Removing Dried Walnut Oil

A few months ago I applied some walnut oil to one of my paintings to oil it out a bit before doing the second layer. I didn't realize that some of it had dripped down. I did the painting and a few days later I noticed these drips. It's been dry for months now and the drips look terrible. Is there any way that I can get rid of those drips? Thanks for your help.


  • ArtistMartin1

    Any solvent will remove much more than the dried drips, which will be the last to go.

    I recommend a fine sand paper on a cork block. You may be able to reduce the bulk with a disposable razor. Stop if you see color in the shavings.

    Dont be too concerned about minor surface changes. Loss of gloss is to be expected. All will be made good with the final varnish.


  • @dencal -- thanks for the response, Denis. I also asked this question on the Facebook Traditional Oil Painting group. People there also mentioned both the sandpaper and the razor possibilities. But then someone else came up with this recommendation: "My tutor who was trained in Italy called this oilification, not sure I spelled that right. I had the same problem. I took a potato cut in half and rubbed in the area using the open raw side. The potato helps gently remove the oil without damaging the picture. It worked well for me."

    I thought I'd give the potato method a try first. I think it would cause the least harm to the painting and if it doesn't work, I can give the other methods a try. Thanks again.
  • Great ideas but go easy with the potato, you wouldn't want the final product to look half baked.
  • @BOB73 -- you're right. Thanks for pointing that out to me  =)
  • Well, the potato didn't work. Virgil Elliot suggested using OMS on a cotton ball, and if that does not work, trying turpentine, but keep OMS around in case the turpentine shows color on the cotton ball. I think I'll try this. When it comes to painting and the science and chemistry behind it, Elliot is a true master.
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