Jackson’s Aluminium Painting Panels are great for painting. They are specially treated for paint to adhere to and they offer a great value with a 100% conservation-quality stable support for your painting.
Aluminium art panels make even, rigid and lightweight painting surfaces. Unlike canvases (with wooden stretcher bars) or wood panels, aluminium panels are artwork supports that will not release gases over time and barely react to changes in humidity and temperature. The conservation benefits and archival properties of the metal mean that aluminium art panels can easily be stored in damp studios where traditional painting surfaces would warp. Areas on the aluminium painting panels can also be left exposed, as the material won’t tarnish due to its resistance to oxidation. The lightweight nature of the aluminium panels makes them ideal for large artworks which need to be transported. The panels have an industrial finish with slight marks or imperfections.
These panels have an anodised aluminium surface that is ready-prepared for use with all types of painting media, including oil, acrylic, watercolour, gouache and ink as well as some drawing media like pencil and pen. No priming is necessary. The paint will adhere very well to the metal. Either side of the panel can be used. Jackson’s Aluminium Panels are the perfect solution for those who like to paint on ultra smooth, hard surfaces. The smooth panel means that paint can easily be spread and that brushes never need to be scrubbed into the surface. Jackson’s Aluminium Panels have a smooth, light grey, satin finish, but can be primed with any of the Jackson’s primers should a different colour be preferred.
The Jackson’s aluminium panel is an anodised aluminium surface, which is widely considered the best process for preparation of an aluminium surface for the application of paint. There is no residue from the process as it is a change to the structure of the aluminium face, above and below the surface. The process modifies the surface by creating aluminium oxide within the surface, creating an extremely hard porous surface that allows fantastic adhesion of paints.
The very fine, regular, porous surface suits fluid paint best as it can get into the small pores. But the paint still needs plenty of binder so it will cure to a durable paint surface. After complete drying and curing both acrylic and oil colours are permanently bonded to the surface. If you wish to use thicker paint you can gesso the surface with a fluid gesso that penetrates the pores and then paint on top of that. The gesso will be permanently bonded to the surface.
The 3mm thick panels are available in 10 ready-cut sizes: 6x8inch (15x20cm), 8x10inch (20x25cm), 12x12inch (30x30cm), 11x14inch (28x36cm), 12x16inch (30x40cm), 16x16inch (40x40cm), 16x20inch (40x50cm), 18x24inch (46x61cm), 24x24inch (61x61cm) and a 5x5inch tester size. Or they can be cut to your specified size up to 100 x 100cm, please ring our order line to order a bespoke size.
Hanging the Aluminium Panels
To display them – like all flat panels with no edging structure they will need to be framed or have a hanging system glued to the back.
You can adhere a wood strip to the back that will take screws for hanging.
For the panel shown below we used regular pva to adhere a thick strip of plywood to the panel. It is so well adhered it seems permanent.
Be aware – as with all glues you need to create a firm contact between the two surfaces and the glue. Clamping is best, a heavy weight will work.
Because clamping might damage a painting you can glue the wood strip on using a clamp before you paint or if you need to add the wood strip after you can use weights.
Aluminium Painting Panel Testing
Multiple Painting and Drawing Media
I wanted to see how different media worked on the smooth metal surface.
I expected the paints to bead up like they would on plastic and for pencil and pen to wipe off.
I was surprised.
- Acrylic inks, Liquid Acrylics and Acrylic Paints all are permanent and can be glazed over each other when dry. They dry fairly quickly.
- Oil Colour grabs on nicely, it is not the slick surface I expected.
- Graphite Pencil goes on beautifully with subtle gradations possible. It will smudge slightly for blending and erase completely with a rubber.
- Coloured Pencil makes beautiful marks and doesn’t smear.
- Sketching and Brush Pens like Pitt Pens and Sakura Micron draw crisp lines with no feathering and give a great tonal contrast. They dry in a few minutes and do not smear when brushed with water.
- Watercolour washes flow nicely and dry fairly quickly with a beautiful satin surface. They are the least permanent medium on the panels as they will lift off completely when re-wetted. You cannot build up layers of colour.
- Soft Pastel doesn’t work, it brushes right off.
The Colour of the Metal
I was surprised that transparent colours did not appear darker because of the colour of the metal showing through. Its light grey surface acts nearly as white.
I tested a portion with acrylic primer and both the blue acrylic and the umber watercolour took longer to dry on the acrylic primer than on the bare aluminium and the colours of the paint were darker, even with the white behind them.
It is a super smooth surface that is lovely to stoke your hand across.
Yet because of the chemical treatment of the surface it is porous enough to be absorbent.
Unfortunately the surface is not pristine it has scuffs and scratches which you may wish to take into consideration if you are doing precise work or want to leave parts of the metal unpainted. If you are covering the whole surface with oil or acrylic colour I don’t think you will notice the slight imperfections at all. The surface could be given a smooth ground, clear or coloured, if you don’t mind changing the surface.
Click on the underlined links to go to the aluminium painting panels on the Jackson’s Art website.
Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39.