View Full Version : Stretching Paper Question

04-29-2003, 08:41 PM
Hi all..

I stretched a sheet of Arches cold press. I used the brown gummy tape, and now that it's dry, the tape doesn't want to come off.

I tried using a hair dryer, but there is still brown stuff on the some of the paper that wouldn't come up. The tape is still stuck to the board as well.

How do I get the tape off without ruining the paper????? Does the tape ever come off the board?

Am I the only one with this problem?

04-29-2003, 08:46 PM
Yes!!!! The peony tree picture that I ruined would not release the tape either... When a small edge tore, I thought that it was the final straw and threw away the whole thing...

One thing we might have in common.... the hairdryer... I used mine to dry my washes more quickly... Maybe it caused the glue in the tape to adhere...

My problem was no great loss, because I already hated the picture and my paper is only Strathmore... I hope someone has a solution for your!!!!

04-29-2003, 08:59 PM
I use pads and Blocks , i dont bother too Stretch Paper and bother with tape, and I Blow Dry my washes also.....

04-29-2003, 09:05 PM
I prefer to stretch my paper, it helps with the smell of the size they use...I use a staplegun, even with thick foam board. I also use plywood boards, it just depends on what is sitting around available. Sometimes if I don't stretch the paper, I will tape it down with masking tape and so far, it has always come loose just fine. I always use either 140 or 300 lb Arches. I use a blow dryer quite a bit....


04-29-2003, 09:06 PM
I use blocks, too--I absolutely hate stretching! For 300 paper, I usually use those big "butterfly" paper clips that are used to hold a bunch of paper.


04-29-2003, 10:04 PM
Is the tape just stuck to the edges of your paper? You can just cut the tape border off with an exacto or mat knife. You may then have to scrape the remnants of the tape off your board, but your painting should be fine - it just won't have that tiny white border around the edges where the tape was.


04-29-2003, 10:06 PM
Thanks for the responses.

I think its time to invest in a staple gun. I've tried the masking tape technique, but the paper still buckles.

I tried just using the "block", but the papers underneath seemed to be somewhat "wavy" after I'd removed the painting.

I'm not sure what to do now. Just really frustrated with my paper.

04-29-2003, 10:48 PM




04-30-2003, 12:06 AM
Thanks Pam,

I will :-)

04-30-2003, 03:28 AM
I use an electric stapler. The spring action on the manual one's drive me nuts when the staple doesn't seat all the way down in plywood.

The brand of paper you are using is a big variable also.

04-30-2003, 03:40 AM
I had the same problem as yours when I first started, brown tape just stucked on paper and won't let go no matter what I do....

Now I don't strectch if I know the painting I going to work on it doesn't involves wet on wet technique or has water scene ie. streams, sea, river, reflection etc since I usually work quite wet on them. Just stick paper on board with masking tape.

If I do stretch, I wet the paper and stretch on stretching frame and use staple gun to hold them in place... but have to be careful and make sure the paper is really wet when I fold the 4 corners stapled them... if it's not wet enough... some ugly wrinkles will show when the paper dries completely... Is it's done correctly, you have a nice little drum effect when you paint on the paper... :music: :music: :music: tum tum tum:music: :music: :music: lol

04-30-2003, 08:06 AM
The brown tape isn't meant to come off; you need to cut that part out. There are all kinds of alternatives depending on the amount of water you use. I f you paint rather dry composition you can use regular masking tape. If you use lots of water you may prefer stapling instead. I have found recently a paper that doesn't buckle and is quite amazing to use: Strathmore Aquarius II. It is a part cotton part fiberglass paper that you run under the water tap and put on a plexiglass no tapes, nothing! It holds there on its own and will dry straight.

Gisele :)

Bubba's Mama
04-30-2003, 08:12 AM
Hi Iris, there is a tape that I get from Cheap Joe's, but imagine you can get it anywhere art supplies are sold. It is called Artists Tape, comes in 1/2",3/4",1",2" & 3" widths. I blow dry my washes, and have never had a problem with the tape sticking either to my paper (140 or 300#) or to my board! Couldn't live without it.

Hope this helps.


04-30-2003, 08:12 AM
Originally posted by artman42
I use pads and Blocks , i dont bother too Stretch Paper and bother with tape

I do so too; once i fighted with stretching paper, but it drovo me mad :mad: :mad: :mad:

now it is more confortable;) ;) ;)

I painted a wet on wet w/c of 50x70cm just taping it on a big stiff cardboard, and it worded wet without stratching.

ciao and good luck! :) :) :)


04-30-2003, 08:21 AM

Such excellent information.

Now I have new things to try when attempting to stretch.

Back to the drawing board, I think it's time to get some painting in for today.

Many thanks to all for your excellent suggestions.

04-30-2003, 10:28 AM
I tried the wet gummy tape too and had the same horrible experience you had. No one explained to me that the tape was not supposed to come off. If I had known that I wouldn't have even tried it.
I don't know if it's the best way, but I finally found something that works for me....
I do my sketch on the paper and then soak it for about 5 minutes or so. I then staple it to gator-board (or cardboard will do) stretching it as I staple it. When it is dry, I use regular masking tape on the edges to give myself a border and to prevent runs of color under the paper. It's not much trouble and it works.

04-30-2003, 10:59 AM
Have never stretched paper........too much pain........no gain......

04-30-2003, 01:18 PM
The brown tape isn't meant to come off; you need to cut that part out. There are all kinds of alternatives

I have used that tape years ago. What we used to do is to cut the paper off at its edges through the brown tape, so it forms a margin on the paper. A possible advantage of using it may be that it reinforces the edges, esp. if you use lightweight paper. When framed, the brown would be covered by the mat.



P.S. And yes, youŽd have to scrape it off the board...

04-30-2003, 01:49 PM
Hi, Iris.

When I stretch my paper, I may use the brown tape and use a flat edge burnishing tool to ma with an x-acto knife. You can use the burnishing tool to get the tape off your board after you have dampened it.

If I am fussy, I will use the white artist tape, that Susan suggested. I make sure to burnish it down so no paint seeps under it. It peels up easily.


04-30-2003, 01:53 PM
Sorry some of my thread had gotten lost. I burnish it down with the burnishing tool and when I am done I trim away the brown tape it the x-acto knife.


04-30-2003, 01:58 PM
Well, I managed to get the tape off the paper. I used water to get the tape off the board. All is well. What an exhausting experience.

I have tried the artists tape, but my main goal was to stop the paper from buckling when removed from supports, (I use acrylic gesso boards as supports).

And yes, good old masking tape seems to work best. I do like that white border :-)

I absolutely love the Arches 140# cold & hot press papers I've begun using, but they seem more sensitive to water than the old Strathmore. I think I just need to get used to the paper and how it interacts with water (and with pigment)

All the advice I've received from this post has been very helpful. I have learned much!

05-24-2003, 08:22 PM
Could some one please tell me which side of the paper is best to put face down on the board when stretching........?????????????

05-24-2003, 08:29 PM
Hold your paper up to the light and look at the watermark. If it reads correctly then you are looking at the best side to paint on .

I always use brown gummed strip to attach my soaked paper to gator board. When finished I just run a knife under the paper around the edge to remove from the board.

Then use scissors to trim off the edge from the painting. As I use gator board the remaining gum strip is easily wetted and then peels off ,