re-using canvases

by Louise
(Ft. Myers, Fl)

If you have painted a picture that you do not like and wish to re-use the canvas, you can remove the old painting by spraying it with oven cleaner.


After 20 minutes or so remove the oven cleaner with paper towels. Then go over it with dampened paper towels. Next make sure the canvas is dry and then coat it with white gesso. Once it is dry you can paint a new painting on it.

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Feb 25, 2013
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neutralize it
by: Margaret

I have done this proceedure and it does work. I do take extra precaution to rinse with vinegar to neutralize any acid residue and then wash the surface with soap and water.
I was taught by my teacher of twenty years and she has been a professional for more than 60 years.

Sep 07, 2008
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Oven Cleaner For Removal of Oil Paints
by: Anonymous

This idea sounds good. However, it will also damage the canvas. You may not see it right away. But over time the canvas will begin to detiorate. I would not be happy if I bought a painting and 5 years later the canvas begins to crack.
I for one , know that if it will eat the finish off of anything it comes in contact with, well, it would not be good for a canvas.

Jun 18, 2008
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It works
by: Anonymous

It does work, tried it today and the canvas is blank again. Great thinking, great tip

Jun 16, 2008
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Oven cleaner
by: Anonymous

No idea about removing acrylics, but it does make a lot of sense. Oven cleaner is a degreaser and I suppose oil paint is nothing but dried grease...Great thinking

Jun 15, 2008
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Re-uing canvases
by: Louise

I have used the oven cleaner method only for removing oil paint from canvases. Sorry for not specifying that in my tip. I do not know if it works also for acrylics but give it a try and see what happens.

Jun 12, 2008
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cleaning canvasses
by: Anonymous

Using oven cleaner for cleaning a canvas in order to re-use it, sounds great as there are some things I've done that should never see the light of day! lol But I'm wondering is this good only for oil painting? I use acrylics.
thanks for the tip

Jun 12, 2008
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Re using canvases
by: Anonymous

Will oven cleaner remove oil paint?

Jun 14, 2010
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Good for studies...
by: Tenebrist

This would be great for reusing canvas for study work. I would not recommend this for any painting you want to keep. The new gesso must be oil gesso, never acrylic, as any oil residue left on the canvas will cause the acrylic to bubble up and crack over the years. Even if you do use an oil based gesso, there's no telling what the chemical residues left from oven cleaner may do to the paint film over the years. A great painting is a contribution to art and should be painted to last the ages as so many of the old masters paintings have. Remember, those of you who oil prime, dry oil can be sanded, though take care to protect yourself as some oil pigments can be harmful if inhaled. It would be better to remove the canvas from an old set of stretcher bars and stretch a new piece for any serious work you intend to sell.

Jan 20, 2009
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Bad Bad BAD
by: Anonymous

While this sounds fine to some. You have to remember. The number one thing it says on the can is to be careful and not get it on anything you don't want ruined. the ingredients in oven cleaner are irritants. Such as an acid compound.
You must rethink this. I would hate to know that I spent months on a painting that I sold for even one penny that did not stand the test of time.
If you choose to use a canvas that has been reused after removing paint with oven cleaner, then find you a good Lawyer to handle a law suit from your prospective customer.

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