Steven, I've painted on hardboard/masonite for a long time, since college in the early 80's. I've always preferred it to stretched canvas. A coat or two of acrylic gesso should work for oil/acrylic, I also like absorbent ground which is more like real gesso. I like to finish off the gesso by patting it with one of those cheap foam brushes. It gives it an overall pebble finish rather than brushy or sanded smooth. I like the texture.
The new "clayboards" are really nice to paint on as well, and already gessoed, and not that expensive. I have found the smooth finish to be a little difficult with acrylic (slimy) but fine for oil.
----- Original Message -----
From: Steven Hoke
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 7:19 AM
Subject: Personal Art
I've begun painting on hardboard/masonite recently and I'm finding that it provides a great surface, however, sometimes the paint doesn't stick. I want to seal the surface somehow, but I am not sure what I should use to seal it. What should I use to seal the surface? I want something non-yellowing, preferably matte, but glossy will do in a pinch. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
Steven in NC