Best backing board for painting on paper at an easel
Reader Question: Hi, I'm about to start painting with acrylics. I've ordered a table easel and need a backing board for the paper. Would it be best to use MDF, hardboard, plywood, or something else please?
If you're going to paint with acrylics on paper that is propped up on an easel, then any of the backing boards you mentioned will work just fine. The important thing is that whatever board you choose needs to be:
- sturdy - something that doesn't bend or warp, and
- smooth - something that doesn't have bumps, cracks, or anything else that might prevent a smooth application of the paint to the paper.
MDF, hardboard, plywood, and masonite are all good contenders.
The ideal thickness of the backing board will depend on the size of your table easel and the size of the artwork you will be creating. For large pieces, consider getting a board that is at least 1/4" to 1/2" thick. The extra thickness will help the board remain stable on the easel as you work. For medium to smaller pieces, a thin piece of hardboard should suffice - 1/8" thick or so. These Hardboard Panels
would do the job, because they are sturdy, smooth and very cheap!
Also remember to buy clips or archival tape to adhere the paper to the backing board.
Hope that helps!