What Is a Board For Painting?

A tableau pour peinture is a solid surface on which to paint that does not flex as much as stretched canvas. Many artists prefer a firm support because it gives the paintings a different response to the mark making of brushstrokes and allows for fine detail work. It also offers longevity and archival value as it will not deteriorate with age like flexible fabric.

There are several kinds of boards that are used for painting. Some are carved, others are flat cut to specific dimensions and still others are made up of panels that are joined together to form a large sheet. The wood is typically sanded and primed before painting to help prevent warping or other damage.

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Many painters use Masonite hardboard which is an engineered wood product that has been modified so that it is less prone to warping than conventional wood panels. It is available in a variety of sizes at hardware stores and other places. It is easy to cut with a circular saw and can be cut to the exact size needed for a particular painting. It has a smooth side and a coarse side which can be painted on, though some painters prefer to prepare the surface with acrylic gesso before using it.

Some painters combine Masonite with other types of wood to make a canvas board that provides the texture of stretched canvas with the rigidity of the board. Others prefer to combine it with linen for a more durable surface. It is also possible to create your own customized board from wood by gluing it to canvas or linen with a quality archival-grade glue and priming it with a good coat of gesso.

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