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Thread: Masonite use

  1. #1
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    Masonite use

    Hey all
    I've used masonite, or similar, a few times with my oils.
    Q is when I bring home sheets of the stuff I think I can smell the glues/solvents used in the manufacture. Or maybe I'm just smelling new cut wood?, my nose isn't what it used to be.

    So would it be good to let the boards sit around for a while before using them to paint on? I am of course putting down gesso (acrylic) on the side I will paint on.

    Thanks,
    Craig


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  3. #2
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    Gesso both sides, and the edges. You'll get less warping.

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
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    Thanks Elwell

    but any thoughts on letting the wood age before gessoing?

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    What you're smeling is probably just from the cutting. Giving the boards a light sanding and wiping them down with denatured alcohol to get rid of any dust and residue isn't a bad idea, though.

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
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    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron

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    They don't need to sit around any length of time before use, in fact it's probably best to prepare them as soon as possible. Hardboards have trace amounts of formaldehyde resin, so it's a good idea to wipe them down with denatured alcohol; although, that doesn't eliminate the condition. If they're tempered, you'll be able to smell the oils as well. Store them in a ventilated area.

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    My painting teacher told me that the masonite that they manufacture today is different than the stuff that was made in the past. He said that the stuff today is either lacking or has something extra, which I can't remember at the moment. Anyway, I was told that 1/4" MDF, gessoed on both sides and primed at least 5 times on the painting side is about as good a surface as you will get if you want to paint on board. I have used it and I find that I am enjoying it, especially for detailed stuff. The MDF is dirt cheap as well...
    Whatever you do, don't look at my Sketchbook and Painting Thread!


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    ? I'm suprised. MDF usually is a TERRIBLE material when it comes to water or liquids. It just breaks appart after it sucked everything in... I'd be nervous to put some gesso on it for fear that it'll suck the water out of it and break appart. Maybe I'm wrong?

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    Elwell's two comments match my own experience. I am not sure what is being called MDF here. My art book described that as something found in Europe. Maybe it is this stuff I find for about $2.80 US at Home Depot for a 2' x 4' panel near the peg boards & stuff. That stuff is great. I cut it into an 18"x 24" piece and a 24" x 36" piece. When I don't feel like shelling out for acrylic gesso I paint both sides and edges of it with a couple of coats of matte white house paint. Then, I apply a light coating of paint sludge contaminated linseed oil (*read below) on the side to be painted and wipe off the excess. In two weeks the panel is ready to go. this way I don't have to worry so much if the acrylic gesso will be underbound due to the masonite being tempered. I think if you do the light sanding it will help prevent this anyway. You should sand even if you do the house paint/linseed oil method.

    *I usually dont use those dangerous solvents to clean out my brushes. It gives me headaches. I wipe most of the paint out of the brush with a rag and then agitate or rinse the brush through two successive jars of linseed oil. At this point the pigment is gone into the jars and I can use Goop automotive hand cleaner followed by soap to get the linseed oil out of the brushes. When the linseed oil jars get too contaminated to clean usefully, I can use the linseed oil in them to prepare masonite or panels as above. When the contaminated oil is brushed onto the matte white house paint, it makes a neutral gray surface that is a great help for judging values. The fact that the oil seeps into the house paint and panels makes sure there will be no sinking. The fake van Gogh I did this week in environment of the week was done on one such panel and the background gray of the foreground walkway is what the surface will look like after the contaminated linseed oil treatment. I liked the color and didn't paint over that area when I made the painting.

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