The Best Tape for Watercolor Paper for 2022

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When it comes to watercolor painting, the type of paper you use is critical. However, people underestimate the importance of choosing a good tape to mask areas of your watercolor painting and tape that can be used to attach your watercolor paper to a board.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the best tape for watercolor paper in 2022. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, keep reading to find out what’s the best tape for you!

Table of Contents

    1. Why Do You Use Tape on Watercolor Paper?
    2. Top of the Line Tape for Watercolor Paper
      1. Art 1-Inch by 60-Yards White Artist Tape
      2. 60 Yard STIKK Blue Painters Tape
      3. Purple Art Craft Tape
    3. I personally like this tape…
      1. Scotch Painter’s Tape
    4. On using Drafting Tape as Masking for Watercolor Painting
    5. Watercolor wash-out tape
    6. What to look for when buying tapes for watercolor paper?
  1. Using Washi Tape For Masking in Watercolor Paper
    1. Can You Use Washi Tapes on Watercolor Paper?
  2. How to Tape Watercolor Paper to a Board
    1. See this Full Demo on How to Stretch Watercolor Paper
    2. Removing Tape From Watercolor Paper
    3. Conclusion
Looking for the best tape for watercolor paper

**This page may contain affiliate links to products I have used or recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.**

Why Do You Use Tape on Watercolor Paper?

why do you use tape on watercolor paperMany artists use a variety of products to create their artwork, including masking tape, which can be an excellent solution for watercolor painting. However, some artists have found difficulty with the adhesive qualities of masking tape, which can ruin the surface of watercolor paper and disturb the fibers of the paper.

The first reason to use masking tape is to hold the paper in place while it dries. It is essential to use water-activated tape since regular masking tape can ruin a painting when it dries.

A water-activated tape is also a good option because it is repositionable and will not cause any damage to your watercolor paper during removal. It is also ideal for painting on textured papers.

Watercolor paper is a particularly porous medium, so you can’t seal it with traditional glue or varnish. Besides, these materials are also fragile.

Therefore, you should only use them on watercolor paper if they’re waterproof.

Otherwise, you may have problems with smudging and transferring colors.

To make this process easier, you can buy a special masking tape with an adhesive that sticks to wet and dry media

Top of the Line Tape for Watercolor Paper

Art 1-Inch by 60-Yards White Artist Tape

white artists tape for watercolor

White Artist Tape is an acid-free, repositionable tape that is perfect for drawing, drafting, and mixed media projects.

Its pH-neutral composition means it won’t damage the paper when removed. It is ideal for any paper surface, and it comes in a variety of sizes to suit your needs. It also works great for blocking off areas and holding paper in place.

60 Yard STIKK Blue Painters Tape

Stikk Blue Painters Tape is the industry standard for painting and decorating projects.

Its aggressive adhesion and clean release allow it to hold up to five days without peeling or coming off. This product is a reliable, long-lasting solution for any project, from small to large.

It is available in rolls that measure up to 60 yards by 1.41 inches wide, with different widths available as well.

It is made of crepe paper, which helps it adhere to rough surfaces. It’s UV resistant and stays on for up to five days without leaving a sticky residue.

Purple Art Craft Tape

I personally like this tape…

Scotch Painter’s Tape

scotch tape for artists for watercolor

On using Drafting Tape as Masking for Watercolor Painting

using Drafting Tape as Masking for Watercolor Painting

Using Drafting tape as masking for watercolor painting will give you crisp and clean lines. This kind of masking tape is easy to remove without damaging your watercolor painting.

This tape has a low tack, so it is not as sticky as other masking tape. It will also keep your paint from seeping through.

Moreover, it can be repositioned without leaving any sticky stains on your paper.

Another advantage of drafting tape is that it does not leave any residue when removed. Therefore, you can cut it without worrying that it will tear your paper.

And since the drafting tape is a thin layer of paper, you can also use it to mask your photographs. It does not require any special tools to use it, so you can use it on your watercolor paintings. Moreover, you can also apply paint to it without any worry.

The other advantage of drafting tape is that it allows you to see the lines as thin as a 2H lead.

This means that you can make accurate cuts around rough edges. On the other hand, it is difficult to cut through 90-pound, 140-pound, or even 300-pound paper.

When using drafting tape as masking for watercolor painting, it is important to take a lot of care when removing it.

The drafting tape may be glued to the paper, so it should be removed carefully to avoid damaging the work. It is best to burnish the tape with a hairdryer. It will soften the glue. Then, you can remove the tape from the paper.

Drafting tape works better than artist tape. It has smaller glue molecules than water, which prevents water from getting underneath the edge.

Watercolor wash-out tape

washout tape for watercolor

Watercolour Wash Out Tape provides an edge-free white paper border. This particular washout tape is fantastic and a good investment for your watercolor artwork.

It is the latest up-to-date version of the traditional watercolor masking tape. It is removable and will resist wet paint without damaging the paper. Once your painting is finished, you can remove the tape. This will leave you with a clean white paper border. This way, you can keep the painting flat and avoid warping.

What to look for when buying tapes for watercolor paper?

what to look out for when buying tape for watercolor paper

There are many different types of tape for watercolor paper. There are many types to choose from depending on your style. The most important thing to look for is whether the tape is acid-free or pH-neutral.

Buying a pH-neutral tape is important for painting on sensitive papers and will prevent your paint from ruining the texture. You should also pay attention to the size of the tape. The width should cover the masking area on your painting.

When buying tape for watercolor paper, choose one that is thick and doesn’t leave any glue marks or sticky residue. The masking tape should not be too thin and should be repositionable.

It should also be long enough to last you for a long time. You should also choose one that is not too thin so that it doesn’t rip or tear. Once you’ve chosen a masking tape, make sure it won’t damage your paper when you remove it.

Masking tape is a great way to create crisp masking lines when watercolor painting. The tape clings to the paper well, and it won’t leave sticky residue on the paper.

While masking tape is a good choice for the sake of painting, you need to be careful when purchasing it. You don’t want to ruin the beautiful art you’ve spent time on.

If you’re going to use it for a long time, you might want to get a larger roll for more convenience.

If you’re using masking tape for watercolor paper, you should purchase a water-activated one. This type of tape will stick to surfaces that are wet, so it will not leave sticky residue when removed.

It’s ideal for watercolor paper, because it will stick to any surface and won’t tear. It is easy to remove, too. Unlike ordinary masking tape, this type of tape will be easy to use on most surfaces.

Besides the wide variety of sizes, you should also be aware of the different types of tapes. The most popular one is painters tape, which comes in different colors.

A typical painters taping tape is one inch wide and 60 yards long. It has a standard width, which is perfect for most people. Its acid-free formula makes it easy to peel and applies easily.

While most types of masking and stretching tapes are helpful for masking, some types of masking and stretching tapes are bad for watercolor painting.

They can cause ridges or buckles in the paper. You should be sure to use special stretch tapes for this purpose.

A good watercolor paper will expand when wet, so the proper tape for this purpose will be flexible and have the right amount of adhesive.

Using Washi Tape For Masking in Watercolor Paper

using washi tape on watercolor paperUsing washi tape on watercolor paper is an extremely easy project. Simply cut out a geometric design, choose your favorite colors, and then peel it off to reveal the colorful, abstract painting underneath! 

Use washi tape as decorations, but they’re usually small and narrow. Aside from being less robust, this adhesive doesn’t have the advantages over Scotchy tape and is ineffective for protecting surfaces against water-soaked paints.

I’m recommending sticking with that selected product.

To be sure the paint doesn’t come through on the surface, the wall paint should stay under the tape.

This page includes tutorials from beginner to experienced. They might give you some useful advice.

Can You Use Washi Tapes on Watercolor Paper?

Yes it is possible to use washi tapes on watercolor paper, but the results may not be what you expect. Washi tape is a type of adhesive tape that is made from natural fibers such as bamboo, mulberry, or hemp.

It is often used for crafting and decorating projects as the fiber content makes it flexible and easy to tear.

Unlike masking or duct tape, washi tape does not have a strong adhesive and can be easily removed without leaving any residue.

When used on watercolor paper, washi tape will not hold the paint as masking tape would.

In fact, the paint may actually seep underneath the tape and cause bleeding or smudging.

While washi tape can be used on watercolor paper, it’s not recommended for professional paintings because it spreads the paint.

Professional painters use masking or double-sided tape, which adheres nicely and can be removed easily.

You can reposition the tape as needed, and you don’t need to stretch the paper to get the right shape.

If you’re a newbie, you can find some useful tutorials on YouTube to guide you through the process.

You’ll need scissors, a ruler, and tape, and you’ll also need to stretch the paper if you are using paper that is 300gsm or less.

How to Tape Watercolor Paper to a Board

how to tape watercolor paperIf you are using watercolor paper that is 300gsms or less, you may want to stretch your paper professionally so that it doesn’t buckle or warp while drying.

You stretch your paper by taping it to a board. The first step is to soak the watercolor paper. This can be done in a large pan, clean bathtub, or sink. This will allow the paper to soak up the water from the tape before you apply it to the board.

You mustn’t get the tape wet until you’re ready to begin painting. Then, simply place the paper on top of the tape and wait for it to dry completely.

To fix the paper, you can use different types of tape. A heavy-duty glue stick or gummed tape will work well. A hairdryer will not work because it will loosen the adhesive, so it is not recommended.

You can also use heavy-duty binder clips or staples.

Regardless of your chosen method, it is important to ensure that your paper dries evenly.

It shouldn’t take longer than 24 hours to dry.

tape for watercolor paper

After you’ve chosen a support, you’ll need to secure the paper to it. A sturdy board should be the proper size. It should be at least 1″ larger than the sheet of paper to give yourself room to tape the paper to it.

Next, spread the soaked paper flat on the board. You can use a damp sponge to smooth out the surface. Once you’ve laid the watercolor-soaked piece of art on the board, you can tape it to the board. Afterward, store it on a stretching board to ensure it remains flat.

Once the watercolor paper has been soaked and is ready to go, you’ll need to secure it to the board. You can use gummed tape to secure the watercolor paper.

When using gummed tape, make sure to place a third of the tape on the board and two-thirds on the paper.

This will prevent the paper from pulling off of the board once it dries. When painting on stretched paper, you’ll also be able to use unlimited amounts of water.

It is important to use gummed tape when taping watercolor paper to a board. Using a light-colored painter’s tape can be hard to see through and can ruin your artwork.

A heavier, gummed tape will stay in place longer and be easier to remove.

You can also use a heavy-duty stapler or binder clip to hold the paper while painting. You can also use a sturdy canvas to hold the watercolor sheet to a board.

See this Full Demo on How to Stretch Watercolor Paper

Removing Tape From Watercolor Paper

A good way to remove the gummed tape from watercolor paper is to apply a little water to the area to be taped.

You’ll have to wait until your painting is dry before you remove the tape. If the gummed tape is already down, it’s best to wait until it’s completely dry.

This will prevent it from ruining your painting. So, if the tape is already on the painting, you should try the technique described below.

Artists’ masking tape can be removed in much the same way. You will need to wait until your painting is dry before you try removing the tape.

If your painting still has water on it, the tape might not come off correctly or the paint may bleed underneath it.

Looking for the best tape for watercolor paper


Scotch blue painter’s masking tape is the best tape to use on watercolor paper.

I recommend this for two reasons – it does not leave adhesive residue behind and it leaves almost no mark in the paint when peeled off, unlike other brands of tape that might cause a lot of damage to your painting surface.

To avoid any pitfalls associated with bad tapes, always buy high-quality ones like Scotch Blue Painter’s Masking Tape.

You should also be sure you are using them correctly by applying them neatly across all four corners, so there is less chance they will unintentionally peel up at odd angles when applied properly.

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3 thoughts on “The Best Tape for Watercolor Paper for 2022”

  1. Masking the paper edges is a crucial step in the preparation process for watercolor paintings. However, normal tapes should not be used because they may be overly sticky and cause the paper to tear when peeled. Blue tapes cannot be used on wet surfaces, therefore they cannot be used on paper that has already been saturated and stretched.

  2. The blue painters tape has never worked in my experience – tears the paper surface every time. I’m looking into painters tapes designed for delicate surfaces, as some other online artists have recommended.

    • In my article above you will see I wrote about how I personally use the purple painter’s scotch tape as this has been the most gentle and most effective. I find the blue tape to be a bit harsh sometimes too – I find that if I dab it on a fabric surface first (like on my trousers leg) then it loses some of its stickiness and it doesn’t tear the paper.


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