Homemade Painting Panels

January 12, 2011 by davidslonim

You can buy a 9 x 12 painting panel from an art supply catalog for about $7.00.  Or you can make them yourself for about $  .50 each.   (Yep, 50 cents!)  Here’s how:

1)  Buy hardboard (masonite) at Lowe’s, Menard’s or any other lumber supply store.  A 4′ x 8′ sheet is about $7.00.  At Lowe’s they cut it down for me on the in-store saw at no charge.  I had one sheet cut into 10 x 12′s, the other into 9 x 12′s.

2)  lightly sand the panels, to help the gesso adhere better.

3)  Dilute 1 pint of professional grade acrylic gesso ($9.00) with water until it’s roughly the consistency of pea soup

4)  Using a paint roller ($3.00), roll the diluted gesso onto the panels.  I do 3 coats.


$ 7.00   4′ x 8′ masonite sheet, cut into smaller panels

$9.00 1 Pint of acrylic gesso (I get mine from

$3.00   disposable paint roller cover

$.99    disposable plastic paint roller tray liner


$20.00  Total cost

From one sheet of masonite, you can get 40 9 x 12′s at $ .50 each, or 36 10 x 12′s for $ .57 each.  (BTW- You can cut them to any size you want!)

Forty 9 x 12′s from the art supply catalog would cost $280.00 plus shipping instead of the $20.57 we spent.

Now the hard part -

what will you do with the $259.00 you just saved?

Posted in A Work In Progress Blog, Featured Blog Posts, Instruction, workshops | Tags: , | Leave a Comment »

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  1. Pingback: Great Painting Panels That Don’t Cost Much « Heart of America Artists Association

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