How to Remove Gummed Watercolor Paper Tape

Gummed watercolour paper tape, or butcher's tape, is a product used to stretch watercolour paper. The technique provides a perfectly flat surface on which to paint. However, using gummed paper tape can lead to problems with removal of the tape after stretching. It's best to leave a margin between your painting and the paper tape, but if that isn't possible, or you are trying to remove tape from an older painting, there are a couple of different techniques you can try.

Moisten the sponge. Do not over-soak the sponge: You do not want to soak the paper, especially if it has already been painted on.

Dab the sponge onto the tape to moisten it. Use as little water as possible.

Carefully peel off the gummed paper tape. If the paper tape doesn't want to peel off, use a light scraping action with the craft knife to release the tape.

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