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DIY - Oil Painting Panels - Art Tips - Mandar Marathe

DIY – Oil Painting Panels

In my post about “Oil Painting Surfaces,” I briefly talked about panels/boards that can be used for oil painting. Some people also call them gesso panels or gesso boards. In today’s video, I show you how I make these oil painting panels/boards myself. I also talk about the following advantages of making and using such boards. 

1. Control on texture
2. Cost-effectiveness
3. Custom sizes
4. Easy to dry
5. Easy to ship

Happy painting!


  1. Mandar, thank you. I found your video very informative. I bought an MDF panel few months back and got it cut to different sizes. I am yet to use it, but hope to soon.
    1. What is the thickness of the mdf panel you are using? I could only find 8mm panels. I found them to be on the heavier side, esp 12×16 that I wanted.
    2. Is there a front and back side to the panel or can you use any of the side to be front/back?
    3. Gesso – will camlin gesso work well or do you recommend any other brand?


    • mandar says:

      Hi Priya,
      1. I am currently using 4 mm thick mdf panels. At least 3 + 1(on the backside) layers of gesso add another mm or two. That’s good enough for a painting of size 6″ x 8″ that I do. In my opinion, 8 mm is too thick for our application.
      2. You can use any side of MDF panels as the painting surface. They are both smooth.
      3. Camlin gesso works well. I haven’t had any problems with it till now and I haven’t used any other brand to do a comparison.
      Hope this info helps! Do let me know if you have any other queries.
      Happy painting!

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