I’ve been asked by some readers of this blog to show how I go about making my panels for painting. It is a fairly simple process but I will explain it step by step for those of you who are interested in making your own.
I do buy my birch panels from SourceTek. I find them to be the best panels on the market and I have never had a problem with ordering like I have with some other companies that make similar products. I also buy my glue for the panels from SourceTek, it is a non-shrinking glue called Miracle Muck. I buy it by the gallon, which will make more than a hundred panels for me.
I start by laying out a roll of linen, in this case Claessens 820 from Utrecht. I place the panels out, spacing them with enough room to leave an edge of about a quarter inch larger than the wood.
Using a pencil, I draw a line as a guide for cutting the linen with my utility knife.
Since I'm making these on my studio floor I slide a cutting mat under each panel before cutting the linen.
I cut out all the panels I’m going to make that day and stack them for gluing.
Next I pore out some glue on a panel being careful not to use too much.
With my putty knife I spread the glue evenly across the boards surface and if I do have too much I scrape it on to the next panel so I don’t waste it.
I use an ink brayer and starting from the center roll all the air pockets out from under the surface of the linen.
When I am sure the linen is completely flattened out I flip it over and place some weights on it to dry.
Once the glue has dried overnight, I trim the edge of the board and the panel is ready.