How to Make the Perfect Backboard – Easy!

The perfect backboard for watercolor painting should be waterproof and just bigger than your watercolor paper. Being light weight is a plus for a watercolor backboard. Make your own long lasting watercolor backboard with inexpensive common household materials in minutes.

Materials Needed to Make the Perfect Backboard

  • Cardboard slightly bigger than your paper
  • Contact paper – avoid distracting colors
  • Scissors

Steps and Tips for Making the Perfect Backboard

Step 1 – Cardboard

Cut a piece of cardboard slightly larger than your watercolor paper. If you paint on more than one size, cut a cardboard for each size.

Step 2 – Contact Paper

Cut a piece of contact paper about two inches larger than your cardboard on each side.

Optional – trim the edges of your contact paper as shown in the video.

Step 3 – Apply the Contact Paper to the Cardboard.

Pull the backing off the contact paper. I leave the backing attached at one end so it doesn’t roll up and become a sticky mess.

Position your cardboard in the center of the contact paper and press down.

Fold the sides of the contact paper around the cardboard.

Try to avoid any bubbles or folds on the front of the cardboard.

Use your new backboard over and over – wipe off as needed.

Why Do I Need a Backboard to Paint Watercolor?

Watercolor paper is typically limp when wet. In order to move your paper – like when you tilt the paper to let gravity help with blending – you need a firm, flat surface behind it.

A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others - Salvador Dali