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how to mount yupo paper on board

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

cut your paper a bit larger than your boardMake 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.

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.

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.


No more framing : How to mount yupo paper on board
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  • 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!

    • 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?

  • 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.

    • Hello Nicola,
      Yes, I heard this was a great workshop πŸ™‚
      I already did mount paintings that were finished on board with that same method. You can see how I did it here: https://paintingdemos.com/mounting-a-watercolor-painting-on-a-cradled-panel-board-a-step-by-step-tutorial/
      If you do it carefully, so you don’t damage the painting, that should work. Mounting it on board should fix the paper curling.

      • 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.

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

      See you in class πŸ™‚

  • 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.

    • 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 πŸ™‚

  • Pam

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

    • 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.

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  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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.

  • AndrΓ©e Lachance

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

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

  • 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…..


    • 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.

  • Annie

    Will this technique work with watercolor paper?

  • 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..

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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,

      • 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

        • 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.

  • 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!!

    • Thanks Faith! I am using Golden extra heavy gel medium and am happy with the results: https://store.opusartsupplies.com/sagro/storefront/store.php?mode=showproductdetail&product=17636
      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 πŸ™‚

      • 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 πŸ˜‰

    • Great Faith! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ Let me know how it goes !

  • 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.

    • Thanks Christiane πŸ™‚
      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.

      • 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 😯

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