How to Remove Oil Paint From Canvas

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It is easy to make a mistake when working on a painting. Perhaps a tube of paint has blown out on you when you were squeezing some on to the palette, or a child has decided to "help" you with your art piece. But all is not lost: You can remove oil paint from the canvas by following these tips.

Things You'll Need

  • Palette knife
  • Turpentine
  • Rag
  • Check to see if the oil paint is still wet. Most oil paints take a few days to solidly dry.

  • Place the painting on a flat work surface. Take a palette knife or non serrated craft knife and slowly scrape the wet oil paint away.

  • Take a x-acto knife and scrape partially dried oil paint away slowly and carefully so as not to tear into the fabric of the canvas.

  • Dip the end of a rag in turpentine and gently rub at the area to clean away oil paint excess after scraping the bulk of it with the knife.

  • If you feel solidly dried on paint you must decide if it is easier to paint over the area with a solid color. When it is dry then repaint the section to your satisfaction.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the turpentine is used in a well-ventilated area.
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