Spot Removal of Wax


If only Michael Naismith’s mother had ben a pysankarka instead of a secretary, perhaps she would have invented “Wite-Out” for pysanky instead of for paper, and removing stray wax marks would be simple. But she didn’t, and it’s not.

If you make a mistake in waxing, either writing a line where you shouldn’t, or having a blob of wax fall where it’s not wanted, there is no simple, magical way to remove it.  The wax seals the surface of the egg pretty well; scraping away the visible bits of wax will give you, in the end, a smeared looking area of color.  You’ll generally find that the egg looks worse than it would of had you left the mistake be.

There is a way, though, of removing these mistakes, but it’s not very easy, and doesn’t always work very well. It’s a two step process consisting of scraping off the wax, and then dissolving what’s left with a solvent.

To use this method, the mistake should be discreet, and not part of a complex design: a simple line in the wrong place, a blob where it shouldn’t be.

  1. 1.Scrape off the wax with a sharp implement.  I use an Exacto knife to do this; Vira Manko uses a razor blade (one sided is best); others use knives or box cutters.


  1. 2.Wash off the remaining film of wax with a solvent.  Various solvents will work: Goof-Off, Goo Gone, mineral spirits, lighter fluid.  Vira Manko uses a bottle of cheap men’s cologne.  The trick is removing the wax from the bad spot without messing up the rest of the wax on the egg. The solvent can be applied with a Q-tip, or a twist of tissue.  It is important to rub and rub, to make sure you get all of the “invisible” wax off.

Once you’ve removed the wax, keep on with writing the pysanka as planned.

And it is tricky, which is why I only recommend this technique for isolated mistakes, as you can easily rub or scrape off bits of the design that you want to keep.  Additionally, because the wax becomes a thin film you can’t see once you start “washing” it off, it’s hard to tell if you’ve gotten it all.  You won’t know until you’re done with the entire egg.

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