View Full Version : Help! Tape residue :(

05-12-2010, 10:17 PM
I sent a couple paintings to an art show... They attached the tags directly to the canvas feont with masking tape now i have the residue left behind, anyone have some tricks to salvage these pieces?? It was on the canvas about a month...

05-12-2010, 10:50 PM
I would try Goo Gone on a Q-tip. It's oily citrus product but then you can clean the area with some gentle soap and water. You might test it first on the side of the canvas or an edge that would be concealed by the frame.


05-13-2010, 12:31 AM
What ever you try, first try it on an unwanted painting or some unseen part of the painting.

I suspect rubbing alcohol will do the job. Use a q-tip or swab and take your time. Don't let it sit "wet" too long.

You may have more options if you varnished the paintings, but if not, be particularly careful when it comes to any solvent that might get absorbed into the surface.

You might want to e-mail the paint manufacturer and ask them for recommendations too.

05-13-2010, 07:47 AM
wow I am surprised they would attach the info right to the painting. Usually it is on the wall beside the work. I agree Goo Gone might work as suggested but it is oily so you will have to wash after with soap. Good luck on that.

05-13-2010, 08:25 AM
Deanna, I think the tape residue of masking tape is soluble in mineral spirits and assuming your paintings are unvarnished it's pretty safe to try this since it doesn't interact with dried acrylic. If you varnish your paintings with a spirit-soluble varnish this will of course begin to take that off too.

If mineral spirits doesn't work then you might have to try rubbing alcohol or wood alcohol (which are solvents of a different kind - generally adhesive residues are soluble in one or the other) but these are a solvent for acrylic paints and mediums so you'd have to go very carefully. If your paintings are varnished with a spirit-soluble varnish however then the residue is on top of that and it'll protect the painting's surface long as you don't apply too much or leave it on for too long.

I am also very surprised they'd attach anything directly to the surface of the paintings!


05-13-2010, 11:25 AM
Ditto what the others have said. I have a strange suggestion to add - get some low tack masking tape and put a bit over the spot. Then use a hairdryer to gently heat the tape and pull off - it might also take along the residue.

A friend taught me the hairdryer method trick for when painting with masking tape. :)


05-13-2010, 01:18 PM
Thanks for all the tips! - I was a little shocked when I unpackaged my paintings and found the tags taped right to the front! - I used a spray varnish to seal the painting so hopfully I will have some luck getting this off.. thanks again for all the tips! I will do a bit of reasearch into the paint as well and see what might be best, it is Golden Open Acrylic - I will let you know what works or if I send em to the scrap pile..

05-13-2010, 01:40 PM
With varnish you are probably ok. Since it is Golden OPEN I would suggest dropping Golden an e-mail before you do anything. The formulation may be more prone to softening than regular acrylics. I don't know, just being cautious. The good news is that as long as the varnish covered well, you should be able to clean it up even if some varnish is removed, you can always re-varnish it.

05-13-2010, 02:20 PM
Thanks Bill - I will drop them an email :)

05-13-2010, 06:28 PM
I recieved a reply from Golden's technical support, incase this happens to someone else i will post his reply here

"You might want to carefully try some isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), then move to mineral spirits, but realize that the mineral spirits will remove the Archival Varnish as well, so it may need to be revarnished to even the surface again. These solvents should not life the paint, especially the mineral spirits, but definitely work slow and try to not oversaturate the surface.

Other possibilities would be some baby oil, or something similar, although that might absorb into the painted surface"

I will also post and let you know what I try and how it turned out *crosses fingers*

05-14-2010, 09:40 AM
Just a note to say my Hubby used Goo Gone to remove the adhesive from the dealer sticker on his car - no damage to the clear coat - I'm thinkin alcohol is a more universal solvent. I would still test first.......best of luck.

05-14-2010, 09:53 AM
Golden tech support has saved me more than once! Please do let us know how this works out.


05-15-2010, 03:13 PM
Thanks for the tips i am going to be picking up the mineral spirits today i will post as soon as i know the results. Thanks again for all the help

05-21-2010, 11:08 PM
well gave the alcohol a try tested first that went well first painting went pretty good pulled a bit of color up but not bad... Painting #2.... Pulled alot of paint off this painting i think is a lost cause...

05-22-2010, 11:35 AM
You don't have to lose the painting. You can remove the varnish in that section and retouch the paint, let cure, and revarnish.

Please let us know what show that was so others can avoid. I hope you let whoever put on the show what happened and that it is a no-no.

Hope it works out for you. These things should not happen. There is no excuse for it.

Dayle Ann

05-22-2010, 12:47 PM
Hi Dayle - I will attempt to re-touch the painting but it got a bit discoloured around the area where the paint was pulled off as well... all I can say is it worked OK for one and not the other, I cannot say what the difference between the two was other than colour..same kind of paint & same varnish was used..

05-22-2010, 01:13 PM
Have you let the organization that put the tape on the painting about what has happened? They should be aware of the problem and maybe they won't do it again to you or someone else. It seems only fair they at least know about the damage.

05-22-2010, 02:30 PM
Idylbrush - I did let them know what happened, so hopfully this will not happen again... I really dont understand how it did happen...