How to Flatten Warped Paper


Warped paper is any sheet of bent (usually on one side) so that it no longer lies flat. This bending can result from being crumpled up in a pocket or bag or accumulated bending from handling over time. It’s always annoying when you are trying to work with something and realize your piece of paper has been bent;  when it’s hard to fix this, you might be looking at a warped sheet. In this article, I will discuss how to flatten warped paper. So let us get started.

How to Flatten Warped Paper

What causes Warped Paper?

All sorts of things can cause paper warping. The most common culprit is a bend in the paper; this tends to happen if your piece of paper gets crumpled up somehow (for instance, in your pocket or purse) and gets bent out of shape.

Another option is uneven moisture distribution throughout the paper – different parts of the paper absorb water differently, causing them to expand differently. This can be caused by something as simple as changing weather patterns affecting humidity levels inside an office building or classroom.

On a larger scale, you could get situations like this during monsoon season in certain parts of the world where heavy rain leads to significantly more water content in the air than normal.

Also, if you’re working from clay or paint – these can cause warping because they don’t always dry evenly (imagine a rainy day with wet pavement and concrete walls). And then there’s my personal favorite culprit: forgetting to flatten your paper before putting it under something heavy like a stack of books!

Stepwise Guide on How to Flatten Warped Paper:

Many methods will allow you to enjoy using a piece of parchment without worrying about its condition. In this article, we will explore some of these techniques and methods on how to flatten warped paper to return to its original state before changing through time or due to environmental factors. So let’s begin!

Step 1: Buy Acid-Free Parchment Paper

To ensure that the parchment sheets can last for generations, opt for acid-free/alkaline-free parchment paper. This prevents further degradation of the paper by preventing oxidation.

Acid-free Parchment Paper

Step 2: Avoid Long Periods in Direct Sunlight/Heat

When there is direct light or heat, it affects the natural fibers found on parchment sheets and may result in the lignin breaking down. Once this has happened, you will have a hard time flattening your warped paper. This is because if the lignin breaks down, you can end up with discoloration and warping beyond repair.

Instead, store your parchments in an area with the shade to prevent such issues from happening again. Securing your papers inside plastic sleeves could be another option not to let the dust and the heat ruin your parchment sheets.

Step 3: Dry/Warm Environment

Make Sure That It Is Dry and 
Kept in a Warm Environment

If you have warped paper, make sure that it is dry and kept in a warm environment (about 50℉). Parchment is made from animal skin, so it should not be dried out. Keep this in mind before storing your papers either in plastic sleeves or keeping them in folders without having a chance to air dry first.

Step 4: Iron Flat First

For older parchments, ironing while still in its original state may be an option for flattening warps in parchment paper. To ensure that you are doing this properly, flip over the sheet of paper and lay it face down with the side you want to be flattened facing up towards you. Have some parchment paper between the iron and the parchment before flattening each side.

Step 5: Use a Flat Board Underneath Parchments

While attempting to iron out warped paper, place a flat board underneath so that you can get better results. This will allow air to flow easily under your parchment sheets and give you a more even ironing surface while fanning out the fibers, so they lay flat again.

Step 6: Clean Up Any Large Tears First

If there are any tears in your parchments, then it is best to fix them first. If there are too many tears for you to sew or tape together without causing more damage, then instead of attempting the sewing method to flatten warps in parchment paper, you should start over with a new batch using fresh, new sheets.

Step 7: Sew Blocks of Broken Sections Together

When your parchments have been damaged beyond repair, then it is time to start all over again. Fill in the missing sections by pasting pieces of paper on top before beginning to glue them together. Remember not to use too much glue since the fumes could affect your parchment sheets and cause discoloration. Also, avoid doing this in other areas like photographs or illustrations for a more professional look.

Don't Use Too Much Glue in Parchment Sheets

Step 8: Repair Torn Paper with Tape

If you need to make your papers flat again, you can use cellophane tape as an alternative option if there are small tears instead of trying to patch everything back together. The glue used in the tape may harm the original parchments, so be careful with this method. Make sure to use a good quality brand of cellophane tape since low-quality ones will tear up easily, leaving your papers still warped.

Precautions While Flattening a Warped Paper:

1. Never place any paper under a transparent glass or plastic

2. You must avoid direct sunlight while flattening the paper

3. Keep your hands at least 10 inches away from the hot iron to avoid getting burned (Remember: Hot is always dangerous!)

4. Always check if the temperature of the hot iron is adjustable before using it for flattening

Precautions While Flattening a Warped Paper

5. Extreme caution must be taken when working with a steam iron, as it might lead to serious burns! Steam irons are not recommended because they can leave stains on the flattened surface and may even cause paper warping due to their high temperatures! This is why we do not recommend you using this method in flattening your papers/prints! However, if you do not have another choice, you can use a steam iron! Always put a cloth between the print and the iron to protect it from getting stained!

9. Finally, remember to save or preserve your prints in proper storage cabinets to avoid having them become warped again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Iron Water Damaged Paper?

Water can cause damage to paper and even make it brittle. So you should never iron paper with water on it, or if you do, dry the paper first before ironing. There are many ways of drying out water-damaged paper, such as:

Water Can Cause Damage to Paper

• Lay the dampened paper on a flat surface and allow it to air dry for several hours.

• Place a small towel over the dampened area and press down firmly for 30 minutes.

• Hang wet sheets in front of a fan for about 30 minutes until they are completely dry.

Why Does My Paper Curl When I Paint?

When you use paper that is not coated, it can curl up on the edges because of the moisture in the air. This happens more often when you are painting outside. This can be fixed by using a paper towel to dry your paintbrush and then putting it back into the water after drying off any excess paint.

Can You Iron Buckled Watercolor Paper?

Many different types of paper can be used for watercolor painting. Some paper is designed to be more absorbent, and some have a heavier weight than others. When it comes to ironing, the most common type of paper used for watercolors is made from very porous rice paper. This means it will suck up the heat and give you a perfect finish every time!

Can You Iron Warped Paper?

Yes, you can iron warped paper. The ironing process is a lot like the process of steaming that many people are familiar with. This requires placing the fabric or cloth over a wet cloth and then using steam to heat the fibers, so they contract. The pressure from this heating causes them to flatten out again, creating a new flat surface on top of the wrinkled one.

The wrinkles will stay put as long as you have enough moisture in your fabric, but if it dries out, then those wrinkles will return.

Why Is My Watercolor Paper Warping?

There could be a few reasons if you are experiencing watercolor paper warping. One reason is that the paper is exposed to too much moisture in the air. This can cause it to warp. Another reason is that it has been stored in an area with extreme temperature fluctuations or high humidity levels for a long period.

Paper Exposed Too Much Moisture in the Air


I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to flatten warped paper. Ensure all the precautions while performing the process. Thank you and have a nice day!

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