View Full Version : I have a question...

09-07-2007, 03:46 AM
Hello everyone,
I am still new and i hope what i am about to ask is acceptable in this forum.
Does anyone have tips on how to remove a layer of acrylic paint, on canvas, as oppossed to using gesso and painting over it? I have a few canvases with one painting on each and i would like to just get them back to the original canvas, then prime, and start over. That is, if there is a gentle way to do it. Any thoughts appreciated.
jr-"the Colorspeaker'

09-07-2007, 04:44 AM
You can scrape acrylic off a hard shiny surface, but it's unlikely you can do this on canvas.

There's no need at all for you to remove the acrylic before repriming. If there are any acrylic brush marks or ridges showing, I would gently reduce them with fine sandpaper, and then put on a few coats of primer.

You can paint oil on top of acrylic but not acrylic on top of oil.

09-07-2007, 05:51 AM
I've used wet/dry sandpaper with fairly good success to get rid of ridges/textures, then gesso. Good luck.

09-07-2007, 08:51 AM
Sand paper and new gesso is the only way I know how. I have done it many times. Jan

09-07-2007, 11:14 AM
You might also try some type of alcohol. I haven't tried to completely remove all the paint on a support -- could be labor intensive. However, it might work to remove brush marks much the same as sandpaper -- then, gesso.

Denatured alcohol would be the cheapest to use, but you might need to wash the surface with soapy water before priming. Denatured alcohol can sometimes contain petroleum distilates that might cause adhession problems.


09-07-2007, 11:58 AM
Here's the most thorough way: Get some acetone (hardware stores have it cheap) soak an old cloth with it and scrub. The paint should come peeling off like burned skin. After that, rinse the canvas with a lot of water and dry. New primer and done.

The good: Acetone really kicks acrylics' butt. It's also volatile enough to leave no residue.

The bad: Acetone is bad for your skin and worse for your brushes. Keep them away from it, and wear gloves. Also, do this with the window opened.

09-07-2007, 02:44 PM
it seems like a lot of work for very little rewards unless you use very thick layers of paint. I really dont think you could get back to a pristine canvas regardless of how long you scrap and sand. Even the masters painted right over old works

Lady Carol
09-07-2007, 10:53 PM
rubbing alcohol will get it off as long as it isn't too thick.

09-09-2007, 07:52 PM
Hi I hope you are having luck,I have scrubbed it off with a hose if it hasn't been left dry for too long ,but you might beable to let the water settle on it for a while and it should peel of like leaving a tray under water, then dry propperly and re gesso it even if theres lumps still on your canvas dont worry about it it' gives texture .I have just posted a painting Atmospheric Sanguinity and this canvas was like your one I think ,I gesso again and I used the lumps and lines as texture for this scene and it all came in at the right places.
There's hope dont give up cheers fay

09-19-2007, 11:24 PM
rubbing alcohol will get it off as long as it isn't too thick.

Hi, I was under the impression Alcohol would only work if the painting was, say, a few days to a week old. Once the paint set, it wouldn't work. Have you had luck with this?

Believe me there are a lot of old paintings that I would love to re-work.