Stretching Watercolour Paper


To stretch watercolour paper you will need the following,

  • A drawing board.
  • Gum strip or parcel tape.
  • Drawing pins.
  • A Sponge


  1. Cut four pieces of gum strip a bit longer than the edges of your paper.
  2. First of all soak the paper in a container of water for a couple of minutes until it is wet all the way through. You will find that the heavier the paper the longer it needs to be in the water.
  3. Hold the paper above the container by the corners and let the excess water drain off.
  4. Lay the paper flat on the drawing board and smooth any wrinkles away using the damp sponge.
  5. Wet the gum strip with the sponge and use it to stick the water-colour paper to the drawing board. Make sure that half the gum strip is stuck to the paper and the other half to the board, this will ensure that the paper is gripped well.
  6. Press a drawing pin firmly into each corner of the paper and then leave it to dry.

You will find that as the paper dries sometimes it will buckle but if you leave it alone, once it dries completely it should be perfectly flat.

When your painting is finished you should use a craft knife and a ruler to cut through the tape and then lift the painting off the board.