Hello friends! I’m addressing a much-requested topic today: Printing on watercolor paper at home. I’ve shared many coloring page printables here on my blog and if you wish to watercolor on these I would suggest using a thicker paper that doesn’t warp easily!
Printing on watercolor paper is tricky because the paper is heavier, and it tends to break rather than bend. However, I’ll share the tips that help me get great results!
Also, here is a list of Awesome Watercolor Supplies for Beginners!
Printing on Watercolor Paper at home: Step by step
There are a few things you need to keep in mind before you print on watercolor paper- and below you will find my thoughts with helpful images.
The Printer seen in this post is the Canon PIXMA Color Printer MG5520. Here is a newer version Printer that is available
1. Check your printer paper input size
For today’s example, I am using my basic everyday printer- Canon PIXMA Color Printer MG5520. This is an older printer, a great inexpensive everyday use Inkjet printer. Nothing fancy and it prints paper up to size 8.5 by 11 inches. Here is a reference for common Printing Paper Sizes.
2. You might need to trim your Watercolor paper:
The watercolor paper I chose is a 9 by 12 inch 140lb weight paper. It’s nice and thick. To fit it into the printer I simply trimmed 0.5 inches off the side and an inch from the top. This makes my watercolor paper now 8.5 by 11 inches in size. Perfect!
Here is a link to the trimmer seen below: https://amzn.to/3QkQ8Pl
3. Remove your everyday paper from the feed
I usually have a stack of paper in the input feed, so before moving further I make sure to pull out all of the paper. This makes the printer feed empty.
4. Insert your watercolor page into the printer input feed.
Now go ahead and insert your trimmed watercolor paper into the printer input area.
My printer has a front feed, and I have not found the paper to bend, tear or rip while printing. And I have done this many times!
5. Change the print settings on your computer
Select your file and then hit print. In the printer box that pops up, I like to select the paper as “Photo Paper”. This yields a good quality image each time I print. Then press the print button!
Enjoy Printing on Watercolor Paper!
And voila! Your printer has printed your design on watercolor paper for you 🙂
Before you start watercoloring, do a quick water test on the paper to see if the ink smears or smudges.
Tips for Troubleshooting:
- Many printers have an optional rear input slot for thicker papers to prevent the paper from bending too much. A quick google search of your printer specifically can reveal if it has a separate rear input slot.
- Make sure that you feed your watercolor paper the right way. Watercolor papers come with a smooth/textured side so choose where you want to print. For easier results try printing onto the smooth side.
- Always use branded recommended inks. If you refill cartridges or substitute generic brand inks they tend to smudge. Use only the recommended inks for the printer.
- If your paper tends to bend or rip a lot while going through the printer machine I have heard that misting the paper ever so slightly with water will make the paper a bit more pliable through the printer. I do not know if this works- try it at your own risk!
- Try using a slightly thinner paper while printing on watercolor paper. Yes, I use this 140lb watercolor paper a lot. In addition, this thinner 98lbs Mixed media paper gives great results too! Mix and match your papers and printer inks to see what works best for you.
- Worst comes to worst if you find that your printer isn’t printing on mixed media or watercolor paper, buy this set of Matte Photo Paper! This paper is much thinner, 45lb but the paper is made for photos, so the ink dries instantly! You will also find that the paint color you add to the photo paper works differently- but it is fun to color it in!
Printing on Watercolor Paper Examples:
Right now, I’m printing on watercolor paper these FREE Color Mixing Chart printables!
I also loved printing my Mandala Coloring Pages onto Watercolor paper and coloring them in. Such a calming activity.
Also Read: How to Print your own Card Sentiments
Watch this video!
Leave me a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions for Printing on Watercolor paper. I’m sure every printer is different and would love to learn from you guys!
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