I am looking for a solution to the following problem:

Problem: I do not want to draw a margin around my paper with pencil while doing watercolor. Instead of that I want to use a tape. I am not sure what is a masking tape but I have read about it in books (foreign publications). I tried using scotch magic tape and everything looked fine till it was time to lift it off the paper (200gsm cold pressed). There came out the paper along with the tape leaving an ugly tattered edge around my painting!! So I am looking for a way I can use something that will leave a neat edge to my painting.

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  • Yes. Very helpful the masking tape for margin.

  • Hi! Mridula,

    I use a paper cellotape. one or 2 inch. You get it in ant Hardware shop or even at a school bookshop. It is cream in color and you can tear it by your hand. After you tape the water color paper press it and later you can just peel it carefully.

    Happy Painting!

  • Hi,

    I used ABRO tape. 1 inch width. Its about 40 bucks as I remember. You can get it in any stationery shop or even in hardware shops. While it does work on most papers (at least 270 gsm and above) it may fail on some depending on how 'soft' the paper is. Some things to remember.

    1. Just press enough so that it sticks to the paper. 

    2. If the tape get wet a few times while painting it tends to stick to the paper.

    3. While peeling it off try to apply force in parallel to the paper. If you apply force perpendicular to the paper there is more chance of paper peeling off.

    4. Also hold the tape close to the paper while peeling it.

    Hope it helps..

    • Thank you Prabal! Now I need to check where to get this ABRO tape :( The one I got can only be used for margins .. it cannot be used for paper stretching as its just .5 inch wide. I will check for the product you mentioned.

  • Hi Sandeep & Prosenjit

    Eureka peyegechi!! I got it at Axis aka Gangaram. It doesnt have any brand name just a local label that describes it as masking tape. I will try it on my brustro water color paper and see if the peeling of paper is happening or not. I will post the photo here. I also picked up a nice Deli box pallette and some books:) A shopping that was supposed to end at 70 bucks went on to 1200!! I just go crazy when I visit an art store :)

    • congrats.just an input that it is an art to paste and remove masking tape also.. 

      1) not to press hard while pasting it.. ensure inner side is locked 

      2) peel off slow and steadily.

      • Yep I got 2 rolls so that I can make mistakes and learn from them ... 3 buses took me to the shop that sells these .. i miss Kolkata especially Lansdown where I could hop onto a single bus and reach my destination :(

      • ^ what the wise man above has said @ 1) and 2). And congrats!... I share your pain @ 70/- rocketing to 1200/- :/ Why are artists in general the impoverished lot... all they want to buy is paints and paper (sighh..) :P

  • ^ what Sandeep has said, re: being a 'paper kind tape'...

    Prabal Mallick, being our watercolor maestro, might be able to tell you about the shop and the tape problem.

    I do own a roll of Artist's Masking Tape (brand unknown), which I've used on canvas with the desired result (@ having crisp margins). Its not too sticky and can be peeled off with ease from that surface, and like Sandeep has mentioned... feels like paper (and has creamish-yellow color). BUT... after reading your post, I tested it on a piece of newspaper (whatever was at hand) and it got inseparably stuck to that paper!! So I'm not sure about how it'll behave on watercolor paper.

    Having said that, I did press it rather firmly on the newspaper, which you do not need to do - all you need is the tape's inner edge to temporarily adhere to the paper, so that the color doesn't seep across. You may just lightly press down on the inner edge ONLY, and put strips of oil paper as separating media between tape and watercolor paper (as an additional precaution) - I would've done the same if I was having this sticky problem. Regretfully I don't have any watercolor paper with me a.t.m, so I can't test and tell you if it sticks or not.

    • Magic tape works on canvas Prosenjit and on my wall too ;) (doesnt peel off the paint) but it failed on WC paper. Will go to axis books which is now Gangaram. Gangaram at MG Road used to be a good place to shop for art stuffs.

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