How do I flatten rolled paper?
Here are 5 different techniques that may be useful for flattening fine art paper that has come in roll format:
Technique 1: Unroll the entire roll and re-roll it in the opposite direction it was previously rolled. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes before unrolling it again.
Technique 2: Cut the paper to the correct size that is needed and roll it in the opposite direction it was previously rolled in. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes before unrolling it again.
Technique 3: Cut the paper to the size that is needed, leaving a half inch to an inch extra on all sides, and tape along the edges so the paper lies completely flat. Complete artwork while edges are taped.
Technique 4: Another technique involves placing the rolled paper in a plastic container which sits in a larger plastic container that is ¼ filled with water. To complete this technique, the following materials will be needed:
- Plastic container large enough to fit the rolled paper
- Plastic container with lid large enough to fit the plastic container that is holding the rolled paper
- Tissue Paper
- Plastic wrap
- Heavy board or thick, heavy book
- Place the rolled paper into the smaller, clean plastic container.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the small container.
- Fill the larger container ¼ of the way with clean water.
- Set the smaller container with the rolled paper in the larger container with the water. It is okay if the smaller container floats, but do not let any water get into the smaller container or touch the paper.
- Put the lid on the large container and seal it.
- Let the paper sit in the container overnight.
- Open the large container and lift the plastic wrap off the smaller container.
- If the paper feels soft and pliable from the humidity, remove the smaller container from the water and leave the plastic wrap off. Let the paper sit in the smaller container without the plastic wrap for about 10 minutes to let the air hit it.
- Place a sheet of clean tissue paper on a flat table. Unroll the rolled paper and place on top of the tissue paper.
- Carefully lay a heavy board or a thick, heavy book down on the unrolled paper.
- Let the paper sit under the weight for 24 hours. If the ends still start to curl after the weight is removed, let the paper sit under the weight for another day.
Technique 5. For Watercolor Rolls, Mixed Media Rolls, or any other types of paper that is designed to handle wet media, the following technique can be used:
- Cut the paper to the size that is needed
- Lightly mist the paper with clean water using a spray bottle (do not soak the paper - only a light mist is needed)
- Place the misted paper between 2 sheets of parchment or tissue paper
- Carefully place a board or heavy book over the paper and let sit for 24 hours