DIY Home made gesso

There are so many DIY crafts online these days (thanks pinterest!) that when I needed some gesso for a project I thought ‘Hey.. maybe I could just make my own?’ And sure enough, I did. It’s really easy to make, dirt cheap and most likely just using ingredients you have at home anyway. I took pics as I went so I could share this grand discovery.


All you need is:

Water, PVA glue and talcom powder.

It also helps to have a container to mix it in, a stirrer (I started with an old paint brush but later swapped to a fork) and an applicator.


Mix 1 part PVA glue, with 2 parts water. Mix it good.


Add talcom powder. Note: This can get messy if you attempt to do it my way. By squeezing the powder straight into the mixture, it creates a big puff! Be gentle..

I read a few recipes that all had different quantities of powder, so I just added small amounts at a time. You want to achieve the consistency of pancake batter. My mixture had lots of little lumps in it which is why I stirred with a fork in the end. A whisk is probably a good idea.. but the fork worked fine.


Stir all the lumps out and you’re ready to rock. I applied about 3 coats and let each coat dry in between. Once complete it must be left overnight to dry before sanding. I had plenty of mixture left over so I poured it into a jar to keep for next time.



Gesso is often used on canvases as a primer. Once dry it is sanded back to create a smooth, absorbent surface to paint on. For my project I am applying the gesso to a rough plaster dome in an attempt to fill the ridges.

*Update! See my completed project’Pod’ here*




8 Comments on “DIY Home made gesso

  1. I’m going to have to find something to use gesso on! Never heard of it before. Great post!

    • I haven’t used it as a medium before but you could experiment and see what happens! I’m sure it would work but because it’s white it will change the colour of your paints. I use it as a base for texture or sand it to make a smooth surface.

  2. It’s also a great recipe to use as a texture paste. Add a little less water and make it about the consistency of toothpaste. Using an old credit card or a palette knife smooth it over a stencil to make a raised design. This is an awesome recipe – very versatile. Thank you!!!

  3. Genial !!!! Yo en vez de talco agregó polvo tiza !! Será lo mismo ??? Me da resultado y es mas barato todavia !!! Pruebenlo !!! El q sea mas espeso o líquido va a depender lo q desees hacer y la textura final q desees obtener !!

    • ¡El polvo de tiza es una gran idea! Debería funcionar bien, gracias por la idea, lo intentaré. / Chalk powder is a great idea! Should work well, thanks for the idea I will try it.

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