Sunday, October 11, 2009

Making Linen Panels For Outdoor Painting


Armand Cabrera

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.