A Guide to Artists Wooden Panels

January 13, 2020 3 min read

A Guide to Artists Wooden Panels

In our last blog we introduced our new range of Artist’s Wooden Panels and in this blog we’re going to go a little more in depth with the reasons for using them as well as how to get the best results out of your wooden panels.


So why consider using a painting panel?

Firstly because of the superior stability they offer, the study cradled construction makes them highly stable and less prone to warping over time than canvases. In addition solid wood stands up better than fabric, making them an ideal choice to anyone concerned, ensuring their work will last.

As for techniques the uniform flat face of a panel gives you an ideal surface for painting highly detailed work, particularly if you have primed and sanded your panel you’ll be able to achieve some outstandingly detailed work. The robust cradled design works with with thick impasto techniques common to oil painting. Wooden panel are also ideal for pouring medium techniques, the smooth flat surface lets the fluid paint flow and spread freely while drying evenly. Wooden panels are a striking choice for digital flatbed printing and work brilliantly as a surface for screen printing similarly.

Wooden panel print courtesy of Matt Hudders


The panels that we stock are all ready to use with acrylics on but if you’re looking to paint on them with oil or to get the highest quality results then we have some advice for you regarding sealing and priming your panel for painting with acrylic and oil.


So what's the importance of sealing?

Sealing is the process by which a medium is applied to the work surface prior to priming to seal and protect the wood from moisture from getting into the grain which can lead to the wood splitting or warping over time. In addition, it helps to protect both the panel itself and paint from each other as acidic residue in the oil can absorb into the wood of the panel and degrade it over time. In turn when painting with acrylic it helps to avoid any impurities that might be present in the wood being drawn up into paint layer can discolouring the paint.

Make sure you thoroughly seal your panel, back to front and top too bottom.

We recommend that you use 2 layers of sealer before applying your primer of choice, rub the surface down with a soft cloth to remove and surface dust and apply your sealer in a few even coats allowing time to dry between each application. It's recommended to sand each layer gently between coats as the grain of the wood may rise slightly after sealing. Use a fine grit sandpaper for this.

We recommend using either the Golden GAC100 or the Mod Podge Gloss to seal your wooden panel, both will provide a gloss finish and thorough protect your panel from years to come.



How should I prime the surface?

Compared to sealing priming is a very simply process but an important once, it provides a surface with that helps with adhesion of paint application. For acrylic painting using at least one of gesso is recommended but for oil a 2-3 coats if often suggested as the oil paint will penetrate more deeply into the primer layer than acrylic will. Gesso primer unlike sealer is absorbent and will absorb moisture from the paint layer applied, hence why its important to seal your panel if you're concern about your work's longevity. You have the choice to sand your gesso if you want a smoother finish once it has dried completely in the same way you can sand the sealer between coats.


We recommend the Galeria Gesso Primer as a standard primer, having a good balance between coverage, pigment load and surface “tooth” for strong paint adhesion. If you’re looking for a superior quality primer for use with artist paints, we suggest the Winsor & Newton Artists’ Acrylic Gessowhich comes in both white and clear translucent suitable for mixing with other acrylic colours to create coloured primer to suit your painting.


Ben Platt
Ben Platt

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