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How Do I Remove Brown Gummed Tape From Stretched Watercolor Paper?

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Remove Brown Gummed Tape From Stretched Watercolor Paper

It's far easier to trim the edges of a sheet of watercolor paper than to try to remove the gummed brown tape used to stretch it.

Photo © Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.
Question: How Do I Remove Brown Gummed Tape From Stretched Watercolor Paper?
"I think I know how to wet the paper and stretch it using the gummed tape but I did my first painting today and when it was dry I couldn't remove the gummed adhesive tape without tearing the watercolor paper or without leaving a brown residue of the gummed adhesive around the edges. I got this tape from a reputable art supply store in my area. What am I doing wrong?" -- Linda
Answer:

You're not doing anything wrong. Once dried, gummed brown tape won't come off easily. I usually don't bother trying, but instead I cut off the edges of the sheet or, if it's to be frame, know it'll be hidden a card mount and leave most of it.

To remove it, you'll need to dampen the paper tape again, so the glue is moistened; then it'll lift off again. Use a damp cloth or sponge, but be careful not to let water run onto the painting or it'll spoil it. I'm not sure the risk of ruining the painting is worthwhile.

You can avoid stretching watercolor paper by using heavy-weight paper which won't buckle when it gets wet (unless you totally soak it). But this paper is far more expensive.

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