How to Mount Watercolor Paper on Wood

Watercolor paper is a delicate surface that can easily be damaged. Mounting is important because it will ensure the longevity of your art and provide you with an object you can display in your home after completion! Mounting it on wood will protect the paper and allow for easy removal and storage when the painting is finished. This blog post will go over how to mount watercolor paper on wood with ease! 

The first step in mounting watercolor paper on wood is preparing the board that will become your new surface for displaying your artwork. There are many different types of boards available for this purpose, but they all have one thing in common they’re sturdy enough for heavy coats of paint without buckling or bowing from the weight. 

How to Mount Watercolor Paper on Wood

Required Materials and Supplies:

1. Wood: 

Different woods have different benefits. The two most common woods used for painting are baltic birch and masonite. They’re both strong enough to support the weight of paint, but flexible enough to avoid cracking if your paper curls in the humidity.

2. Mounting Adhesive: 

A mounting adhesive is essential in the mounting process because it will ensure that your artwork stays where you put it. There are many different adhesives for this, but our personal favorites are spray adhesive and matte gel medium with PVA.

Mounting Adhesive Is Essential

3. Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue Stick:

This low-odor, nontoxic glue stick will make your life much easier when it comes time to mount. It works perfectly for this purpose and can be easily removed and cleaned up with water. It’s the only way we mount our artwork!

4. Paper Towels:

Paper towels will be your best friend when it comes to this process; you’ll use them constantly to clean your hands and kitchen counter and blot off excess glue before it dries on your artwork.

5. Scissors:

You’ll want something lightweight and precise when it comes to cutting up your art; we like Fiskars Softgrip Micro-Tip Pruning Snip because they’re lightweight and easy to maneuver for beginners, as well as their sharp blades, which will make the job go more quickly!

Directions: How to Mount Watercolor Paper on Wood

Cutting the Board

Step 1 :

First, you’ll want to cut some strips of your board slightly larger than the size of your paper so that it can be glued on all sides.

We like to use mounting adhesive directly on our wood, but if you’re having trouble sticking or transferring through to the surface of your paper, try using Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue Stick instead a more controlled adhesive. It will work just as well without the risk of ruining your already glued artwork!

Step 2 :

Next, cut out some pieces of wax paper that are slightly larger than your paper. Make sure they’re big enough to overlap all sides of your board, then glue one on each side so your paper doesn’t get stuck to the wood.

Step 3 :

Now take out your mounted watercolor paper and place it against the board, making sure that all four corners are glued to the wax paper on the side. If you’re curious about why we prefer to put our papers on their side rather than laying them flat, the next step will explain it more!

Step 4 :

Now place your paper on a flat surface that can handle some slightly wet hands, then use a popsicle stick or the back of a paintbrush to smooth out all four sides with Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue Stick. You’ll want to ensure plenty of adhesive in all four corners; if there’s not enough, then your paper will curl when it dries.

Step 5 :

Trim off any excess glue or wax paper with scissors, let dry for about an hour, and you’re finished! The color of your board is up to you; we like to use white because it shows off the color and texture of our watercolors, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use a variety of different colors. If your paper curls up in humidity, lay a heavy painting book over it to flatten it out again!

Safety Precautions and Warnings:

1. Ensure the wood is clean and free of oil or dirt. Otherwise, your watercolor will not appear as vibrant as it should be.  

2. The method shown here uses a glue stick, so please remember that it can damage surfaces you don’t intend to put it on. Again, please take personal responsibility for your own artwork.

3. This method uses a heat gun, so keep in mind that heat can cause problems if you touch it or anything else around it while the glue is drying. So please be careful and work slowly!

4. Always remember to use a drop cloth when working with adhesives and chemicals to protect your surfaces from damage.

How Do You Mount a Watercolor Board?

Framing the Watercolor Paper

Generally, it’s best to have your watercolor board already mounted before you paint on it. However, if that isn’t an option for you, don’t worry! It’s easy to mount a watercolor board with a little bit of prep work and some patience.

First off, you need a frame. This is the frame I chose. It’s a deep frame, and it looks like it has enough space for my watercolor paper. If your frame doesn’t come with glass, you’ll need to get some (salvaged) glass cut to fit the opening of your frame. You can also use Plexi, but it does tend to warp.

Frequently Asked Question

Can You Dry Mount Watercolor Paper?

Yes, you can dry mount watercolor paper using a photo mounting solution. Just be sure to use a safe mounting solution for watercolor paper, as some solutions can contain chemicals that can damage the paper. Some popular solutions include Photo Mounts’ Watercolor Membrane, Canvas & Paper’s Watercolor Mounting Solution, and Mount-It! Watercolors’ Waterproof Mounting Solution.

Can You Polyurethane Over Paper?

Yes, you can use Polyurethane over the paper. This process is used to create a smooth, durable, and waterproof finish on a variety of surfaces. It is a popular option for cabinets, countertops, floors, and more. The Polyurethane will adhere to the paper and create a durable finish that is resistant to scratches and water damage. Additionally, Polyurethane will make the surface smooth and easy to clean.

Does Polyurethane Make Paper Waterproof?

No, Polyurethane does not make paper waterproof. Polyurethane is a type of plastic used to make many water-resistant products, including paper.

Will Polyurethane Protect Wood From Water?

Polyurethane will usually protect wood from water, but there are some exceptions. If the wood is treated with a sealer that prevents water from getting in, or if it is sprayed with water repellent paint, then it will be better protected from water.


Mounting watercolor paper to wood is a simple way to upgrade your favorite pieces from normal paper at home to a sturdy, durable surface that can be proudly displayed on the wall. It’s an easy step with powerful results! That should do it! We have covered all the necessary steps required on how to mount watercolor paper on wood.

You may be ready to start painting. Remember, the key is practice and patience. Experiment with different techniques like blending colors or creating textures on your paper before starting a piece of artwork you are proud of. And don’t forget to take breaks; this will help prevent eye strain while working for long periods of time (or if you’re learning how to paint). Happy painting!

Read On Our Other Blog – How to Prevent Watercolor Paper From Warping

Jennifer Branett
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

DIY Quickly