View Full Version : Paint build up

09-08-2011, 04:34 PM
Hello everybody
I need a bit of advice. I've tried searching about for an answer but couldnt find anything. My painting style is kinda rough and i like to see every brush stroke and I dont like to polish my paintings. lately I've been working on some landscapes and cityscapes for a client, and they want some degree of finish to them, which is fine by me, but as i paint some rather unattractive paint build up is happening, especially when i paint buildings.

For instance I was painting an Irish country side scene with a grave yard and a big round tower to the left, the tower was'nt right, too wide and i need to adjust, so i painted out the the edge a little and I was left with a nasty line of hard paint where the the edge of the tower had been. It was dry and there was no obvious way to remove it. I abandoned the painting as it was too noticeable. Do i need to use thinner paint or is there some tip or trick to avoid this ? thanks for reading:) btw i paint on paper not canvas

09-08-2011, 06:51 PM
It might be of some value to thin the paint a bit. Might also be good to not load the brush so much. Worth experimenting a bit.

09-09-2011, 12:47 PM
Theres absolutely no way to remove dried acrylic from the paper at all then? :( Sometimes it builds up without me noticing just how much is there untill its too late

09-09-2011, 03:42 PM
Dried acrylics are pretty tough. If you are painting on paper, just about anything you would do to try to remove the dried, built-up paint would damage the paper. If you are painting on canvas, Masonite, hardwood, or other more durable surfaces, you can try to scrape the paint back with a metal palette knife or even a table knife. Rubbing alcohol or ammonia will dissolve dried acrylics to some extent, but applying them in a small, controlled area might prove difficult. Using the alcohol along with a scraping tool could be effective. Sand paper could work, but, again, you would have to be careful not to damage the painting surface or surrounding dried paint too much. A small, hand-held motorized tool that has a cone-shaped grinding attachment (like a Dremel tool) could make very short work of grinding back the dried acrylic. I would recommend wearing a protective mask over your nose and mouth any time you use a sanding or grinding tool to remove dried paint or gesso.

Good luck,


09-09-2011, 06:07 PM
Could you use a few layers of gesso to build up the area around the ridge so it doesn't show and then paint over it?

09-11-2011, 04:47 AM
Thanks everybody for the replies, I had'nt thought of sanding it:)