How to Prepare Watercolour Paper by Melissa-Anne Steben

Prevent watercolour paper (90–140 lb) from buckling
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How to Prepare Watercolour Paper by Melissa-Anne Steben

To prevent watercolour paper (90–140 lb) from buckling, we recommend stretching the fibres before painting. Follow these easy steps by artist Melissa-Anne Steben!


  • Gummed kraft paper tape
  • Watercolour paper (cut to size)
  • Masonite board or wood panel
  • Sponge



Step 1: 

Cut the tape into strips slightly longer than your paper.

Step 2: 

With your watercolour paper cut to size, it's time to wet it. Run the sheet under cold water or place it in a tub of water for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure both sides are soaked.

Step 3: 

Take the sponge and wet the board. This will help the paper stay in place. Remove excess water and place the paper on the board.

Step 4: 

Take the gummed strips and place them on the paper, glued side down. Run a slightly damp sponge over the strips to activate the glue. Do not add too much water.

Let the watercolour paper dry flat on the board. Make sure it’s completely dry before painting. You now have paper that should not buckle!