View Full Version : Scrubbing Wallis Paper?

Emily L
12-13-2007, 03:30 PM
Hi all,

I've been doing a lot of pastels on Wallis paper lately, and of course not all of them are masterpieces. I've heard a lot of people here talk about "scrubbing" a piece of Wallis paper clean. Can anyone tell me the best way to go about this and the kind of results I could expect to get? Could I scrub a piece more than once?


12-13-2007, 04:42 PM
Just use an old large paint brush or a tooth brush. I suggest doing it outside though and wearing a mask as it creates a lot of dust.

I only use the 'professional' grade so I scrub everything dry. I hear if you use museum grade you can just scrub it clean with a brush in the sink under water. Can someone confirm this.

The most I have scrubbed wallis is twice so I don't know if it takes more than that.

12-13-2007, 07:21 PM
I have only cleaned one wallis museum 18x24 sheet so this doesn't help you much...it was the summer before and having heard that Wallis paper can be reused and cleaned off, I decided to use a hose on it outside with a washcloth that I gently scrubbed on the paper surface while the water ran over it. The surface the paper was on was flat so I didn't bend the paper unnecessarily while cleaning it. The paper is fine and I've since painted over it with no problems. I don't know how the professional grade would stand up, tho, haven't tried it.

12-13-2007, 08:16 PM
Hi Emily,

I have successfully hosed wallis (professional grade) paper with my garden hose. This works best on mounted paper, but if you dry front and back with a cloth and press between two hard surfaces until dry, you will have a very workable surface. You will have a ghosting of the original image, but well worth the time vs. cost of throwing the paper out.

Hope this helps!

Deborah Secor
12-13-2007, 10:06 PM
I use a much simpler and more straightforward method, but it doesn't get rid of all the old pastel, only blends it into a neutral color that you can paint over with a fresh coat of pastel. I use a foam house painting brush, the kind people use to paint trim. I tape the old painting to my board and put it flat on a table (or outside on the ground--it's a dusty process). I do it flat because I want all the excess pastel to blend together. Then I literally rub the dickens out of it with the foam brush pad thingy. This paper can take a lot of abuse! I scrub and rub it in all directions, blending all the old pastel into one nice fairly flat color.

Occasionally there's a stubborn area where I've used particularly thick or dark pastel, in which case I'll use a stiff old oil painting brush to really attack it, and then go back to the foam brush thing again. When it's all blended I set it upright and brush off the excess pastel--best done outdoors, of course. When I'm ready to use the paper again I'll take a paper towel and wipe it off until there's little evidence of the color coming off, just to get all the excess off before beginning the next one.

Since there's no water involved it works quite well. BTW, it doesn't work if you've used fixative or sprayed with water or alcohol, since that traps the pastel under a coat that won't come off easily.

I do this on Pro and Museum. I guess in essence I don't like messing with water. I have pieces of paper that have had five, six, seven--probably more--paintings done on them and wiped off. (This is because I do so many class demonstrations that I don't keep.)


12-14-2007, 07:14 AM
Would vacuuming it work? After loosening the dust with a brush, I mean.

Thanks for the tooth-brush idea! There are many cheap toothbrushes out there. I sanded off a third of a bristle brush...

Emily L
12-14-2007, 12:12 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions! You all are so helpful. I will give it a try on some of my less than stellar pieces. It certainly helps knowing that I can practice on the nice stuff, but not worry too much about spending a fortune.


Shirl Parker
12-15-2007, 05:09 PM
I have brushed with a dust brush, then vacuumed, then rolled with that sticky back paper on lint rollers until what's left is insignificant.


12-15-2007, 06:02 PM
then vacuumed,

Damn, that is a good idea! :thumbsup:

Deborah Secor
12-15-2007, 08:42 PM
Also try compressed air to remove little spots. Just don't let the propellant get the paper wet.