For those looking for a more inexpensive way to create thick, textured paintings, I suggest you look into using FLEXALL® patch material.
I got a bit tired of paying for the expensive texture mediums available in the art market, so I went to our local big-name lumber store. A nice gentleman talked to me about the various materials used by those in construction, and mentioned that FLEXALL® was a bit different, in that it wasn’t just plaster, but had additives that made it stronger.
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We decided, for my needs, that it would be the best. And so far it has been, in several different ways:
1. It’s inexpensive.
One gallon costs around $14.50, which would only get you about 20 oz of modeling paste from an art store. Depending on how much texture you use, a gallon can last you quite a while.
2. There are more sizing options available.
You can get it in pints, quarts or gallons, or in tubes for easy application.
3. It’s fairly quick-drying.
Set up time is about 30 minutes, depending on how much you use.
4. It works well with paint.
FLEXALL® is used specifically for filling and painting, so it readily adapts to fine art painting. It comes in a white and off-white color base, so you would use the white. As with gesso, you could wait until dry, or use with color.
5. The texture doesn’t crack.
This is why I use it. You can use as little or as much as you would like, and although I haven’t used this for structural-type of texture, I HAVE used it fairly thick and it dries without cracking.
It is also a great base for adding other textures to, like stucco for a gritty base. It holds many different forms of texturizing quite well. You can stamp or draw into it, and you could even sand it, though I would suggest using a mask, ventillation and eye protection for sanding.
6. No special tools required.
FLEXALL® can be molded with hands, painting knives, trowels, or thinned and painted on with a brush. Clean up is easy—just use soap and water.
Print off an MSDS sheet if you would like to read about any hazards, which are mainly due to overexposure or ingestion. First aid measures are flushing for eye contact, and washing with soap and water for skin irritation.
I have used it with my bare hands and had no irritation, but of course you should make your own decision about that.