“Heeeelp! Why does my watercolor paper buckle & how can I fix this? I tried everything and do things exactly the way you do but it still buckles!!”
Do you see yourself in that message I recently received from someone who follows my tutorials but still needed a little extra help with their watercolor paper? That's why I collected some tips & tricks for you to fix this problem!
The heavier the paper, the more water it can hold!
The paper will expand when it's wet and shrinks back when it dries. Thin paper can't hold much water therefore it stays wavy. My tip is to use paper that is at least 300gsm.
Cellulose or Cotton?
Watercolor paper can be made out of different materials, for example 100% cellulose or cotton. Different materials will have different impacts on the results!
|100% Cellulose paper||100% Cotton paper|
|– made of wood fiber|
– absorbs water unevenly and slower
– colors look more pale
– paint can easily dry patchy
– can break and buckle a lot
|– made of cotton|
– more expensive
– absorbs the paint quickly and evenly
– colors look more vibrant
– paint dries evenly
– buckles less in general
– more flexible/keeps its shape
How to fix buckling cellulose paper?
You can get watercolor paper in form of a block with pages that are glued together on the sides so it can't buckle. You remove your painting when it's fully dry with a knife starting on the small part that is glue-free.
Another option is stretching the paper. You have to soak the paper in water and tape it to a board to keep it in shape. It's no option for me because it's a lot of work. And you have to wait very long for new paper to dry and you can also damage the paper and make it even more fragile!
For some extra hacks on why your watercolor paper buckles & how to fix this watch my video below!!
For even more support you can download my FREE Watercolor Supplie Guide right here! Where you'll get to know more details about paper and other art supplies which are a great foundation for paintings results you'll love!!
There will be new inspiration, tips & tricks on my YouTube Channel every week! I'm sure you don't want to miss them! You can subscribe to my YouTube channel if you click right here! to never ever miss any of my videos!