up.
  • Do not touch panel surfaces with bare hands, and do not allow any liquid cleaning materials or solvents (except ethyl or isopropyl alcohol) to dry on the panel surface.
  • If the panel has a protective film, this should be removed slowly and carefully to avoid static build-up.
  • For best results, sweep the panel surface with ionized air before painting or mounting and consistently apply measures to reduce static build-up.
  • Do not subject the panel to heat exceeding a maximum of 80° C (175° F).

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