Golden GAC 200 is designed to increase the film strength and adhesive properties of acrylic paint. Before I get in depth into examining what we like and don’t like about this product, I am going to explain some of the situations where you might want to use it.
Mounting Canvas and Collage
There are many circumstances that you may way to adhere two different materials to one another. Most often this comes in the case of collage and mounting. Collage involves gluing canvas, paper, or another material to a flexible or rigid support. This support can be paper, canvas, panel, wood, metal, or many other materials. If you are creating a painting with acrylic paint, then an acrylic medium or gel can be used as the “glue” that sticks your collage together. The benefits to using an acrylic medium like Golden Polymer Medium is that it dries clear, is archival, and it has the same chemical make-up as acrylic paint. In fact, many mediums and gels are essentially acrylic paint without any pigment.
Another situation where you might want to adhere two materials is when you are mounting a surface onto another surface. This can be done for many reasons. You may want to increase the structural rigidity of a flexible surface like canvas by mounting it to a panel. This is beneficial in the long run, as a more rigid surface will prevent the paint from flexing. This flexing, over time, can cause the painting to crack and even delaminate in some situations. This is especially true for oil paints, and many art specialists recommend mounting oil paintings to a rigid surface, or painting directly on a primed rigid surface. A work that is done on paper can be mounted on canvas so that it can be put on a stretcher and hung like a regular painting on canvas. This can also be done with canvas that have been cropped and don’t have enough room on the edges to stretch around the canvas. In fact, this is a common technique with many abstract painters. They paint a large surface of canvas, then cut-out smaller images that make good compositions. These smaller cut-outs can then be mounted onto a fresh canvas. It can also be done before the painting is started or after it is completed.
In either case, one-or both of the materials can be coated with an acrylic polymer medium or gel, then stuck onto one another. In the case of mounting, or if collaging larger pieces, you may want to squeeze out the excess medium using a roller so that it doesn’t leave a lumpy surface.
What is Golden GAC 200?
Golden has a line of specialty polymers called the GAC series. They are designed to meet the specific needs of artists. One of these products is called Golden GAC 200. It was designed to increase the adhesion strength of other polymer mediums and gels. This makes it an excellent addition if you are painting on, or mounting to a non-porous and rigid support. It will help to ensure that the two materials that you are gluing will stay permanently stuck together. It also increases that hardness of the paint film which helps to make it more durable.
Golden GAC comes in multiples sizes. It is available in 8 oz., 16 oz., 32 oz., and 128 oz. (1 U.S. gallon). Keep in mind that it is used as an ADDITIVE to other mediums. This is especially recommended if you are using a less rigid support. In fact the instructions of the label recommend a maximum of 75% Golden GAC 200 to 25% medium if you are using a rigid support. It also recommends only using a 50/50 mix if you are working on a flexible support. The product is opaque and white like many mediums when it is wet. It dries to a clear, glossy, finish.
What we like about it
We like that this product is able to be added to other Golden mediums and mixes quite easily. I have used it extensively to adhere canvas to dibond panel. I mix the Golden GAC 200 with Golden Soft Gel (Gloss) for this. I then apply a liberal coat of the mix to the back of the canvas and let it dry. I then apply it very liberally the mix to the sanded and degreased panel. And lay the back of the canvas onto it. Using a plastic roller, I then roll it out until it is smooth. This will push a lot of the mix out the sides of the canvas, but it will ensure that there are not any lumps and I will have a smooth working surface. It is important to really evenly coat the panel in this second step. Any areas that don’t have enough of the mix on them won’t adhere properly. This is especially true around the edges and corners. This is why i use a pretty liberal amount of the Gac 200 and soft gel mix and apply it with a serrated putty knife. This ensures all of the areas of the panel are covered with an even coat.
What we don’t like about it
The downside to this product, is also its biggest benefit. Because it dries to such a hard finish, it is less flexible than other mediums. This is why it is recommended to use on a rigid surface and as an additive rather than a standalone adhesive.
What other products can you use
If you are adhering something like canvas or paper to a rigid support, this is probably one of the best acrylic based products that you can use. It is clear, archival, and compatible with many of the other Golden mediums and Gels. If you are adhering to something flexible, as would be the case of collage on paper or canvas, then it might be better to use another medium on its own. This is because GAC 200 is recommended for use on rigid surfaces. A more flexible product like Golden Soft Gel or Golden Polymer Medium might be a better choice for a collage or mounting onto a flexible support.
Golden GAC 200 is a great product to use when mounting things like canvas to a rigid panel. It also works great as an additive to acrylic paint if you are painting directly onto a non-porous surface. It will help the paint or medium adhere to things like metal and glass.