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Old 08-19-2009, 05:49 PM
mobius49 mobius49 is offline
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How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

I have been blessed with a gift of a full sheet painting that wont quite flatten, it has been under stacks of paper with books on them for a few weeks now.....should I just give it more time? I am dying to get this framed and hung, gonna try a free float, any tips on THAT?

thanks much !!!!!
Matt
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:07 PM
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Carrie Carrie is offline
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

My fool proof method - Spray the back of your painting with water,careful not to let any of it sit on the painting side, Sandwich painting between
1. Two pieces of newsprint or clean light weight paper(same size or bigger than wc paper) to protect painting and the next layer
2. Sandwich the above between two sheets of clean watercolor paper.
3. Sandwich the above between two more pieces of light weight paper.
4. lastly, sandwich between two boards larger than the whole paper stack. Pile some weight on there, not just in the middle, it has to be evenly distributed all over the board like four stacks of phonebooks. It should be flat in four to 6 hours.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:49 PM
mobius49 mobius49 is offline
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrie
My fool proof method - Spray the back of your painting with water,careful not to let any of it sit on the painting side, Sandwich painting between
1. Two pieces of newsprint or clean light weight paper(same size or bigger than wc paper) to protect painting and the next layer
2. Sandwich the above between two sheets of clean watercolor paper.
3. Sandwich the above between two more pieces of light weight paper.
4. lastly, sandwich between two boards larger than the whole paper stack. Pile some weight on there, not just in the middle, it has to be evenly distributed all over the board like four stacks of phonebooks. It should be flat in four to 6 hours.

wow...thanks. I literally dont have that much room in my house, anywhere....
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:26 PM
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

I would use a large clipboard to distribute the weight of heavy books. I usually just let it sit on the floor. I have read that some people iron out buckles, but I have never tried this.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:59 AM
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

Matt , I dampen the back with a natural sponge. Really dampen it ,for 5 to 7 minutes or more ,corner to corner and through the center . Take your time try to get it almost floppy Then put your painting board on it and all the heavy stuff you can find around , books , bottles, etc. ,on the corners and let it sit for a day or 2 .
If that doesn't do it , I can think of more things I have tried that will ,
june
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:07 AM
mobius49 mobius49 is offline
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

thanks all, will try your idea June, as I have just that much space, that the cat cant get to.
Matt
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:09 AM
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

All else fails, dampen it (the back) and iron it on the back.

Doug
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:53 AM
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

Matt,
I also wet the back of the painting (only I use a large 3" brush), place it face down on one of my watercolor boards, place a second watercolor board on top of it, weigh it down with heavy books and let it dry overnight. Usually, that is all the time it takes to dry and when removed from the sandwich, it is flat as when it was before being painted on.

Sylvia
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:57 AM
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

Matt,
Check out these two threads in The Watercolor Handbook section on Matting and Framing your paintings:

Quote:
Matting and Framing Paintings

Flattening Paper Before Matting and Framing

How to Flatten Buckled Paper

Lots of good info there.

Sylvia
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:40 AM
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Shirl Parker Shirl Parker is offline
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorky
All else fails, dampen it and iron it on the back.

Doug

Skip the "all else fails" part and go directly to the "dampen it and iron it" part.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:07 AM
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

You say you don’t have that large of a flat surface. Maybe you could use the board method and the weight could come from laying it between your two mattresses, one night’s sleep on it wouldn’t affect your sleep too much.
How about vertical? Use the board method, only use hardware clamps around the outside and tuck it behind a couch or a chair. A thicker plywood would bow less and you might not need pressure in the middle. You might give it some extra drying time since the moisture will want to travel to the lower side.
Even if you iron it using a board to hold the shape until it has cooled and the steam has evaporated would be a good idea. The boards can be stored behind a piece of furniture when not in use. I would leave it between the board a few days, there is still moister you can't feel after 4-6 hours that can let it buckle again.
We have a local Jr. college with a large dry hot press in the art dept. and sometimes the teacher will let artists he knows place something in there for a short time. I had to do that with one before a show there. You might find out if there is a college near you with one you could use.
Viv

Last edited by boundbyartstudios : 08-21-2009 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:36 PM
seahorsy seahorsy is offline
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

Wanted to let you know that I just used an iron to flatten 2 watercolors. Fabulous advice Yorky!

Placed linen on the bottom. Sheet of lightweight blank WC paper, then the dampened painting face down, another lightweight sheet on the top. Used a dry iron, medium setting. Then I removed the top sheet and used the iron directly on it. When done, placed a heavy tablet of paper on it for a few minutes and it was flat as a pancake!!!!!

Thank you so much for this info

Sandy.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:51 PM
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

I've taped it down, upside down on my clean table - all the way around all 4 sides just like when you are initially stretching it. Then I mist the back side with a spray bottle all over (it will wrinkle or warp) and keep it taped until it's completely dry. It stretches nice and flat.
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:20 PM
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karenlee karenlee is offline
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

Thank you, Yorky! The question was asked almost two years ago, but your advice is timeless!!
The things they never tell you in school..../oIo\

Last edited by karenlee : 05-23-2011 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:47 AM
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Kathy1234 Kathy1234 is offline
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Re: How to flatten a full sheet watercolor?

Yorky advice works the best...the iron!
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