View Full Version : **attaching Watercolor Paper To Canvas**

Valri Ary
08-30-2008, 12:19 PM
I've had some questions about the attaching of watercolor paper to canvas....so here is the kinda sorta way to do it. Let me know if any of you come up with anything different, quicker, easier....THANKS!!

This is a Demo thread only, you may add comments to the original thread here. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=515634)

Valri Ary
10-16-2008, 09:03 AM
Attaching Watercolor Paper to Canvas (WITH PHOTOS)

You will need:
any white glue that dries clear
spray bottle with water
a mixing bowl (old large yogurt container)
clear coat spray
UV varnish
large plastic bag or drop sheet
a dry painting
a canvas slightly larger than your dried painting

painting and canvas

some of the items needed for this project

After your painting is dry you must spray it with a clear coat. You can buy this at any art store or home supply store. Some are UV, some are low odor. I go for the low odor. Spray it and let it dry.

Iron you painting on the wrong side as flat as you can get it.

Paint your canvas using acrylic paint. Let it dry.
I never paint the entire canvas as that would be a waste of paint. I always sign the canvas again and then once the painting is overtop you can hold the whole thing up to the light and see you signature again. Plus of course, sign your paper as well.

Using a white pencil that will rub off easily (the watercolor pencils work great for this) Mark the canvas as to where the corners of your painting will line up. I hand tear the edges of my painting so it doesn't have to be 100% exact in the end or it will drive you nutty when it is off a bit!!

Mix some glue in the container with some water. Not too watery though as you need to have some glue to make it all stick. But if you use the glue straight up it will dry too fast and you won't have time to adjust it as you go.
Pour the glue onto the canvas in the area you will attach your painting.

Using your spray bottle soak the back of the painting.

Now comes the scary part!

Put the painting on the canvas keeping your hands as clean as possible. Press out the air bubbles and there will be alot of them. Remember the paper has stretched some because it is wet but it will dry and spring back. The canvas is wet now too and it will become stretched as well.
Lay it down so it is lined up with the white chalk marks you made

If you have gotten any glue outside of the assigned area for the painting make sure you wipe it off before it dries. You can always touch up the canvas a bit if some seeps out. I almost always use black gesso for my canvas as it seems to be the most hardy to deal with this kind of treatment. But that is not to say I haven't done colors and swirls of regular acrylic paint.

Using your 'really dry and really clean' hands press down the paper to get out the air bubbles

MAKE SURE you pay close attention to the edges of your painting as it will start to dry quickly. Put rocks or bottles or something with a bit of weight on the edges to hold them down while you get the air bubbles out.

WALK AWAY for about an hour....really you have to at this point to let it dry a bit.

Put down a sheet of plastic and then turn the painting over and work the back of the canvas pressing your hand on the painting and canvas to make sure the bubbles have flattened.

I put my website and sign the back of the canvas again at this point using a sharpie

Put some heavy books or tiles on it so that there is a constant pressure on there.

WALK AWAY for another hour or so.

**I do this all just before bed so I can not fret too much about it. It is like babysitting and I try to save up a bunch of paintings to do this all at once.

Once it is all dry you will be amazed at the bubbles you couldn't get out will be GONE! The paper will have shrunk and the canvas will have sprung back as well and magically they will have stuck together.

Try this on some smaller canvas's to get the hang of it. I have never had this fail although along the way it seems like every single one of them will. The thinner the wc paper you use the better it sticks BUT in saying that then the lesser of a painting it is....for me the thicker the paper the better the colors are.
SO...once all is stuck, I spray the painting again with clear coat and let it dry.

Using some UV varnish and a little water I gently brush it on. Make sure you are in good light to cover the entire surface. You can do 2 coats if you like. Letting it dry completely between coats.


And that's it! Hope you have fun doing this and let me know if you have any questions.....just shoot me a PM!