Gesso is a mixture of glue and talcum powder or calcium carbonate, and is used as a base for other finishes, notably gold leaf. When dry the gesso is extremely hard and durable. It can be sanded to give a silky smooth finish and burnished to produce a shine.
The uses I will describe to you in the following pages have nothing to do with gilding, but will give you some ideas for finishes that will open up a whole new world of possibilities to you.
Many of the gesso finishes are particularly well suited to woodturned items and can be used on both spindle and bowl work. They are also suitable for use on most furniture, especially vertical surfaces. Some can be used for table tops etc. but take the time to experiment with them first & know their limitations.