Taking off oils to start over...

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by moore, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. moore Active Member

    I need some suggestions please to try and just take off the oils paint on the face of a figure.
    The rest of the figure is painted.
    I am not happy with the face at all. Other than buying another figure, I wanted to see if anyone has any suggestions what I can do to try to carefully remove the oils off and start over on the face.

    Ideas ?

  2. Bournouna Active Member

    Hi Dee,

    Did that recently on a face of a figure , which I did not like, once painted.
    I'm sure that there might be other ways of doing it, but here's the way I did it. Cover the parts of the figure already painted, with the exception of the face of course, and place the figure upside down (so that only the face is submerged), in a small container, full of automobile brake fluid. Leave the face soaking for about 24 hours in the brake fluid, than use an old tooth brush to scrub the paint off . It worked well for me. Good luck.

    moore likes this.
  3. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Dettol also works well.

  4. frank h Well-Known Member

    I would try to rescue the face by painting over.......Have done this many times
    If the oils are perfectly dry ...seal them with a matt varnish and brush on some thin primer
    i do this on a flat where being a bit heavy handed with the blending has exposed the metal

    Just some thoughts

    peedee and moore like this.
  5. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    My experience of removing oils with dettol has been a disaster. It results in a sticky mess that clings to Hands, sinks and the figure. Steer well away from it.
    I think frank has the right idea
    brian likes this.
  6. brian A Fixture

    Same problem.Derek introduced me to this technique,and although it takes of the paint,it stinks the whole house out.I had to scrub my hands to get the smell off.
    peedee likes this.
  7. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Sorry, I haven't had any problem with Dettol - smell or stickiness. Washes off well with a toothbrush and water. Nonetheless, I agree with Frank's approach rather than trying to remove a portion of the paint from the figure, very tricky indeed.

  8. Mirofsoft A Fixture

    Paint over, and reminder for next time : paint the face first, this was the first tip I got when I showed interest in painting figurines (45 years ago ), from the guy where I bought figurines, yes, they were shops at that time, I know ... " Paint the face first "
    peedee and moore like this.
  9. moore Active Member


    Thanks so very much for your suggestions. I don't think we have Dettol in the USA. I will let you know how it goes.
    I usually do do the face first but thought I could make t work, lesson learned, if it's not turning out stop and start over.

    Thanks again
  10. peedee A Fixture

    Keith......the secret is to scrub the paint off in the dettol,
    not in the open sink, once the paint is all off...then put washing up liquid on the toothbrush and gently go over it again.
    No sticky mess that way mate.
    OldTaff likes this.
  11. Gary D PlanetFigure Supporter

    Hi Dee. If you go to Walmarts Automotive section, you can find a purple container of Engine Degreaser called "Super Clean". It is very good at taking off oil paints. You do need to soak the figures head though like the guys mention above. It just needs a wash of water to clean off the figures head. It's also biodegradable to boot.

    samson likes this.
  12. moore Active Member

    Hi Gary,

    Good to know and I have a Walmart in town. I just may stash some of that cleaner. I thought about the brake cleaner too. But yours may be a little more gentle.
    The issue I have to is that I cannot dunk the figure, he has a hat which I like what I have done so far. :(
    I am ready to have a go at it now to see which way or what I will use.
    Will keep you guys posted.

    Many thanks to all of you

  13. John Bowery A Fixture

    A toothbrush/ small bristled brush and Laquer thinner will take the paint off. Just don't get it on the rest of the paint or the hat. This applies if the figure is metal or resin but not plastic as it will melt the plastic. It is smelly????:D You can also use W/N brush cleaner and conditioner. This cleans all paint out of brushes and sometimes I have used it thinking it was the rectified turpentine I use to thin paint only to discover the paint was coming off not being put on????:ROFLMAO:
    peedee and Mirofsoft like this.
  14. moore Active Member

    Thank you John and everyone for these tips. I have made note for the next time, but hopefully there won't be a next time. To update you guys, this is what I have done and it worked and I continued on. It was suggested on the other forum. But before I do I would like to explain what I had put on it. I used a different undercoat, I am an oil painter, I thought I would try it.. Vallejo Sunny Skin Tone. Then put my oils on, didn't like that so tried a wash, didn't like that so then tried to cover up some parts with acrylic. It got real grainy. Then put more oils on. So I was afraid of a lot of build up.
    BUT.. what I did was.. I started to glaze the whole face with acrylic. Very, very thin acrylic paint. Kept going over it. It actually smoothed out the grainy look and it did cover. I was amazed. So I started again and its my usual flesh colors and still trying to get the highlights and shadows in but I feel much better about it.

    So thank you everyone for your thoughts.

    John Bowery likes this.
  15. theBaron A Fixture

    I'm a SuperClean apostle, too, as you all can see from my posts here in the Planet (and elsewhere).

    Regarding removing paint from a specific spot with SC, you can do that, too. I have done so, applying the liquid with a paint brush to the area I wanted to strip. Here are some pics I took of the piece in progress, Gertie from Scale 120, for the Maschinen Krieger series. I gave her a black eye, as I tried to paint her face:


    Rather than strip the whole figure and start over, I applied SC to her eyes and the surrounding area, with a fine brush, removing the paint down to the primer:


    That took a couple of minutes. Then later (much later!) I went back and finished her face:


    Besides the advantages we've mentioned so far, I'll add that it's a bargain, at around eight bucks a gallon at WalMart. You can find it at Autozone, too, apparently. And, it's even more of a bargain, because you can use batches of SC over and over. I use glass jars of various sizes, depending on the size of the piece. It strips enamels, oils, acrylics, from styrene, resin and metal, with no harm to the piece. The paint will soften and dissolve into the solution. I usually give a piece a soak of 5 minutes or so, before a first pass to scrub the paint away gently with an old toothbrush. You can soak it longer, of course.

    It also has household uses, to clean grease stains, for example, or even unclog drains.

    So, I recommend it!

    moore and Chrisr like this.
  16. theBaron A Fixture

    I forgot to mention that on that piece, the primer is Tamiya fine acrylic primer, and Andrea and Vallejo acrylics on her face.
    moore likes this.
  17. moore Active Member

    Brad !!!!!!!

    Fantastic. Thank you so much for you post. Now I won't be so afraid to redo parts odor most of allnthinking I have to buy another kit.
    Very helpful

    I think what I will do is buy some SC and try it on a old figure and see how it works. Put some paint on a detailed area and try taking it off.

    Thank you so much

    theBaron likes this.

Share This Page

planetFigure Links

Reviews & Open Box
Buy. Sell & trade
Link Directory

Popular Sections

Figure & Minis News
vBench - Works in Progress
Painting Talk
Sculpting Talk
Digital Sculpting Talk
The Lounge
Report Piracy

Who we are

planetFigure is a community built around miniature painters, sculptors and collectors, We are here to exchange support, Information & Resources.

© planetFigure 2003 - 2019.