View Full Version : Removing crack filler from a painting?

12-27-2006, 06:36 PM
How can one remove polyfiller (ie. crack filler) from an old oil-based painting. It's a small amount, and an eyesore. Old as in 100 yrs or so? Appreciate learning from your experience.

Rose Queen
12-27-2006, 06:49 PM
Welcome to WetCanvas! :wave:

I've moved your post to the Oils forum, where I hope you'll get the help you need.

If you have questions on navigating the site, c'mon back over to the New User forum and we'll be glad to help you out.

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12-27-2006, 11:05 PM
What exactly is this stuff? What does it look like? What problems is it causing? What kind of shape is the rest of the painting in? No one's going to be able to help you based on the scanty info you've provided. You might want to post a photo.

If the painting is valuable, however, the only reliable approach would be to bring it to a conservator with the appropriate skills to assess the problem and correct it.

12-28-2006, 08:59 AM
My first thought would be not to try to flake this off the surface of the painting if it's at all valuable, since old oil paintings can be quite brittle and the Polyfilla may have a good grip. If you want to take the risk you could try gently prising it up from the surface with a fingernail; if it doesn't look like it wants to budge then go to a restorer if the painting is worth it to you.

FWIW I would guess that if it's stuck fast a pro would gently scrape down layer by layer through the adhesion with a fresh scalpel blade or similar. Once down to the varnish surface they'll then clean off any remainder with a mild solvent and Q-tips. The varnish is quite likely to need replacement at this stage in the painting's life (generally necessary every 30-50 years) so this could be a prime opportunity to have the painting returned to something like its new appearance by cleaning and revarnishing.

What exactly is this stuff?
Like spackle.