I get asked all the time if I gesso my canvas. I do often buy the pre-primed canvas at the art supply store, but I do find that it is not smooth enough for my style of painting. I found this video by Howcast and it is exactly how I do mine (minus the mixing of the gesso). And I do prefer a squeegee. I also love to add texture and paint to my gesso to start off an interesting painting.
Has anyone ever mixed their own gesso? I am curious if there is any difference in quality.