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Old 08-16-2010, 11:50 PM
redwing_blackbird redwing_blackbird is offline
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Rubbing alcohol to tighten a canvas

Hi all, I have a question about oil paintings that I cannot find the answer to anywhere. I hope someone can help me!

I had been told that you can spray rubbing alcohol on the back of a stretched painting if the canvas becomes loose in order to tighten it again. I've done it before with no problems. But recently I did it on an oil painting and something weird happened: around some small cracks in the painting (it's pretty old) there appeared some cloudy white residue (?). I have no idea what it is- when I gently rub it with water, it disappears, but reappears once dry. I suspect the canvas was not primed, but I'm not sure.

I'm not so much interested in the cause (though it would be helpful for future reference) but more in how I can fix it. I'm able to touch it up but since that's such a pain in the butt, I wondered if anyone has experience with this kind of problem and if there is some other way to fix it. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you so much in advance! :]
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:42 AM
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Eduardo Flores Eduardo Flores is online now
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Re: Rubbing alcohol to tighten a canvas

Why alcohol? Water is the answer! If alcohol worked in the past, it is because of the small quantity of water it contains...

Alcohol is strongly aggressive to many components of the canvas: for eliminating the residues, you can try neutral, liquid detergent or (if the canvas is really dry, turpentine; if it doesn't help, just retouching with paint.

Eduardo
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:20 PM
redwing_blackbird redwing_blackbird is offline
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Re: Rubbing alcohol to tighten a canvas

Alcohol evaporates faster than water, so it tightens the canvas faster. Though perhaps saving time isn't worth the risk anymore... ha ha!

Thanks for the advice, I'll try a bit of detergent. I hope it helps!

Any other ideas? Aaanybody?
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