Recycling Acrylics

Q. Can I paint over an old acrylic painting on panel that’s been sprayed with a matte medium finish? If yes, how?

A. If the finish is soluble, or dissolvable, you might remove it by putting mineral spirits or naphtha solvent on a clean cloth and wiping off the varnish coating. This should be done in a well-ventilated space. After the surface has thoroughly dried, you can paint over it with fresh acrylic paint. If the finish isn’t soluble, it’s probably a permanent part of the painting and you may paint over it directly after wiping off the dust with a damp cloth.

Albert Handell, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has had dozens of one-man shows and won more than 70 awards for his work, and his paintings can be found in the permanent collections of several museums nationwide. In 1987, he was one of the first three living artists to be elected to the Pastel Hall of Fame by the Pastel Society of America. He exhibits his work at Ventana Fine Art in Santa Fe, the Howard Portnoy Gallery in Carmel, California, and the Lagerquist Gallery in Atlanta.

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