Tissue stuck to canvas painting...aaargh!

Tommy P

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Nov 16, 2003
Mid North Indiana
More canvas problems!

Customer brings in a large rolled up canvas. Got it in China a month ago.

When we unrolled it from the tube, the tissue that was with it had decided to stick to the painting in several areas. Some quite bad! Almost seems to have been rolled up to soon...the work maybe was not dry enough. I don't really know....

Any idea how to remove this stuck tissue? Would lightly spraying with water be okay?

It appears to be oil or acrylic on linen.

If any of this is giving you "Deja-Vu" it is the mate to what I stretched about two weeks ago and had a different problem.

I'm really developing a phobia to canvas.... :mad:
I doubt that it's acrylic , Tom, because acrylic dries extremely quickly even when painted impasto unless it had a retarditive added to it. Even then it would have to have been rolled up almost as soon as the canvas was painted to be tacky enough to hold the tissue.

It sounds like it was probably an oil which, depending on a number of factors including how heavily it was painted, takes quite some time to be dry enough to roll with tissue. Oil paintings need 6-12 months drying time before they should be varnished, but could be rolled sooner. A week? A month? 3 months? Depends on heavilness, mediums& pigments used, etc.

I'm not the best one to give advise on this issue, but would think that possibly a small amount of turpentine might release the tissue. Is there any area you can experiment without the area showing?

I see you are not far from me, I know a conservator that would likely be happy to answer your question. I'll e-mail you with her info. if we don't get a reasonable response from a conservator on this forum.

Dave Makielski

Actually, that would probably enhance this piece.....not my cup of tea. And I believe it cost several thousand.......to each his own.
Well if it cost several thousand, they can likely pony up for a conservator.

Tom...I e-mailed you the conservator's information. After your "issue with stuck tissue"'s resolved it'd be great if you posted your solution on this thread.


Dave Makielski
Well, I decided to try a bit of water. Obviously, water would be thin white tissues enemy.

And it worked. A spray of water (distilled) and let soak for about ten seconds and lightly finger rubbed it off!

Seems to be okay....I hope.... :D

.....and thanks for the contact, Dave