Small things big difference

Bongo

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I discovered a way to get insanely smooth gessoed panels. Apply gesso with brush (or whatever) then gently drag at the lowest angle a dry wall taping knife. I've tried all different methods to get a smooth finish - with this I don't even sand.

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If the tape knife isn't wider than the panel, you'll get a seam that the edge of the knife makes that you'll have to smooth out. What might work even better, I've yet to try, is a cement float, or finishing tool.
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they come in different sizes/handles. This should eliminate the problem with the seam.

My next "discovery" is glue stick. I use paper palettes. If you apply glue to the perimeter of the backside of the paper, it will stick to any smooth surface. I use it on my French easel's folding palette. It sticks like a second skin. I can fold the palette up without the paper buckling, mix on it without coming loose. Easy to remove and leaves virtually no residue. I've only used the Avery brand but others should work - but do not use the purple colored type. It's useless. I paint standing up and am experimenting with oil paper. The glue stick will hold the oil paper to a piece of hardboard, or any other smooth surface, while you paint with it in a vertical orientation. Also the glue stick comes in two sizes. Get the larger size - the tip is broader and will last along time - and costs less per application.

and when you go to the store remember to say, "bongo sent me".
 
I will definitely mention your name, Bongo!

Love especially the idea about gluing the paper palettes - I've used them myself. They're great, but can slide a bit.

Thanks!
 
The taping tool and cement float are great ideas. Thanks Bongo! I always need you and your ideas. :)
 
Well I got a cement float tool (or whatever they're called) - and it didn't work - at least I couldn't get it to work. If you lay it flat on freshly applied gesso it makes a strong suction and you can't move it or lift it without making a mess. If instead of laying it flat, you tilt it so just one edge drags along the surface it works like the taping tool. So might as well just use the taping tool.
 
When I want a smooth coat of gesso, I just use old credit cards (which I save when outdated for just this purpose). They have rounded edges so they don't make grooves or ridges if held carefully.
 
When I want a smooth coat of gesso, I just use old credit cards (which I save when outdated for just this purpose). They have rounded edges so they don't make grooves or ridges if held carefully.
I wonder if rounding the corners of the taping tool would give a similar effect, but much wider. 🤔
 
Credit card makes sense, essentially like a small taping tool. I'll try rounding the corners with a grinder when I get a chance.
 
I tried working with the float tool again. What I'm learning is - the paint has to be near dry and then lightly run over with the float tool.
It's when paint covers the bottom of the float tool that it starts making suction and sticking to the support. Still working it all out.
 
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