Mounting watercolor paper to board

Lately I’ve been experimenting with mounting various types of watercolor paper onto cradled board. I like this option for a few reasons:

  • the paper is “stretched” on the board so doesn’t warp when wet with paint

  • the works don’t have to be framed (but can still be framed if desired)

  • the texture of certain thicker papers on the board is pleasing

I learned how to mount paper on board from J.A.W. Cooper’s tutorial and then have tried various papers with varying degrees of success.

Khadi Paper

I was really hoping that mounting Khadi paper would work and sometimes it does but most of the time, the paper itself is the reason for failure. Khadi paper is very inconsistent in thickness so pressing it flat against a board often reveals fairly large bumps that no amount of brayering will flatten out. The few times I’ve done it successfully have resulted in a canvas-like texture that is a dream to paint on. The failures result in much time spent carefully sanding the paper off the board so it can be reused. I’ll continue to try this paper in hopes of someday figuring out a way to consistently get it mounted successfully.

It seems that using smaller boards (9” x 12” or less) works better, I guess because there’s less area to buckle.

The texture of Khadi paper pops out nicely on a board.

The texture of Khadi paper pops out nicely on a board.

Kilimanjaro 140g White Watercolor Paper

Kilimanjaro 140g paper is a dream to mount. I’ve had 100% success each time I’ve tried up to sizes of 11” x 14” - haven’t tried anything larger yet.