Best Surface For Oil Painting 

Most well-known artists over the years have worked with oil painting to produce some of the best pieces of art. It is a very popular painting style because of its vibrant colours and ability to let artists capture even the tiniest details.   

For this reason, many artists—both seasoned professionals and emerging artists—use oil paint while attempting to produce a stunning work of art. 

It’s crucial to remember that picking the right surface for painting might be challenging whether the surface you’ve selected is acceptable and durable for oil painting. This is due to the fact that while some surfaces complement the medium really well, others may interfere with the effects of the oil.  

Some of the best surfaces considered for oil painting are covered in this article. 

Best Surface For Oil Paints 


This has been used as a painting surface for millennia. Its versatility allows for flawless portraiture and a rough, uneven surface for collages. Paintings on this surface last a very long time and look good. 

Canvas is a stretched cotton cloth that can be either cotton or linen. 

However, it takes a while to dry, making the process of combining colours fairly time-consuming. 

Oil paints have the propensity to mix together easily, which leads some artists to prolong blending the colours until they become murky and pasty. Once this occurs, it is exceedingly challenging to correct. 

You can select from various canvas types, each offering a completely different texture and effect. If used properly, this can have a noticeable impact on artwork. 

Some types of canvas are given below: 

  • Stretched Canvas 

One of the most well-known types is stretched canvas, which derives its name from the method used to make it. It is created by stretching and fastening canvas on stretchers made of wood.  

The procedure enables the fabric to acquire a degree of flexibility, making work on it considerably simpler and more flexible. For paintings intended for show, a stretched canvas is typically preferred. 

  • Canvas Pad 

The canvas pad is one to consider if you’re seeking another excellent option to practice.  

The multiple canvas sheets that make up the canvas pads can be simply ripped off. This is a great choice for individuals still learning to use oil paint because it gives the artist a lot of room for error.

The pads are available in a number of set dimensions, making it simple to pick the right size for your practice needs. 

Using canvas pads for other arts and crafts is also extremely versatile. This increases the appeal they offer.  

As a result, if you’re an artist who enjoys experimenting with various media and doesn’t just use oil paint, you should give this some thought. 


Another surface that works well with oil paint is paper. The paint’s consistency, quantity, and paper thickness significantly impact the final appearance. Artists typically achieve great results when all the proper ingredients are applied. 

The paper has many benefits, including absorbency, surface brightness, a light texture, and archival integrity. It doesn’t require priming. It is inexpensive, portable, simple to store, and simple to cut to size. 

Even while paper and oil paint aren’t typically thought to go well together, paper makes a superb flexible medium for oil painting when prepared properly. Contrary to what you may have heard, oil sketches can be done fine on paper. 

Since paper is far cheaper than canvas and offers a greater surface grip, many artists prefer to use it for their artwork. Paper is a popular option since it provides excellent support for oil paintings.  

You need to understand that some papers are of higher quality than others, and as a result, they produce superior outcomes when used. 


Painting on aluminium is the recent trend in oil painting surfaces. For oil painting, many artists have been using sandwiched aluminium boards, which are often used for street signs.  

They come in sheets, are simple to cut to size, and are almost lightweight, slender, and rigid. It needs to be primed and sanded with sandpaper before being used for oil painting. 

For example, the incredible smoothness of materials like aluminium makes them ideal for painting. Such material is ideal for artisans who value performing fine, intricate work.  

Other than that, it doesn’t degrade and is lightweight and stable. As a result of the surface’s smoothness, people can draw on it successfully. 


One surface, in particular, differs significantly from the others mentioned above. Glass, in contrast to all the other surfaces, is completely impervious to the absorption of liquid paints.  

It has a fully smooth and oil-resistant surface. It is significant to highlight that only oil and acrylic paints can be used successfully on the glass; all other paints should not be used.  

Glass is preferred for many painters since oil paintings may adhere to it quite effectively, provided the surface is properly prepared. 

It is advised to use thin layers of oil paint when painting on glass rather than thick ones because, no matter how well-prepared, large layers of paint tend to crack and peel off over time. 


Is oil painting on canvas or paper preferable?

Oil painting paper is easier to store, carry, and mail because it takes up less space and weighs less than stretched canvas or canvas panels. You could feel less sensitive about squandering a surface because it is less expensive, leading you to engage in more learning activities.

Does oil paint crack on canvas?

Frequently, the canvas’s weave will show cracks. Given that the fractures are so little and limited, they may be a completely natural aspect of an ancient oil painting, and a conservator will not be disposed to change it unless there are major regions of paint loss.

Final Words

It is understood that picking the perfect surface for you can be confusing with so many oil painting options. The surface you select should fit both your needs and your painting style. You may therefore choose wisely by keeping this in mind and your available money.