I'm asking about this specific question. If you check the revisions, you'll see that OP's question was a "shopping" question, and did not give any specifics about what they needed other than "cheap". After it was closed, a different user came by and added a lot of extra text and questions which were not at all implied in the original post.

I think that the edit transforms the question from off-topic to too broad, and in its current form should remain closed.

However, I think one of the new questions, "What is the difference between student and artist quality paints", is a good question for this site. I was considering editing the post again to remove all the "fluff" the editor had introduced and focus on that one question, but that still wasn't OP's question. We might even be able to handle "some tips on painting without going broke" (like, how to reuse canvases), but again - not what OP asked.

My question: Assuming OP doesn't return to give feedback, is it okay to edit a post like this - to introduce a question that is related, but not what OP asked? Or, is it better to leave it closed and post a new question?

  • thanks for drawing my attention to this meta.
    – Vasqi
    Feb 18, 2017 at 6:50

3 Answers 3


First off, in general, that edit should never have been approved. I have rolled it back.

The only person who can add that much content to a question is the person who asked it. If someone wants to re-interpret a question to such a degree, they should just ask a new question... or in this case, questions.

If the person who submitted the edit were the OP using a different account, they'd need to claim the account by sending an account merge request to the CMs. Once that was done, they can edit the question as they like.

There are different opinions on this front depending on which mod you ask. Personally I don't feel the need to rescue every low-quality question (or answer). It's much better for an involved user to get the credit for asking a good question of their own than to "salvage" a question by an unregistered user who hasn't returned to fix the question themselves.

So, in this case, if you'd like to ask a question about quality levels of paint, I invite you to do that! Similarly, something like "I can't afford to buy new canvasses all the time but I'm working on my acrylics technique, how can I reuse canvasses?" would be a great fit for this site.

Do please try to avoid general "How can I save money while crafting". These questions are too broad and lead to too many possible "correct" answers. We want nice, specific, helpful questions.

  • I think most goid teachers would agree that any question is an oppertunity to learn domething of value. However, it is common for a student to poorly structure a question while simultaniously shedding light on a very important issue.
    – Vasqi
    Feb 18, 2017 at 6:54
  • 1
    But not every question is appropriate for the Stack Exchange format.
    – Catija
    Feb 18, 2017 at 14:32

Even from the OP, a substantial edit of that nature is probably not the best course of action, because the off-topic and low-quality nature of the original question is going to have attracted negative attention and possibly down-votes that could work against the improved question getting proper attention. This isn't always the case, but there's not generally harm in starting with a clean slate on a new, on-topic question.

In my original comment on the question when it was closed, I left this piece of advice:

perhaps try asking a question about what to look for in low-cost materials to get started

Which, to clarify here, I did mean ask a new question, rather than edit the existing one.

As far as the portion about low-cost materials, I agree with Catija's post about general "How can I save money while crafting" questions are too broad. There are specific question we can ask about choosing between various low-grade materials (just as there are numerous guides out there for choosing between high-end materials), but a "which is the best for the lowest cost" doesn't seem like a good fit.


I think most good teachers would agree that any question is an opportunity to learn something of value. However, it is common for a student to poorly structure a question while simultaneously shedding light on a very important issue.

I never made any attempt to "rescue" the question. The circumstance underwhich the question was closed, clearly dictated that it must be brought within scope of the site. My "suggested edits" were merely an attempt to demonstrate to the OP, how that might be achieved, while attempting, as much as possible, to remain focussed on the concerns that motivated them to ask it in the first place.

I would further agree, that the suggested edits contained "alot of fluff" which was intended to account for the inherent ambiguity of the original question. However, the edit may have modified the original sentiment, the purpose was to provide an opertunity to provide a useful lesson on how to progress efficiently as a budding artist. As this is something we all must learn, if we are to make this anything more than a hobby.

I have some good insights that I would like to share regarding that challenge. And you have already suggested that I pose the newly reformatted question myself. However, I think it would be poor form for a poster to post their own answer to their own question. It really feels like it goes against the whole idea of this site. But, if you think there are good and usefull elements in the newly formatted question, then you can post it, and I would gladly share my feedback on it.

  • 2
    "I think it would be poor form for a poster to post their own answer to their own question" -- Not really. It's unusual, but I've done it myself (more often on programming questions, when I ask "what is going on with this script" and then, as I continue troubleshooting, eventually find the answer). At that point I'd rather share the information, both to spare other users the time of answering what I've solved, and to share my newfound knowledge of whatever obscure quirk was causing the problem. It's up to you whether you want to do that, though :)
    – Erica
    Feb 18, 2017 at 13:30
  • On all StackExchange sites, answering your own questions is allowed, and especially encouraged if you have answers to tricky questions or valuable insights. We even give out a special badge for people that do so! Don't let that hold you back!
    – user24
    Feb 19, 2017 at 4:50

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