Can I Use White Acrylic Paint Instead Of Gesso?

A lot of artists prefer to use white acrylic paint to prime their artwork. But, many wonder whether they can actually use white acrylic paint instead of gesso. Especially when they are painting a canvas.

Can you use white acrylic paint as a gesso? Well, the answer depends on your use mostly. If you want your paint set evenly and last longer then there is no alternative to gesso. Because gesso is a combination of pigment, chalk, and binder which you can use as a primer. Moreover, it is stronger than any base coat that helps the paint adhere properly to the surface.

However, white acrylic paint is simply an acrylic polymer emulsion. That makes it slightly resistant to water. So, white acrylic as a primer will not last long like gesso and may fail to bind color to the surface. Still, you may use it as a base coat if you apply sealer after completing the entire work.

For the best information, I have included all the details for you here. You can clear all your doubts by reading through the article.

Can You Use White Acrylic Paints Instead Of Gesso?

What Happens When You Use White Acrylic Paint Instead Of Gesso?

When you are painting a canvas, you need to have a good understanding of what you are going to do. Using white acrylic paint as a background will result in a different look than using gesso.

If you use white acrylic paint as a base then you can use any color that will look vibrant. However, it may look faded after a while. You can still create texture by adding paint to the canvas, but it won’t be as smooth as if you used gesso.

Moreover, you must apply more layers of white paint base.  Otherwise, your artwork will look transparent. This will be visually unpleasant and does not feel even on touch. 

Can You Prime With White Acrylic Paint Instead Of Gesso?

If you want to prime a canvas with white acrylic paint then it will be a mistake. Instead, you should use a gesso primer first. This will help you to get a good, even, and smooth finish on the canvas. After that, you can apply acrylic paint as a base coat.

Furthermore, white acrylic paint cannot make the surface more receptive to paint. Thus there will be always a chance of damaging your art. 

Hence, the best acrylic primer for canvas is a gesso primer. It is a versatile product that you can use for many different types of paintings.

Can You Use White Acrylic Paint As A Primer On Wood Instead Of Gesso?

It’s hard to find a primer that works well on wood. Gesso is usually the go-to primer for wood. But, if you have a specific project you need to paint on wood, then you may use acrylic paint as a primer.

Before you start painting on your wood, make sure it’s clean. Afterward, apply a thin layer of white acrylic as a primer and let it dry completely.

Sand the wood which will help to create a smooth surface for the second coat of acrylic paint. Now your wooden surface is ready for some colorful magic. But seal the surface after everything dries well.

Can You Use White Acrylic Paint As A Primer On Metal Instead Of Gesso?

Acrylic paints contain solvents. They dry quickly and have more chances to damage the surface of metals. If you must paint a metal surface, use a gesso-based primer first.

However, if you have no other options then you may use white acrylic as a primer on metal. For that, you need to sand the surface and make it smooth enough to let white acrylic set nicely.

Try to add 2-3 layers of white acrylic to prevent uneven bases for other colors. And sealing the entire work is a must at the end of your work.

Can You Use White Acrylic Paint As A Primer On Plastic Instead Of Gesso?

Undeniably, the best acrylic primer for plastic is gesso. However, if you have a project that requires you to use acrylic paint, then you may use white acrylic as a primer.

But you need to prepare the surface first and make it smooth enough to let the paint set well. Unless you are a professional, you may not be able to get a smooth finish.

After that is when you can apply a sealant to lock the paint permanently on the metal canvas.

Can You Use White Acrylic Paint As A Primer On Canvas Instead Of Gesso?

Well if you have a white canvas that easily adheres with paint then you can use white acrylic paint as a primer. But when you brush your hand over it you will be able to feel the uneven texture of the primer.

It is better if you use 2 layers of white acrylic paint as a primer on canvas and wait for complete drying. This will let other colors sit evenly on the canvas. Trust me, if you know the technique then your artwork will be amazing.

Can You Use White Acrylic Paint As A Primer On Glass Instead Of Gesso?

Well, many people have been working on a large painting of a window. But they face trouble getting it to look good.

A few of them are using white acrylic paint for the base layer and then covering with clear gesso. But when they apply varnish to it, it seems to lose some of the colors from the paint. It’s like it’s absorbing the paint.

So, if you want to use white acrylic as a primer on a glass then it will be a mistake. It may wash away when in contact with water.

Also Read: Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Different Types Of Glass Ornaments?

Can You Use Plain Acrylic Paint Instead Of Gesso?

Well yes, you can use plain acrylic paint instead of gesso. There is a way to get the look of gesso with acrylic paint. You can simply apply it in thin layers like you would with gesso.

The benefit of using acrylic paint is that you do not have to worry about it drying and cracking. It also dries faster than gesso, so you can move on to the next step sooner.

Gesso is expensive, but you do not have to pay for it when you use acrylic paint instead. So, try to start priming with acrylic paint if your gesso is out of stock.

What Is The Difference Between White Acrylic Paint And Gesso?

If we are talking about the number of differences between white acrylic paint and gesso then trust me there is a lot to discuss.

  • First of all, gesso is a binder that is specifically used to prime surfaces. However, white acrylic contains acrylic polymer emulsion which is versatile. This means you can both paint with it and prime different surfaces with 2-3 layers.
  • White acrylic has both thick and thin consistency to use in different projects. But gesso is thick and confined in priming mostly.
  • Gesso is a very strong adhesive. Whereas, white acrylic paint loses its bond if it comes in contact with water before drying.
  • Gesso as an undercoat protects the surface of the canvas. But white acrylic is as a primer that allows every color to look vibrant.
  • White acrylic paint needs a clean surface so that you can easily work on canvas. But it sometimes fails to give an even base for creating your desirable art. However, gesso is will create a smooth and even finish on canvas.
  • Gesso needs an entire day to dry but white acrylic dries faster.
  • If you want to use a glossy finish, use white acrylic paint. If you want to create a matte effect, use gesso.
  • Lastly, white acrylic paint is cheap and easily available. In contrast, gesso is a bit expensive. So, if you cannot afford gesso then go for white acrylic paint.

How Does White Acrylic Paint As A Gesso Substitute Affect The Longevity Of The Artwork?

Gesso is a great priming tool for artists. But you can even use white acrylic paint as a substitute for gesso. For that, you need to follow some steps that I will discuss below.

  • You will need to start with a clean surface. You can use a rag or paper towel to wipe away any dust.
  • Next, you will need to mix white acrylic paint with water. You’ll want to use a ratio of 1 part white paint to 1 part water. Mix it up well, and then use it to cover the entire surface of your canvas.
  • Once you have covered the entire surface, you’ll need to let it dry. You can leave it overnight, or you can do it in just a few hours. The point is that you’ll want to make sure that the surface is completely dry before you start painting.
  • Once you’ve painted the canvas, you can start to add details to it. You can add texture using a tool called a spackle brush. You can also use a brush to add texture to the surface.

Thus you can use white acrylic paint to create a gesso effect on other surfaces as well.

Why Is Using White Acrylic Paint Better Than Gesso?

White acrylic paint is a much better choice than gesso because it is easier to use. Gesso can be difficult to work with because it is very sticky and doesn’t dry out as fast as white acrylic paint. Gesso can also be very expensive. White acrylic paint is a lot cheaper than gesso.

Gesso is a medium that we use to create a base for a painting. It’s very thick and is usually mixed with water. It is often used on canvas or other surfaces.

It’s best to use it when you are working on a large surface. So, try white acrylic paint instead of gesso if you want to make your artistic journey a bit easier.

Also Read: Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Different Types Of Miniature?

Suggested Materials You May Need

If you are looking for qualities in a product related to your interest then I have something for you. This will undoubtedly ease your search.

#1 Liquitex BAICS Surface Prep Medium : (Recommended Gesso For Acrylic Painting)

Liquitex BAICS Gesso Surface Prep Medium is the best acrylic paint surface medium available. It basically works better with 1 or 2 coats on any surface you choose.

You can purchase this product for quite a low price. Your painting experience will be more efficient as a result of this.

This gesso, according to some users, has no odor and dries rapidly. You won’t need to sand the surface before painting because this goes on so smoothly.

#2 Krylon Clear Coatings Aerosol : (Proposed Sealer For Acrylic Painting)

Krylon Clear Coatings Aerosol is the most easy-to-use spray can. This creates a permanent glossy finish on acrylic artwork.

The major benefit of this spray coat is that you can use it on a variety of materials. Wood, metal, plastic, glass, plaster, ceramic, and other materials fall into this category. Some individuals recommend spray coating with this. Since it can be uniformly set on the surface. You may also put it on canvas to keep them from collapsing.

Decorate your canvas with this acrylic paint coat at a fantastic price.

Over To You

In conclusion, I would say it depends on your personal preference. Both gesso and white acrylic paint are good to work as a primer. But there are pros and cons to each one. I’m not sure why you would want to use white acrylic paint instead of gesso unless you’re trying to save money.

So, it really comes down to what you prefer, and how you’re feeling about the work you’re doing.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you have any questions or feedback, or if we missed anything, please leave a comment below.

Other Topics:
1. Can I Use Enamel Thinner For Any Acrylic Paints?

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