Jerry Tresser's Liquid Gesso

Item Code: S898


S898. Jerry Tresser's Liquid Gesso.

January 2023: Both sizes are currently out of stock.

Use this prepared gesso for manuscript illumination. His special slaked plaster recipe, based on Cennini's centuries-old formula and adjusted to work with Titanium Oxide, is now available in easy-to-use liquid form! (Jerry has used this gesso for his personal work for over 30 years.) It is tinted pink using gilder's bole, the traditional pigment. The gesso comes ready to use: apply with a brush or ruling pen. An easy adjustment is made for use with pointed or broad-edged pen or quill - (directions below - never dilute with water). Stir before using to remix the ingredients. It applies smoothly with no air bubbles or pinholes (never shake to remix!). Stored tightly sealed in its liquid form in your refrigerator; it will keep for years. Does not contain White Lead, but instead uses non-poisonous Titanium dioxide for the white pigment.


1/4oz jar Our current stock of 1/4oz liquid gesso is in a 1-oz leakproof Nalgene bottle.
1/2oz jar

Information for using Jerry Tresser's Gesso (PDF)

Click here for instructional videos using Jerry Tresser's Liquid Gesso.

Q and A



Write a review

Very good!!
Dec 24, 2013  |  By Kaori
When I used this, I could have been gotten the best result since I have started gold gilding! Additionally it is very easy for using. If it was more reasonable, I could use this every time...

Great Size
Jan 4, 2014  |  By Kaori
This gilding size is the best for my experiences. It is very easy for using and I got a very good result. I have ever used a lot of kinds gesso, but I could not have gotten good result until using this gesso. At first I applied this gesso on my work. I waited for drying about 1 day (24hours) before applying gold leaf. It looks like dry, but when I breathed it, instantly it changed the surface to wet. And then I applied gold leaf soon. It was so good it works even edges. Additionally, I tried 2 and 3 layers. It also very good result. I wait for 2 and 3 days until applying gold leaf. It did not change adhesive strength. I recommend this Gesso! This gesso is my special one!! I wrote this review on my blog with some photos. (But it is written in Japanese...)

Kate V
May 1, 2014  |  By Kate Van Dyke
I had trouble with this gesso not drying, even after several days, so I contacted John Neal, who put me in touch with Jerry Tresser. Jerry was very helpful. The tricks for getting a good result are first not to lay it too thickly and second to let it dry for 2 days before gilding, then another day or 2 before burnishing. (I used it undiluted from the jar.) It's a slow process, but I like working with it and the finished result is better for me than Instacoll. Advantages over Instacoll: -It dries without a ditch! -The gilding window is much longer. -No worries about ruining tools with acrylic. -Same brightness. Advantages over traditional gesso (that I have bought, not made): -The gold sticks easily. -Nontoxic. -No prep time since it is liquid. The only disadvantage is that you can't get the mirror finish that is possible with traditional gesso. It took some experimenting with tools and process, but now I am very happy with this product.

Best gilding preparation out there
May 18, 2020  |  By Heather Bungard-Janney
I've worked with several gilding preparations over the past 15 years or so, including some available here at John Neal, and none of them behave as well as Tresser's Gesso. I have to disagree with the reviewer who said it was not possible to get a mirror finish with this stuff, as in my experience it has been the ONLY gilding preparation to give me that finish on the first try! Other gilding adhesives shrink and wrinkle as they dry, and remain sort of "plastic" so that you can't get rid of the wrinkles. The gesso may dimple somewhat if it's over-applied, but once it's dry it is possible to directly burnish the gesso itself, polishing out imperfections and making the surface gleam. Once you gild over that and see the difference, you won't want to use any other product -- I know I sure won't! Absolutely fantastic product.

Jerry Tresser's Liquid Gesso
Jan 20, 2023  |  By Graham CopeKoga
This product is one of the best I have used. I don't think you can find a better one on the market. It's important to follow and understand that rules in using it and that you should never mix with water. You will not have an issues and the gold will look amazing when the gesso is dried.