If you would rather read the video script, below is the transcription.
You may be wondering, “why does this matter?” If you are using a wood substrate it can be prone to warping due to moisture. It would be disappointing if your project warps after spending hours on it. By prepping your board, you are preventing it from warping and setting it up for success. Other reasons include making the product look more professional and helping the glass colors show better on the mosaic.
On the left, is a photo of an un-primed board. On the right, is a prepped and primed board ready to be mosaiced. Before making this video, I did stain the board on the left and I will talk about the process later.
Here are materials you will need to prep and prime your cradled wood board. Most of these items are available at your local art and home improvement stores. At the end of the video, I have listed sources where you can get these items. When purchasing wood stain and paint primer, I recommend getting the smaller can. The wood stain I use comes in an 8 fl. Oz. can and my paint primer is a 29.5 fl. Oz. can. So far, I have prepped 24 boards with that quantity. Another requirement is having a space where you can leave your board for 1-2 days.
The first step is staining the back and sides of the wood board. This step is optional. If you like the original color of the board, you can skip this step. Another option is using acrylic paint to paint the board.
If you are staining the wood, I recommend doing this outside or in a well-ventilated space where you can leave your board overnight to dry. Stain comes in various color. I am using the color oak. To get started, wear gloves and make sure your board is clean. If you have newspaper, lay it over your workspace. Next, open the can of stain and pour some in a disposable cup. With the board flipped to the back, apply a thin coat of stain using a foam brush. Start from the center of the board and brush out toward the edge. Use what is left over on your brush for the sides. Apply more stain as needed. This helps spread the stain without using too much. Let the stained board sit for about 15 minutes. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe the excess liquid off. For a darker stain, wait at least 5 hours before applying another coat and repeating the process. Personally, one coat is enough for me. After wiping off the excess stain, I leave the board to dry overnight.
After leaving the stained board to dry overnight, use blue tape or painter’s tape to tape the sides. Before taping, you can choose to attach your hanging device such as a sawtooth hanger or an eyelet screw with hanging wire. For boards bigger than an 8”x8”, I recommend attaching your hanging device before or after priming.
To tape the sides, I like to use the 1.5” width tape but you can use a thinner width tape depending on the thickness of your board. By taping the sides, you are protecting your board from the paint primer in the next step. To tape the board, I like to start either on one corner or in the middle of one side and move the tape all the way around until I meet my starting point. Then, flip to the back of the board and fold the extra tape width down. The extra coverage on the back prevents drips of primer from smearing the back of the board.
Now, it is time to prime. Cover the work surface with newspaper and lay the board on top faced up. Open the can of paint primer and stir it. Paint the surface of the board with a brush. Paint another coat or two so the surface is completely covered. If there is too much primer dripping off the sides, wipe the excess with a paper towel or cloth.
After 1-2 hours, the primed board will be dry and ready for your next mosaic project.
Here is a list of sources where you can purchase supplies.