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Oil On Panel And The Rise Of Dibond As A Painting Substrate For Artists

Oil On Dibond Aluminum Composite_Panel 3A Composites USA Experts

The advantages of using Dibond for a base for oil or other traditional artist paints are that the material is more rigid than canvas and does not require gesso or other primers for use. You normally get very good adhesion from almost all paint systems if you first lightly scuff the surface first and wipe with alcohol.

Oil On Dibond Aluminum Composite_Panel 3A Composites USA Experts, Artist Teresa Oaxaca
By Teresa Oaxaca

The rigidity and durability of the material allows the material to be hung without framing. Also, there is no need of additional support in the back to make the material more rigid or durable like you have to do with traditional canvas.

The polyester paint used on Dibond is specially formulated to achieve excellent adhesion with digital print inks, unlike some of the similar materials, which are imported from China.

Oil On Dibond Aluminum Composite_Panel 3A Composites USA Experts, Artist Shana Levenson
By Shana Levenson

It is not normally necessary to apply a top clear protective covering over the paint, unless it is in a high traffic area. However, a special topcoat can allow for manipulation of the gloss or reflectiveness of the finished piece.

Dibond also is a Class A material, based on its flame spread and smoke development values when tested to ASTM E84, which allow it to be used in the most challenging environments; such as hospitals, schools, and the common area or shopping malls where the fire performance criteria for materials is more stringent.

Dibond material is extremely flat and the surface is very smooth. The rigidity of larger pieces can be increased by using a relief rout on the back of the panel about a 1” or more from all four sides. By then notching the corners and folding back the edges, you can create a three dimensional lid or box effect that results in even greater rigidity of the finished piece.

Oil On Dibond Aluminum Composite_Panel 3A Composites USA Experts, Artist Gustav Sundin
By Gustav Sundin

When using oil paints, Dibond does not necessarily require that a gesso be pre-applied to the surface. However, lightly sanding and wiping the surface with alcohol will allow both traditional and acrylic gesso to adhere quite nicely. Some artists prefer working with oil on the painted Dibond surface instead of gesso because the slow drying oil paint can be moved around easier or scraped off without leaving a ghost pattern like it would with gesso.

Dibond’s use in the art world is expanding. Once seen as a mere printing substrate, is now a go-to for artists using it as a replacement to canvas. Have an #oilonpanel project using our Dibond aluminum composite material? Share with us using the #Dibond

Featured Artists: Teresa Oaxaca, Shana Levenson, Gustav Sundin
Previous Featured Artists: Xenia Hausner, Aaron Nagel, Hayal Pozanti, Albert Oehlen

3A Composites USA Graphic Display Technical Expert Blog Post Gary Scott

Gary Scott is Senior Technical Field Representative for 3A Composites USA. He has been building his vast knowledge and expertise of 3A products since his hiring in 1987 as a quality assurance technician for Alusuisse Composites (Eventually Acquired by Alcan). Gary arrived at Alusuisse after working as a chemical operator/lab technician at Genex Corporation. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Murray State University and went on to complete the M.B.A Program at the same university.
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