Instructables

The Easy Way To Stretch Watercolor Paper

Picture of The Easy Way To Stretch Watercolor Paper
One of my minor hobbies has been watercolor painting.  While not an expert, I have done enough of it to know that stretching paper is a big hastle, and lots of times is not successful. Taping the paper to a solid board is a case in point. Also, stapling is a pain especially when you want to remove the paper. So, I came up with a way to make the process as easy as possible.  Simply wet the paper slightly*, and glue the paper to a frame of your making, and when dry, you are ready to paint.  The finished painting can be framed as is, or cut out and laid flat on a piece of cardboard, or handled in any way you choose.

*Wetting the paper is the key to success with this method. Too much, as in soaking, will distort the paper too much, and may even twist the
frame. Too Little, and the process won't work very well. It just takes a touch with the sponge, as in set the damp sponge down and move it
3 or 4 inches while pressing gently.  Do in two directions, and that's it!
 
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Step 1: Gather Materials And Tools

Picture of Gather Materials And Tools
Much the same material and tool list I used in my other instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Your-Own-Art-Canvases/

Most of the time, I use 3/4 x 3/4 inch pine pieces, ripped to size on my table saw.
A nail gun, if available, or simply use hammer and nail pieces together. 
Screws are another choice.
Glue: I like to glue each piece as it solidifies the structure and makes the joints tight.
A cut off saw if available, or a miter box can be used as well.
Watercolor paper of your choice.
Other papers, kraft, copy, poster, etc.  See steps to learn uses for these materials.

Step 2: Cut Wood Pieces

Picture of Cut Wood Pieces
Here, I use the table and cut off saws to cut wood pieces. I make them square, or 3/4 x 3/4in. and cut to the length I want...i.e., 8.5 x 11, 5 x 7, 11 x 14, etc. Pieces can be cut to the size needed for butt joints, or mitered corners.
rimar20001 year ago
Very interesting, thanks for sharing.