DIY Gesso 2.0

Howdy y’all!

(No, I’m not a Texan XD).

Are you wondering what gesso is? What it’s used for? Are you confused?  I’ll answer all these questions and more!

Gesso is surface preparation. It can be clear, white, black, or any color. It provides a little “tooth” or “grit” for your media to cling on to. Gesso makes watercolor possible in your bullet journal or on super thin paper. It’s a good habit to brush on a layer or two even if you are using mix media paper. Normally, you can buy four oz of gesso for 10 bucks. To compare store bought and DIY, I bought Liquitex Clear Gesso at Blick.
liquitex gesso
This gesso is very gritty and textured. If you don’t like the texture or you’re not ready to commit to buying gesso, why not make your own?
Let’s get messy! You will need: a plastic spoon, something to stir with, water, PVA glue (Mod Podge is the BEST), cornstarch, cheap white paint, a clean container to store it in, and a plastic cup
Going clockwise: bowl of cornstarch, a syringe of water, chopsticks, spoon, Mod Podge, and Craft Smart White Acrylic Paint
Using the spoon, measure two spoons of cornstarch into a container. Add one to two spoons of water, it depends on how thick you want your gesso. If this is your first batch, do two spoons.
gesso 2
Stir thoroughly with a chopstick. Add three spoons of PVA glue–don’t overfill the spoon. Mix till smooth.
gesso 3
It should look like this 🤩

Pour the mixture into a clean, reusable container. Label it so you don’t forget what’s in this random container.

gesso 4

Here’s the recipe:

clear gesso.png

Now for white gesso…

The steps are almost the same. Measure two spoons of cornstarch. white gesso

Add three spoons of PVA glue. It will be chunky 😉

white gesso 2

Add anywhere from one to three spoons of white acrylic paint. It should have a similar consistency to the clear gesso. If you want to make it thinner,  just add a little water.

white gesso.png

That’s all folks! Did you try making your own? Having trouble with the consistency? Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments.

Live creatively!



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