Definition of overpaint in US English:



[with object]
  • Cover with a layer of paint.

    ‘once dry, color can be overpainted’
    no object ‘any slight gaps in the wallpaper will be hidden when overpainting’
    ‘overpainting is a simple process’
    • ‘It is just possible nevertheless that in each of these pictures a second further window was originally shown, since the backgrounds of both have been heavily overpainted.’
    • ‘In this work, even the silhouettes are heavily edited - redrawn, rubbed off, overpainted and scraped down.’
    • ‘Cleaned, conserved and restored where necessary - some of the panels had been heavily overpainted - the paintings were unveiled last year at the Kunsthalle, where they were exhibited until May 2005.’
    • ‘For example, the painting may look perfect, but if a tear has been patched up or a restorer has overpainted it (painted over the original colour), this will show up under an expert eye and will lower its value.’
    • ‘Jackson frequently overpaints the edges of these, his own free style playing off the taut refinement of the icon painting.’
    • ‘Interestingly, Rembrandt overpainted the figure of a prostrate woman at Christ's feet with the present kneeling figure.’
    • ‘He then overpaints those scratchings and doodles with aluminum pigment mixed with linseed oil, black paint and beeswax, frequently leaving much of the raw canvas untouched or exposed.’
    • ‘Even so, a substantial part of the painting was executed, and was carefully preserved after Leonardo's departure from Florence in 1506 until the 1560s, when Vasari overpainted it.’
    • ‘He went on to use modeling paste to overpaint posters of iconic Impressionist paintings, including Monet's poppy fields.’
    • ‘Also note how panels of the canopy have been overpainted with flossy sea blue.’
    • ‘The company was allegedly selling scanned and manually overpainted images as original paintings.’
    • ‘A smile graced her face like an artist's stroke, her torment was overpainted with joy, and the rain washed all her tears away.’
    • ‘A counterpoint to Das Wunder, it is abstractly overpainted with arabesques of yellow and white and ornamented with a garland of the eyes that figure in its title.’
    • ‘She enlarges this image as a laser print and then, following the photograph's main outlines, overpaints large sections of it with flat expanses of acrylic in muted tones.’
    • ‘‘None of the aircraft had been overpainted by the 16 September 1990’.’
    • ‘The figures of the Four Seasons, painted in oil on a gilded background and then overpainted to simulate mosaic, are identical to the Four Seasons window at Cairndhu House.’
    • ‘In The FBI Files 43, he has overpainted the photograph of a man to create a Baconian screaming magnate; the FBI document around him has an exaggerated amount of blacking out that seems to be constricting the figure.’
    • ‘In the other painting he had another, lesser artist overpaint both her figure and his own, substituting grooms holding the horses.’
    • ‘It is worth noting, therefore, that the Doom painting over the chancel arch of St Margaret's Church, Tivetshall, Norfolk, was overpainted with the royal arms of Elizabeth.’
    • ‘The two pictures, especially the Lycurgus, are much damaged and overpainted, and any categorical statement about their authorship must, therefore, be treated with some caution.’


  • Paint added as a covering layer.

    • ‘The key factor in cleaning paintings is that the restorer should have control over the level to which dirt, varnish, and overpaint are removed.’
    • ‘Moreover, what was the point of replacing old overpaint with new, for how could a work painted mainly by others be honestly identified as a Turner?’
    • ‘The old overpaint, mainly Prussian blue and lead white, was reduced with a scalpel; some had to be left because of the fragility of the underlying gold leaf.’
    • ‘However, upon analysis it was discovered that all this loose matter was overpaint not by Turner but by others.’
    • ‘His latest prize is the recently discovered Rembrandt self-portrait dated 1634, which was hidden for more than 300 years behind layers of overpaint.’