Making your own Linen panels

Is not as hard as you think. There are a few steps involved. The first step to consider is what kind of support you will put the linen on. I have used Gator Board (not to be confused with Gatorfoam)which is very lightweight and perfect for travel. For this project I am using a wooden panel. I used two different kinds of wooden panel.

Wooden Panels: 1. Trekell Art Supplies Raw Wood Panel – 1/4″ Baltic Birch
12″ X 16″ , 11×14 2. Woodpecker’s Craft. woodpecker’s 1/8″ x 12″ x 24″ Baltic Birch B/BB Plywood Sheets that I cut into smaller panels.

Preparation of panel: It is important to apply a “sealant” to the wood panel to • Apply a light layer of sealant to your wood panel with a roller or brush. with Golden GAC Medium. • Let the sealer seep into your wood panel then dry. • Lightly sand the surface and use a clean cloth to wipe away debris. • Apply a second coat Give one final sand, once dry it is ready to adhere linen to the wood panel

Step 1
 With a pencil, trace the board onto a piece of linen making a pattern. Add 1/2 inch around each pattern and Cut the pieces of linen out at least 1/2 inch larger than you want the finished panel to be. Do not cut the linen to the exact size of the board because after the glue is applied there is some shrinkage.

Step 2 Apply glue to the board. I use Miracle Muck which is “a a water-soluble, non-yellowing, low-acid Poly Vinyl Acetate (PVA) copolymer emulsion binding agent that is heat re-activatable and dries clear and completely inert.” some sources for Miracle muck are: Raphael raphaelsap.com, Swinton’s Art Supplies Judsons Art Outfitters

Note: Never let this glue freeze. “DO NOT ALLOW MUCK TO FREEZE OR IT WILL SPOIL. Try to avoid ordering when temperatures will be below freezing or above 90 degrees because both extremes will reduce the potency of Muck. Keep your Muck in a place that is out of direct sunlight and between 40 and 80 degrees and it will last for years.”

Step 2 Apply the Miracle Muck onto the board. Wear gloves. I use a cheap utility paint brush to spread. You can also use a foam roller. Apply evenly and make sure to extend to the outer edges and corners . You should have a thin evenly coated layer from edge to edge.

Step 3: Once the glue has been applied to the board, turn the board over and place glueside down on the backside of the linen. Try to align the board centrally onto the linen. Once the board has been placed onto the backside of the linen, flip both over. Using the palm of your hands, rub across the surface of the frontside of the linen. Try to push out any air bubbles. You can also use a brayer to do this. Make sure and apply even pressure up and down and around the entire surface paying close attention to the edges.

Step 4: After the linen has been applied to the surface of the wooden panel begin stacking the panels. Apply a heavy object like a book or bricks to weigh down the panels and apply continuous pressure. Leave the panels to dry overnight.

Step 5: The next day carefully remove the weights and you can now begin trimming the excess linen off of the panels with a sharp utility knife.

Now you have beautifully prepared linen panels for a fraction of the cost!

POSTSCRIPT: NEVER TOO OLD TOO LEARN! After posting this blog I was advised that Miracle Muck might not be the best glue to use. A better option is Neutral ph Adhesive by Lineco or Rublev mounting adhesive. I have never used these glues but they are completely ph-buffered and apparently that is what you should look for not just the word “archival”. It is interesting, however, that Miracle Muck is used by many professional artist that I respect and also sold by manufactures that have solid reputations. So, you decide……… NOTE: “Repost on Miracle Muck and other white glues: George O’Hanlon-
“Most ‘white glues’ (white glues are typically PVA dispersion adhesives, such as Elmer’s Glue, Modge Podge, Miracle Muck, etc.) found in art supply stores are formulated for craft projects. PVA-based dispersion adhesives are known to become acidic as they age. For this reason it is highly recommended to use only pH-buffered PVA adhesives. Buffered solutions are used as a means of keeping pH at a nearly constant value—in the case of adhesives at neutral, which is important to avoid degradation of paper and canvas in contact with the adhesive.”

You might check out Best Painting Practices or Traditional Oil Painting FB groups. a wealth of information

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