For the past couple of weeks, I have been debating about which painting surface is best for me to paint with. I have been using canvas boards forever. They are light and durable and the best part is that they even hold up in a torrential downpour, (as experienced at Easton one time). Linen boards are very nice too!, but the cost is nearly triple the amount. They have a finer tooth to the surface than common canvas and seem to be the choice for most painters. And then there is a gessoed board of Masonite otherwise known as MDF. Super slick surface, especially if you buy it pre-primed. The nice thing I like about MDF is that you can mount linen or canvas to it with an adhesive liike Mighty Muck, (which is non acidic). I do like prepping my boards on these. The surface is really good, but it does take some time. I tried primed paper or paper that handles oil has been for me the most disappointing experience. The worst experience however was using a cradle board birchwood surface with pine substrate. Most of them are fine and great, but having a defect that I thought I could sand and fix before painting over turned out to be a disaster. Should have returned it as soon as I discovered it, but I didn’t and painted something I really liked that I can’t sell. EVER. Best cradleboard that I have experienced to day is going to HomeDepot, buying a interior door blank, (a door with no holes or hinge indentions). Cut it to your preferred size and cut a 1.5 inch wood to fill in the side you cut. Glue it with Tightbond III Wood Glue. So far, it is light, sturdy and no warping or flexing. Best of all is that it’s already pre-primed all over and you just need to sand and gesso your painting surface and the side you filled in with the 1.5 wood. If anyone is interested, I can post a video about what I’ve done to make them.

If money were no object and I have no time, these linen panels from Jerry’s Artarama are great!

If money were no object and I have no time, these linen panels from Jerry’s Artarama are great!

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Some might look at this as cheap, but I have been in a torrential downpour painting on these and they hold up really well. But they are inexpensive and very durable. And probably the best to use when starting out painting.

Some might look at this as cheap, but I have been in a torrential downpour painting on these and they hold up really well. But they are inexpensive and very durable. And probably the best to use when starting out painting.

If you want to paint big, this is something worth trying out. Masonite 30 in. x 80 in. Primed Smooth Flush Hardboard Hollow Core from Home Depot $40 bucks.

If you want to paint big, this is something worth trying out. Masonite 30 in. x 80 in. Primed Smooth Flush Hardboard Hollow Core from Home Depot $40 bucks.

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