Prepping to Paint: Sizing

So you have decided to paint something. You stretch a new piece of canvas across a frame and think you are ready to go. Not so fast! It is probably smart to “size” your canvas first.

What is sizing? It is the process of applying either a natural or synthetic compound to the painting surface that is absorbed by the fibers of the fabric and seals them. This helps by making the painting surface less absorbent, which will allow you to use less paint, saving you money. In addition,  it will also stop the paint from degrading the fibers of the fabric which could rot over time from the components in the paint as they break down over time. Protecting the canvas, means your masterpiece will last a lot longer. Who knows, maybe your painting will even be hanging in a museum hundreds of years from now!

Depending on what medium you are using different sizing formulas work best. Originally, only natural agents were used such as rabbit skin glue. However, today there are a variety of synthetic based formulas that work just as well. Remember sizing also works when painting on paper and wood as well.  For further reading on sizing and more in depth options out there please click here for more info.

So the next time you are planning to paint remember to apply sizing, let it dry, and only then begin working on your masterpiece. Happy painting! For more articles on painting tips and other related arts topics, be sure to like us on facebook to stay in the loop.