ARTiful, get inspired to create

Free resources for artists


No more framing : How to mount yupo paper on board

Painting technique / Popular posts / Step by step demonstrations / Tips / Yupo paper demonstrations

No more framing : How to mount yupo paper on board

If you don’t like framing but like to paint on yupo paper, you might be interested in this technique, it allows you to mount yupo paper on board and display your yupo paintings without frames.

You might also be interested in: Mounting a Watercolor painting on board.

Here is how to mount yupo paper on board.

You will need

  • Yupo paper, big enough to fit on your board.
  • A board, I used Gotrick’s cradled panel
  • Heavy body gel medium
  • A Speedball brayer
  • A cuter

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

Yupo Watercolor Paper

Yupo is a compelling and unique alternative to traditional art papers. It’s a synthetic paper, machine-made in the USA of 100% polypropylene. It is waterproof, stain resistant, and extremely strong and durable. PH neutral.

cut your paper a bit larger than your board

Make sure your paper is big enough for your panel.

extra heavy body medium

Take some of the extra heavy body medium with either a still brush or a spatula and spread it onto the board.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.


Golden Acrylic Mediums

Range of consistency from pourable to moldable, with various levels of finish and transparency. Create glazes, extend paints, build texture, change finishes. Gel types: Soft, Regular, Heavy, Extra Heavy, and Pumice.

make sure the gel medium is very well spread all over the board surface

Take the time to make sure the gel medium is very well spread all over the board surface.

Pay extra attention to the sides and the corners

Pay extra attention to the sides and the corners as this are the places where the paper is more susceptible to detach from the board.

Place your yupo paper on top of the gel medium.

Place your yupo paper on top of the gel medium.

use a clean brayer to remove all bubbles

And use a clean brayer to remove all bubbles and make sure the paper is adhering to the surface.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

Speedball Hard Rubber Brayers

A hard synthetic rubber roller (80 durometer) makes these brayers ideal for light carving or gluing applications, and excellent for rolling down print surfaces. – Deluxe Brayers

Let dry overnight upside down on a clean surface

Let dry overnight upside down on a clean surface, with a weight on top of the board if possible. Don’t worry about the extra medium on the sides it will be removed once dry.

cut the sides with a cutter to remove the extra yupo paper

When everything had time to dry, cut the sides with a cutter to remove the extra paper and dry medium.

the sides of the yupo paper mounted on board are all cleaned
how to mount yupo paper on board

In Osaka, is painted on yupo paper mounted on board.

3.9/5 - (7 votes)

Comments (42)

  1. tiffany

    Where can I buy a board like that?

    1. You can look for cradled wood panels online. Dick Blick for example sells some:

  2. Karen

    Bad news folks, Golden specifically does NOT recommend using it’s acrylic gel medium for this purpose—their tech people say it just doesn’t adhere properly/permanently to the super smooth plastic material Yupo is made out of. They recommended I look into Krylon’s fusion line which is made to adhere to plastic, but Fusion turns out to be just spray paint, Krylon does make several spray adhesives that are designed to adhere to plastic, but their tech support was uncertain about use with Yupo paper as it could soften it and suggested doing a small test, I haven’t tried it yet…

    1. tharpo

      I experienced the same problem. It dried too soon. It was about 3×6 ft and the gel medium dried too soon. There were giant air bubbles throughout. Luckily I was able to very slowly peel off the yupo paper. Yupo also told me that they do not recommend acylic paints on their paper.

      1. I have been mounting yupo paper this way for years now and painting on top with acrylic without any issue. I did not try it on larger sizes like 3×6 ft and I would expect it would be very challenging to get rid of air bubbles on such a big size and yes not have any of the medium starting to dry. Most of my paintings with yupo mounted on board are 12 x 12 inches.

  3. […] You might also be interested in : No more framing : How to mount yupo paper on board […]

  4. […] Read more about this technique here […]

  5. Jane

    Hi there, I was wondering if you had any advise for gluing extra alcohol inked yupo pieces onto the yupo itself? I’ve found that the adhesive actually takes some of the ink off if I’m not careful and get some on the ink pieces.

    Love your work!

    1. Hello Jane,
      I am not sure I understand what you mean. Do you mean gluing a whole new painting over a painting that was mounted on board? or do you mean gluing pieces of yupo paper on top of some areas of a painting that has been mounted?

  6. Hi Sandrine,
    I recently attended a workshop with Nicola Morgan in your beautiful studio…she taught us how to use oils and cold wax on cradle board as well as on Yupo paper. The paper is now well dried but I can’t use the method shown above since the artwork is already on it and it would ruin it (the relief parts of the paint, etc.). Was just curious as to how to affix this paper onto something hard and flat like a cradle board, since the paper has curled up quite a bit. Thanks in advance for any suggestions! Nicola.

    1. Hello Nicola,
      Yes, I heard this was a great workshop 🙂
      I already did mount paintings that were finished on board with that same method. You can see how I did it here:
      If you do it carefully, so you don’t damage the painting, that should work. Mounting it on board should fix the paper curling.

      1. Thank you for your reply! I think though that I need to show you the actual work, because I think it would be ruined if I used a brayer (roller) on the surface of it. Are you taking any more members in your life drawing sessions? I’d be interested in joining. If not, I might just pop by your studio one day with a sample of my yupo art to show you and get your opinion.
        Merci encore! Nicola.

    2. Hello Nicola,
      Yes we are still taking participants in our life drawing class:
      We have only 3 more classes before we stop for the summer though.

      See you in class 🙂

  7. Ronda Wiebe

    I have used this method for mounting small prints and watercolours to panels. I like to put down a layer of gesso first. It seems to “grab” more. I also paint the edges with latex paint and distress them. I then paint a layer of gel over the print or spray a fixative on the watercolour. Some people say this makes the watercolour a mixed media. Whatever. I use the upside down method and put books inside the cavity as well as on the corners to get as even weight on it as possible.

    1. Thanks Ronda, I did not think about painting a layer of gesso before but that is a good idea.
      I know watercolor “purist” will consider that a varnished watercolor is not a watercolor anymore, I think it still looks very much like a watercolor even when varnished 🙂

  8. Pam

    Would this method work on a canvas does anyone know? Maybe not firm enough? Thanks

    1. I haven’t tried it on canvas but I know the famous painter Mark Rothko did paint many paintings on paper mounted on canvas, so it is possible for sure.

  9. […] You might also be interested in: No more framing : How to mount yupo paper on board […]

  10. evie

    I’m new to yupo and alcohol inks so this information is appreciated. can this technique be used to make a clock design? looks like it should. have you used alcohol inks on ceramic tiles? if so, how do you seal them to preserve artwork from peeling or rubbing off. thanks for your help.

    1. Yes, I guess you could use this technique to make any design.
      Alcohol inks on ceramic tiles will work about the same way they would on Yupo paper. I would spray a layer of fixative and then apply varnish on top to finish the tile.

      1. evie

        thank you for your help. I have another question with the technique shown above would alcohol inks still work? I’ve read yupo shouldn’t be handled to much is this true?

        1. Yes,maths alcohol inks will still work very well on mounted Yupo paper. Yupo paper is incredibly sturdy, almost impossible to tear. The only thing that can happen is that you transfer grease from your fingers while handling it but this can easily be fixed by cleaning it before painting with a tissue and a bit of alcohol or soapy water. Yupo will shrink if heated too much so no hair dryer too close to the surface.

  11. Andrée Lachance

    How do you finish the sides of the board? primer and regular paint?

    1. Most of the time, I leave the sides natural wood and just apply the varnish on the sides only.

  12. Paula

    Do you mount the paper before or after the painting is complete? I suppose both ways would work but your comment about storage is really appealing to me…..


    1. Yes, I did mount paper on board before and after painting: you can do both. The advantage of mounting the paper before is that you work on a hard surface, the drawback is that if you don’t like the painting you have to find a way to reuse the board.

  13. Annie

    Will this technique work with watercolor paper?

    1. Hello Annie,
      Yes you can apply the same technique to watercolor paper, see a post about it here :

  14. Donna

    Hi Sandrine – I love your work and your demos. Just curious – do you know if Yupo paper considered acid-free or archival quality? I couldn’t find any info on that..

    1. Hi Donna,
      I am sure it is acid free because it says so on the packaging. As for archival, I would think it is with acrylic and watercolor, I am not 100% sure about oil paint though.

  15. ann

    will the above mounting method work on a piece 40″x36″? Will the gel dry before I can get the yupo on it? this is a finished piece…part of a tryptic. I don’t want to wreck it. Also…at a workshop we learned to seal the painting with car wax. It seems to work fine on smaller pieces and adds a bit of a shine to the surface. I’m using black and colored ink on the yupo…not watercolor.

    1. Hello ann,\I think you would have the time to mount the yupo paper before the gel dries, especially the heavy gel as it is not absorbed so much by the board than the liquid gel. My concern would be more about avoiding air bubbles on such a big surface and that might be tricky to do.
      Car wax might work but to be safe, or if you intend to have your work for sale I would go with the Dorland wax medium as it is made specifically for fine Art use,

      1. ann

        Thanks for the advice! I was worrying about air bubbles. What about 2 people rolling out from the middle in all directions? And then put a heavy piece of plywood on top? Would you mount on gater board? Could I even get a piece that big? sigh

        1. I would go for a cradled panel with a very smooth surface, if you can find one that is the right size.
          2 people is a good idea so you can be done before it dries and maybe use two big brayers with motions from the center to the sides to get rid of air bubbles.

  16. Faith

    I am working on Yupo right now and This is a great idea for mounting. I have really been wanting a better means of avoiding hassle of framing. DO you have a specific grade of heavy gel you prefer?? I order some panels last night and will start some next week. THANK YOU!!

    1. Thanks Faith! I am using Golden extra heavy gel medium and am happy with the results:
      I tried once with liquid gel and it was absorbed really fast by the board and the paper didn’t adhere well everywhere.
      Let me know how it goes, I am happy you are going to try some of these techniques 🙂

      1. Faith

        Thanks Sandrine! I got a delivery of 12 panels on Wednesday. I am off to the art store to buy the gel! And a brayer. I can’t believe I never invested in one. I am very excited to see results 😉

    2. Sandrine Pelissier

      Great Faith! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Let me know how it goes !

  17. I may just try yupo paper now that I know that I can mount it. Merci, Sandrine!
    How do you fix and or varnish the finished yupo piece.

    1. Thanks Christiane 🙂
      When working with mixed media on yupo, I usually spray a layer of either fixative or varnish, let it dry then brush on some varnish.

      1. Karlie Moss

        What varnish do you use? I’m in australia. I make coasters woth alcohol inks and clear resin over the top. I have tried many sprays to seal the art from UV fade. I now use kamar UV and kamar varnish. I’m not sure how to properly seal the yupo though. I’ve used the spray but it still tends to fade ?

        1. I like to use Gambar by Gamblin or Soluvar, but I would spray with workable fixative before varnishing

Leave your thought here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Download this PDF

A Mixed Media Treasury of Techniques and Ideas

Join my mailing list

Learn from the comfort of your home:







 En Français