Second Floor Challenge #9: Embossing Powder

Are you ready to take the second floor this time? If you have no clue what I am talking about- read all about it here :) The Second Floor Challenge

So today is our 8th Second Floor Challenge: Embossing Powder

Click here to see what Julie did

Whatever that means to you or however it inspires you.  The prompt is simply meant to get you started.  The level of challenge you aim for is entirely internal and up to you

Embossing Powder- cool – I love Embossing Powder. I use it in many different ways and I love to try out all kinds of different media as embossing agents. If you have ever been at one of my life workshops you know that 😉 You have used all kinds of stuff for it…Acrylic Paints was one of them. So started like this on a small tiny canvas

I spread black gesso over since I know I wanted different colored embossing powders on top of it and I hoped the black gesso would make the colors pop more.

It was like cooking …BAM! some more spicy embossing powder right into the kisser wet gesso.

Next was heating, and I had a suspicion already that this mixture would be a bit dangerous in case of the fumes…and boy was I right…yikes. I bet this is highly unhealthy and recommend almost a mask and a well ventilated area. But still I was pleased with the result.

Time to take it to the second floor – I sprayed it with water based spray paints

and BAM! sprinkled some golden embossing powder over it here and there – off heating again

Loved the results….and then used it right away for a present for a special girl

here is a close up of the Gesso-Embossing

What I learned from this challenge:

  1. I love the texture and patina aged look the embossing powder with the black gesso created. Actually to tell you the truth it makes me giddy 🙂
  2. this is NOT healthy! not something I would teach in a workshop. Black Gesso by Golden already has on their lable that it contains chemicals that are known to cause cancer…and embossing powder is essentially plastic, so melting it together like crazy is obviously a crazy nut case’s idea! I will wear a mask next if I do it again!
  3. I love that through the combination of those two media the heat resulted extra dimension stayed once it was dried. Pretty pretty cool.
  4. If you reheat colored gesso again and put the heat too long on it, it can loose its color at parts and gets white spots. Which in this case was cool! But something to keep in mind.
  5. I liked working on a smaller surface for this technique – first it was out of economic reasons as to not waste a huge amount of embossing powder if that technique would not work, but then it also was fun to incorporate this in a bigger project using different techniques then again.

If you’d like to leave a link showing off what you did in response to this challenge, here’s the linky list:




  1. AWESOME!!!!! 🙂

  2. WOW – you are amazing – this project is awesome!

  3. Thanks for experimenting and sharing… I think I’ll pass on heating up my cancer agent, lmao…. but I do appreciate seeing your beautiful results!

  4. Hi Nat – what a great post. I’ve never used embossing powder but I do use black gesso. I never checked the label before. Ouch! I wanted to link up to your post but it said the links are starting 10/18… I did something I never did before which was to use chipboard on a canvas. I was a bit inspired by you!

  5. WOW! That really looks fabulous. What a shame that it’s so toxic… Well, we could just be like Michelle Ward and not worry about it. She uses all kinds of toxic stuff! Is that black gesso super thick? It looks really dimensional, which just makes the project even cooler 🙂

  6. Oh my gosh how gorgeous is that! ❤

  7. says:

    I would not of thought to use black gesso. thanks for sharing your process….I really liked the results.

  8. Oh Nath, I like this work, and Cuchy is a special woman!!. Thank you for the explain it….. I don’t know if I write well. Kisses

  9. I love these experiments and the spirit with which you and Julie do them.
    Perhaps put black gesso down, let dry and put on the clear embossing ink so the fumes will not get too bad.
    Can you also tell us about the background of the finished piece-the blue lettering and the misting technique? I know that was not part of the project but curious about the stamping of the lettering look.

  10. Kathy Gledsdale says:

    Really lovely!

  11. I’m sorry but I just read the part where Nat tells us Black Gesso by Golden already has on their label that it contains chemicals that are known to cause cancer!
    I mean should we be worried especially those of us that use our fingers to paint with? I already get cancer in the bladder every so often and have to get that taken out each time with out endangering myself with using a product that could essentially put me at risk again. Sorry but my health is under so much stress as it is with out this added worry.

  12. Wonderful Work with these embossing powder !

  13. ohhhh it’s me, it’s me!!!! and you even took a risk with the fumes!! 😉
    Thank you sweetie. You made my day! Can’t wait to touch it.

  14. Because of the dust and fumes I have always worked in small areas only. I guess you could tackle larger pieces by standing back and doing the same with breaks between each section. With good lighting you can tell if the powder has hardened and not have your face in it.

  15. wow, that looks so cool, gonna have to give it a go.
    Thanks for the inspo :-*

  16. Please don’t inhale too many fumes while creating Nat.
    Good to see that Julie posted the same day as you did;-O
    I love the texture that you got.

  17. Love this technique Nat! Gotta get some black gesso and try this!

  18. AWESOME Nat! I’m going to definitely give this a try:)

  19. Gorgeous!! The colors definitely pop with the black gesso and the background is divine too!!

  20. Love!

  21. How cool is that. I do not have any black gesso. I do have some embossing powders though…….MIght have to try something like this!

  22. Muy bonito Nat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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