Thursday, July 28, 2011

Getting out acrylic paint

Participating in Seth's Altered Page "Buried Treasure" Post. This post received my highest hits ever so I know I'm not alone in paint disasters.

No more yellow paint! In my panic, I'd thought of painting it purple. Now I'm glad Jace talked me out of it.

Couch Crisis Averted!! This morning  I noticed the yellow patch of acrylic paint on the arm of my sofa. The sofa I just re-upholstered. I hadn't painted in two days, so it was nicely cured. In desperation I googled my way around the internet looking for a cure all the while knowing: This is acrylic paint. It's plastic. You always have it all over your clothes and it never comes off once it's dry.

Meanwhile I'm getting advice to wash it in hot soapy water, or use gasoline! I may be mistaken, but could somebody have gotten oil paint stains and hardened acrylic paint crusties mixed up? Getting leery... I was intrigued by the oven cleaner cure, and the automatic dishwasher liquid, but how to know whether or not it was credible, or "everyone's an expert" internet advice? I can't exactly throw the couch into the washing machine to get out the oven cleaner when I'm done. To top it off, I'm not particularly fond of smelly chemical experiments in a poorly ventilated area.

I called the Art Shack for genuine expertise and they tracked down the owner, artist Darlene Teahen, at home. She didn't promote any chemical experiments but said to use a dry brush and try to scrape it off. A hot washcloth could soften the paint if it won't scrape off.  It was what I'd feared. I had to go the scraping route and scraping was likely to scar the fabric.

I didn't have the needed brush, so I tried an emery board. I massaged the spot with a gentle, circular motion. Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles! It took it all off without roughing up the velvet! 

It looks even better than the spot where I got wet white paint on the couch and wiped it up before it dried. The rubbing and the water from that mishap left the velvet nap all crushed.

I would much prefer not having acrylic accidents. This is a distinctly 'non-grown-up' problem. Regular 'grown ups' do not get paint on their sofas. Or upholstered chairs, or good clothes, or the floor, or the door, or the wall or in their hair or on the animals... Never mind. I'm hopeless.


Leah said...

ha! this is a great tip! especially since i'm one of those weirdos who has gotten acrylic paint on every one of those surfaces you mentioned. :-)

Shayla said...

Whew! It's good to know I'm not the only one! Thanks, Leah

ArtPropelled said...

Lol.... I know that feeling! Glad you managed to get the paint off. I dropped a whole tin of London Bus Red on a new carpet a few years ago. That story didn't have such a happy ending :-)

Anne said...

Love your purple velvet sofa! I have an antique velvet sofa and it's good to know that with a little care things like paint can be removed from the velvet. And I don't think it's a non grown up problem. It's just a creative person's problem. Maybe us creative types are always children at heart. :) I certainly get paint on all sorts of surfaces. There's a lovely blue spot on the carpet behind me.

Thanks for the comment on my blog!

Jo Murray said...

Excellent tip. Glad it was your repost.

MrCachet said...

LOL. Do you want to come tackle my hardwood floor? It's a disaster. Maybe I should cut it into pieces and sell it as 'art'. Like a Pollock!

Holly Dean said...

How boring would life be without these adventures with paint? Or dog poo on your shoe ;)

MrCachet said...

Just a revisit to do more digging. Your "Sun Stood Still" is really great. James Gurney's book "Color & Light" (my only book purchase in more than a year), describes the difficulties of the artist capturing sunlight filtered through clouds when the sun is low in the sky. This one does it for me.

Tracy said...

WOW--that is a fantastic tip, and I must keep that in mind! Thanks for sharing this one, Shayla. And you are not alone in that non-grown up paint splattering group... you can add us. ;o) Great to see this re-post. Happy Weekend ((HUGS))

Wild C said...

I've found that what we call meths in the UK and I believe is called indentured alcohol in the U.S. is a great way to dissolve acrylic paint. (It's also used for starting barbecues).

When I very occasionally find a brush I forgot to wash, I soak it in this and within minutes it's soft and can be cleaned with soap and water.

It also works to dissolve super-glue if you ever stick your fingers together with it which I did on numerous occasions during my old jewellery-making career!