Last time it happened was 15 years back, and that time I was in a painting exam. That time I didn't dare to do anything for the fear of making it worse.

What would be the best course of action when I accidentally get some paint on an existing watercolor painting on a paper?

While answering, please consider the cases when the painting's paint is already dry, totally wet, and when is it somewhat wet.

  • 2
    What type of paint are you using? Oil, acrylic... ? How wet/dry is the existing paint?
    – user24
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 6:54
  • 4
    I think giving all combinations of type of paint, dryness of painting and amount of paint makes this question too broad.
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 10:19
  • This might easily be more than one question which isn't bad.
    – Matt
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 11:34
  • I still think this is too broad: there is no mention of what kind of paint gets spilled in this hypothetical situation, nor on what kind of surface. Voted to close.
    – Joachim
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


It's best to act quickly, and absorb the paint with either a cloth or (nearly) dry brush. You can remove most of the spilled paint that way.

Then, depending on what's still visible, you might want to wet the edges of the stain, to soften the colour transition. You might also want to repaint a part of the existing painting, or if you're really creative, give the stain a purpose in your painting. Like, when your painting is a still life with flowers, the unwanted drop of paint may become a bug or a hole in one of the leaves.

  • This is (mostly) assuming the spilled paint is watercolour as well.
    – Joachim
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 17:13

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