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Golden's GAC 400 Medium can replace rabbit skin glue as a canvas primer. Traditionally, rabbit skin glue (also known as hide glue) was used to reduce the flexibility of canvas before painting. Although it reduces flexibility, it is extremely brittle.
Rabbit skin glue is hygroscopic, which means that it always remains water-soluble. Even when completely dry, high humidity will re-introduce water into the film, causing it to soften or swell up. Over time, this constant swelling and drying of the film can cause severe paint-film cracking and delamination.
GAC 400 can be used in a similar fashion for stiffening canvas. Although GAC 400 does not quite achieve the stiffness of rabbit skin glue, it does not remain water-soluble. Apply one or two coats directly into the raw canvas, coating both front and back for maximum stiffness.
GAC 400 must be applied directly to raw canvas. It is ineffective over any other medium. Used over other mediums, it will flake off and cause delamination of subsequent paint layers. Since it is an acrylic polymer, it is not hygroscopic. However, neither rabbit skin glue nor GAC 400 is completely effective against oil penetration, and the use of GAC 100 over GAC 400 is recommended for oil painters.
Note — Since GAC 400 is brittle, canvas or fabrics treated with GAC 400 should not be rolled tightly or bent backward. This will cause cracking of the polymer film and may transfer cracks into additional paint layers. This is especially a risk with cured oil paints.
Pricing Note — Items with the Blick Best Price icon () on this page are not eligible for additional discounts due to pricing restrictions set by the manufacturer.
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(based on 4 reviews)
of respondents would recommend this to a friend.
Reviewed by 4 customers
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LOVE this product!
from Burbank, CA
Comments about Golden GAC 400 Fabric Stiffener:
GAC 400 is great for fiber-based materials. So versatile and easy to use with a great result. Worth the cost!
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)
Acts like Elmers Glue
from Highland Park, IL
I used it to harden canvas and compared it to Elmer's Glue. Besides the faster drying time I did not see a different result between the two products, so I prefer to use Elmer's for the much cheaper price, greater availability in stores, and reduced toxicity.
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend
(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)
Not water resistant after all.
from New York, NY
I played with this for stiffening lamp shade fabric. When dry I tried a second coat to see it it would get even stiffer. It immediately softened the original dry semi-gloss layer and re-wetted both sides of the fabric. It's quite slow to dry/cure too. Like 20 minutes. This is very much unlike acrylic paint medium which cures for good in a minute or two. Perhaps overnight it will permanently cure. It certainly does stiffen a paper towel though, as a test, and it's not actually very brittle. Though it initially shows brush marks they do even out to not noticeable. I'm afraid I need a faster product, assuming it really does cure in a day or a week to resist water (and perhaps then becomes brittle too).
Will be back for more.
Love this product! I use it to stiffen paper cranes that I use to make earrings. It's so easy to apply and works great!
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