Priming Plywood for Oil Painting

24 Feb 2009

Q: Is it necessary to prime plywood before painting on it with oil? Couldn't I apply a layer of oil paint directly to the board, let it dry, and then start painting on it?

A:
Painting directly on plywood can prove problematic. Plywood is porous and contains natural oils that can cause problems with your oil paintís curing process. True drying time for oil paint is one year, although some pigments dry faster when painted thinly. On bare plywood, however, your artwork will not be archival, so it is best to prime your plywood to protect both the wood and your artwork.

--by Camille LaPointe-Lyons


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