I've been having gesso problems. I use gesso with my elementary students to prime papier-mache projects. It blocks out the newspaper print, provides some additional strength to the structure, and also provides a nice painting surface.
I'd been using this stuff from Nasco for umpteen years:
But last spring, I opened up my container after not using it for a couple of months and what was left was all ORANGE (and didn't smell good either). So I called the company, and they replaced it. The new bucket was opened and used toward the end of the school year, but we didn't use it up. I went to use it this fall, and again... ORANGE. So I threw it out.
Because I was worried about a repeat of this problem, I ordered something else. Our district wants us to order from School Specialty, so I ordered this:
I opened it to prime my Laurel Burch papier-mache cat prototype, and it was disappointing. It would probably take 3 or 4 coats to cover the newspaper print, so it's not practical for our use. We need to get the priming done in one session. I can't think of a possible good use for this stuff.
So I ordered this:
In the catalog it was shown in a bucket, but it arrived in a bottle, like the Sax one in the previous photo. So I opened the bottle up and stuck my finger in, hoping to see its opacity. But what I found was a solid rubbery lump. EEK. The whole bottle!!! I called School Specialty and they sent me a replacement immediately. It came right away, and so I opened it immediately. Here's what it looked like after I cut the bottle in 1/2.
Yes, the top half of the bottle was another solid rubbery lump. The bottom half is like a thick rubbery spackle. It can be smeared onto a surface with my hands, but it won't spread with a brush at all; it is on it's way to being another rubbery lump.
I called yet again and they offered something different for replacement. But most of the gesso was way pricier than the stuff I'd ordered, so the only thing I could find at the cost I'd had approved was this: Rheotech Gesso. It's listed as 'economy' so I hope it will have some density and coverage. We shall see.
Do you use gesso at school? What kind do you prefer? Have you ever had spoilage problems?