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How To Fix Mistakes of Painting: Acrylic Or Oil Painting

    Mistakes can be a part of any painting, even with a trained hand. Some people fear the thought of going back to fix a mistake and instead just leave it as is. However, mistakes can be fixed, with some simple steps.

    In this article, we will be discussing how to fix mistakes when painting with acrylic paint or oil paint. There are a few methods to fixing mistakes in a painting, but most require some time and effort.

    If you haven’t already, you should probably stop what you’re doing and fix whatever mistake you’ve made before continuing on to the next step in the painting process!

    How To Fix Painting Mistakes: Acrylic Or Oil Painting

    Often we work with a certain area of a painting too much, and it no longer blends with the rest of the painting, causing the colors to become blurry in nature, the texture to build up too much, or just just not working out the way you expected. You can make all kinds of mistakes when you start painting. While making a mistake on a painting can be incredibly irritating, you do not have to discard the whole work because of this.

    Both oil and acrylic paintings can be fixed if errors are made. Many people don’t realize it, but you don’t have to restart any time you make a mistake. So, before you throw away the canvas, take a step back, take a deep breath, and follow the steps outlined in this article to correct the error you’ve made.

    Determine the most effective way to fix the mistake

    Before you can solve the issue, you have to be able to critically evaluate your work. This can be tough to do right after making a mistake, but taking a stroll or doing something else to clear your mind is definitely a smart idea.

    Don’t let the emotion guide you

    This will help you get a new viewpoint on the art while still helping you to examine it without being affected by your emotions. It’s normal for an artist to become emotionally connected with their work; but, when something goes wrong, it just adds to the anger. This will lead to you attempting to correct the error without even reasoning it over, which will result in you creating even more complications than you did before.

    Decide whether it will be easier when wet or dry

    Before trying to correct any error on a canvas, consider whether the paint has completely dried and whether you will work with it when it is still wet. If you don’t have the stamina to work with wet paint, take a break, let it dry, and return when you can fix the problem.

    An Oil Painting

    You will lose some of original texture and background

    It is entirely possible to erase the error you have made and start again with a white background in the place, regardless of whether the color you use is acrylic, spray, wet or dry. Bear in mind that when you apply, remove, and reapply paint to the region, you can lose some of the original texture of the surface you’re working with. When painting with canvas, this is particularly important to remember because the majority of the paint is lightly layered, revealing the texture under it. Although it is not always obvious, you should be conscious that it may be a problem.

    Check out How to paint a perfect background: Few Techniques to Learn

    How to Fix Common Painting Errors

    There are a few common errors that you must know how to fix. Painting over the same area repeatedly can lead to an obvious spot. Another error is when paint dries before it has been blended in, which leaves a hard line where the paint was added. Creating strokes of different thicknesses can also cause problems when trying to cover up mistakes.

    Avoid using Zinc

    Using zinc white instead of titanium white is a common mistake made by many painters. This is a challenge because zinc white is more translucent than titanium white, causing apparent issues because zinc white does not have the sort of coverage needed to correct errors. If the tube says “mixing white” or something similar, look at the packaging details and see what kind of white it is.

    Use titanium white correctly

    Painters sometimes use titanium white as a kind of eraser. When using it, though, you must erase all texture, paint ridges, or impasto to come as close to the painting’s initial texture as possible.

    A tube of titanium white will always be the best when it comes to correcting painting mistakes. Its warm white paint is highly invisible, and it can hide any color or dye with a few thin coats. Many artists make the error by covering over the mistake with a single coat of titanium white and only starting with the painting.

    When you do this, the fresh pigments you add can get tinted by the colors you’re trying to cover up, which can cause problems. As a result, you can add at least two coats of the titanium white, with the second coat added just after the first has dried. You now have a clean white foundation on which to paint. Rushing the process will result in more harm than the initial error, so take your time and let it dry out.

    How Do You Correct An Oil Painting Error?

    You can correct any error you make with oil paint as soon as you fix it by following the tips and techniques mentioned below. Oil paintings take longer to dry than their acrylic counterparts. As a result, many painters like to correct errors in oil paintings when they are already damp. Some of these techniques can also be used to correct errors in acrylic paints, although they are most often associated with oil paint.

    Fixing the mistakes when the paint is still wet

    When trying to correct an error in an oil painting while it’s still wet, here are some of the most common techniques:


    • Scraping off the damp paint with a painting knife, a thick sheet of paper, or even an expired credit card or painting brush is an efficient means of easily fixing your error. This must be completed as quickly as possible. 
    • After scraping off the surface, brush away any remaining paint with a soft cloth until you’ve removed as much of the paint as you can. And sure not to drag the fabric over other wet paint area, as this would just add to the issues you already have.

    Rubbing with linseed oil

    • You can try linseed oil too. Rubbing some linseed oil onto the fabric to remove any extra paint is a perfect way to get rid of it.
    • Use a damp cloth to remove and excess paint or any dust. But don’t have the fabric too damp, since this can cause the moisture to spill down the painting.
    • Let the area to dry completely after you’ve removed as much paint as possible. The drying process can take two to three days.
    • After that, paint it with titanium white. Be sure to let each layer dry fully before moving on to the next.
    • Once the titanium white has dried, you will start the painting as though there had been no mistake at all.


    Tonking is another technique that can be done in oil paintings. This is mainly used to give depth to dense colors, but it can also be used to correct certain painting errors. The following are the steps to take if you choose to use this method:

    • To begin, rip a sheet of paper, preferably newspaper, to the estimated size of the area that you want to paint over.
    • Then, with both hands, press the paper back into the wet paint. If necessary, use the palm of the other hand to hold the back of the canvas.
    • Then the paper should then be softly pulled away from the canvas.
    • Then repeat the procedure with clean paper as many times as necessary, or until no further color is visible on the paper you’re using.
    • After you’ve finished this process, wipe away any excess paint with a cloth soaked in linseed oil and wait for it to dry.

    You can correct almost any error you make on an oil painting by using one of the two methods offered while it’s still wet. Oil paint has the advantage of allowing you to undo an error until it dries. If you scrape the paint away or use tonking, you can quickly fix whatever mistakes you’ve made without trying to start over from the beginning.

    Fixing the mistake when the paint has dried off

    This dry-paint technique is most commonly employed with acrylics, although it can also be applied with dry oils.

    • To remove the paint gently sand down the area you want to paint over using a very fine sandpaper.
    • If you come across any wet paint in the lower layers, remove it with your paint knife or any of the wet paint tools indicated above.
    • Continue to scrape away at the paint until you reach the surface.
    • Remove any dust and excess paint with a moist cloth soaked with linseed oil.
    • Allow for complete drying before applying two coats of titanium white, allowing each layer to dry before proceeding.
    • Let the white base to dry completely
    • Now proceed with the new paint.

    How Do You Correct An Acrylic Paint Error?

    Acrylic paint dries quiet fast, especially when compared to oil paint. As a result, once the paint has dried, you must fix errors on acrylic paintings. It’s much easier to fix this way

    Thus, if you have made a mistake in your acrylic painting and are searching for a way to fix it, here are some suggestions:

    • You should softly sand the area you intend to paint over and correct with very fine sandpaper.
    • It’s common to find paint layers under the top one are still somewhat wet. If this is the case, you can scrape the wet layers with a paint knife or some of the other tools listed for removing wet oil paint.
    • Continue to scrape away at the paint before you hit the surface you’ve been working on.
    • After that, wipe away any leftover paint with a wet cloth dampened with water. This stops the artwork from any unnecessary colors or tints.
    • After that, wait for the area you’ve worked on to dry before moving on to the next step. Since you’re working with acrylic paint, the area should dry fast.
    • Apply two coats of titanium white after the region has dried. Enable these layers to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
    • You should not start painting until the layers of titanium white have dried.

    You can quickly correct any error you’ve made on an acrylic painting by taking these steps. This will save you a lot of time and you won’t have to restart the process any time you make a mistake. You must complete all of these steps in their entirety; if you skip all of them, you will end up having more problems than you solve.

    Waiting for the paint color to dry is crucial, and if you use this process with wet paint, you can find it difficult to correct the error. It’s possible that you’ll end up ruining pieces of the artwork that didn’t need much attention. You can fix any error on an acrylic painting by following the steps outlined here.

    What Is the Best Way to Fix Lumpy Acrylic Paint?

    Acrylic paints are excellent for painting because they have highly vivid colors and dry much faster than other forms of paint.

    The issue with this form of paint’s drying period is that it will dry before you’ve done painting, resulting in lumpy paint in the palette or, worse, on the painting itself. The paint inside the tube will even get lumpy, preventing you from painting when you want to. This may be very aggravating, and you can decide that you no longer wish to use acrylic paint as a result. It is, however, possible to resolve this issue, and we explain how to do so here.

    If it forms lumps on the painting

    The first, and most concerning, problem with acrylic paint is that it forms lumps on the painting. However we can solve this problem relatively quickly. If you find any lumps on your drawing, take the following steps:

    • Place the painting on a level, hard wall. This simplifies the procedure and eliminates the risk of making an error as a result of the painting falling or becoming shaky.
    • Begin carefully washing the painting with a cloth to clear any dust after placing on a hard and even surface. To stop obvious risks, you can just do this after the painting has dried. The removal of any dust is critical, as failure to do so will lead to more issues down the road.
    • Next, double-check if you have some sandpaper on hand. It is better to use sandpaper with a grit of 220 or more. Sandpaper that is too coarse will ruin the painting, so go for a finer alternative.
    • Now you should begin sanding the impacted area gently. You should go over any bumps in the painting with a soft touch. Be sure not to exert too much pressure, as this will cause some of the paint to come off. Make sure you add constant pressure to the drawing so that all of the lumps seem to be the same size. You’ll see that the lumps steadily fade out, finally leaving the canvas completely devoid of them.

    While the procedure takes some time, it is much more effective than beginning again with the drawing. You may want to repaint the affected area after you’ve finished sanding it. If desired, you can use a darker color to provide more coverage.

    This strategy is incredibly helpful and can help you save a significant amount of time. You will restore the painting’s flawless appearance by removing some lumps. As a result, if you find any lumps on your acrylic painting, don’t be too concerned. You can quickly sand off those.

    If The paint became lumpy in its tube

    When you want to focus on the artwork you’re now working on, this can be incredibly irritating. The paint also gets lumpy when we don’t close the lid completely, or as the paint ages. It’s also possible that storing the paint in the wrong temperature conditions will cause it to lump.

    • Add some acrylic paint thinners to the bottle and start mixing until there are no more clumps. There are a lot of paint thinners that work well for this, and if you’re not sure which one to use, your nearest art supply shop will help.

    If the paint becomes dry

    However, the paint may become too dry at times, rendering the process irreversible. If that’s the case, it’s probably best to just buy a new paint.

    Store the paints correctly

    If you find that your acrylic paint is always drying out or getting lumpy, there is clearly a problem with the way you’re storing it. You can avoid having to deal with this problem by carefully storing your color, as well as save money in the long run. Here are few storage ideas for acrylic paint so you don’t have to worry about them drying out or lumping up.

    Close the lid properly tightly

    With each use, make sure you have closed the lids are properly. When you’ve finished using the paint containers, make sure you seal them correctly. If you don’t close the lid properly, air may enter the bottle, allowing the paint to dry out and form lumps. To avoid this, take extra precautions when closing the lids after each use.

    Keep it airtight

    Be sure to keep the acrylic paint in an airtight jar when not in use. And if you were sloppy and could not seal the bottle correctly, this stops any air from allowing the paint to dry.


    It’s also a good idea to keep the color clear from humid areas. These circumstances will trigger a slew of issues with the color. It’s still safer to keep them safe, such as in a cabinet. You can store acrylic paints at a temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

    You won’t have to think about the paint being lumpy in its jar if you store it in these conditions.

    Final Thoughts

    You should feel more secure in coping with any errors in your paintings after reading these painting tips. You should undo any errors you’ve made regardless of whether you choose to use oil or acrylic paint. Even by a very experienced artist, It is very hard to control layers of paint.

    Now, do you have interest in painting skin color? if you are check this out! How to Paint Skin Color and Skin Tones

    When you make a mistake, you no longer have to start over; instead, you can just correct the error and finish drawing. As a result, you will put your thoughts to life without ever having to restart a painting.

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