Watercolor paper is specially made so that it can absorb a lot of liquid.
Especially if the watercolor paper is lightweight, it is more prone to warping and that is not something you can iron out!
For our auction projects involving large piece of watercolor paper, look for Masonite board (1/8″ thin) with a very smooth side in the AI closet and brown gummed tape.
Take enough tape home that will cover perimeter of the paper. (Don’t get it wet until you’re ready)
At home, make a light pencil mark on the side you’ll be painting on.
Fill a tub with some water and soak your paper for 2-4 minutes. Set a timer if you’re going to run off to do laundry or check on your kiddo’s homework 🙂
Gently remove paper and let water run off the paper. Place this on the Masonite board
Next wet the gummed tape with water (a clean sponge is good). Wet it like an envelope flap and tape the paper down on the Masonite board. Smooth the paper as you tape all sides down.
Let paper dry flat. Don’t try to hurry it with your hairdryer. (which means also, don’t iron it).
When you are done with your class project, take a craft knife and gently cut the paper loose from the gummed tape. Remove the gummed tape for the next user.
Obviously, this means your paper is now smaller than you started. So if you need your end size a certain dimension due to framing, start with a larger piece of paper.