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My sister wrote the wrong name in a bible that's to be presented and displayed in two weeks. It's shiny paper that is beige in color. The back side of the page is different color printed pattern. She's not sure of the pen she was using when she wrote it.

I've tried fingernail polish remover, shaving cream, Deep Woods OFF! and Goof Off, but nothing has helped and I'm scared some other ideas may ruin the page.

Any suggestions?

  • You've tried some good solvents; I'd be afraid to try too much else, lest it damage the printing on the back. Two other possibilities are 70% or stronger rubbing alcohol (ethyl or isopropyl) and xylene. However, the best idea, at this point, may be to use "white-out" to cover the error, and hope the recipient of the bible is understanding. After all, Isaiah 1:18: "Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow." – DrMoishe Pippik Feb 26 '17 at 4:15
  • @DrMoishePippik I agree that covering is probably better than further attempts at removal. I have suggested a different approach from white-out, though. (The paper is beige, after all.) Love the quote in this context! – Stephie Feb 26 '17 at 9:31
  • There is off-white "liquid paper", but "be yellow as snow" doesn't have quite the same connotation. ;-) – DrMoishe Pippik Feb 26 '17 at 17:36
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If all your attempts at removal fail or you do indeed damage the paper in an attempt at doing so, I suggest what I would have probably done instead of writing directly into the book:

Use a matching (as in "looks good together", not as in "is identical") paper and create a name plate similar to a sticker or bookplate / ex-libris.

Write the name of the recipient in a very nice script, possibly elaborated a bit, then once you are satisfied with the result, cut the piece of paper to shape and glue it into the book.

The options are almost endless, from just a neat handwriting over calligraphy to more free-form elaborate lettering or even including a small drawing or painting.

If you are not that artistically talented, this is a good opportunity to use a computer to create a nice layout and design.

The main advantage is that it doesn't matter at all if you mess up somewhere on the way, just start over on a new piece of paper.


Summary: Sometimes it's easier to cover up a mishap than try to remove it.

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Sounds like you've tried everything and any further attempts will make it worse. Any possibility of just taking a razor blade and carefully removing the page? This is probably your best bet assuming that there is no vital text on the page.

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