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Masonite Paintings

William H. Mason patented Masonite in 1924. He wanted to find a use for the wood chip waste produced by sawmills. Mason found that by steaming the wood fibers and then pressing them together, he could create hardboard. The resulting product, Masonite, was one of several hardboard materials developed from the 1890s onward.

Masonite is dark brown in color, with a smooth surface and a textured reverse. Unlike wood panels, Masonite does not swell or shrink with the weather, though it may warp. If the artist sands the smooth surface to create “tooth” to hold paint, the panel loses its integrity and becomes more susceptible to the effects of temperature and humidity changes.

Masonite signifies ideas of practicality, industrial production, organic, and inexpensive material. Artists began... Read more

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