CFWS member Stewart Jones provides insight into his exploration of presentation other than glass…

“I have recently begun experimenting with alternatives to presenting a finished painting under glass. I glue my paper to board and varnish and/or apply a wax medium after the painting is finished. (This method may not be approved for exhibitions so do not plan to do this on paintings you submit to juried shows unless you confirm this is acceptable in advance.)

This process can be done prior to painting on the board or after a painting is finished on paper. Be sure your paper is slightly larger than the board you are gluing it to. Boards can be wood panels or gatorboard. These are popular at paintout events because you can complete the painting, spray a couple coats of varnish over the finished painting and put it into a frame. (No glass or mat required) You could also use wood panels with a 1-5/8” edge and not even put it into a frame.

Another alternative is AquaBoard. Just paint on the surface. Let it dry and finish with a spray varnish. The spray varnish may darken the look of the finished art. Allow time to dry and cure between applications. Maximum size is about 11 x 14.


• Golden Heavy Gel (Glue)Brush to apply the glueRoller to push the paper down onto the the glued board;
• Heavy book or weights to place on top of the paper after gluing to board;
• Cutting knife (To trim the excess paper from the board);
• Golden Spray Varnish (Gloss and/or matte finish);
• Dorlands Wax Medium (Optional)

There is so much to learn about the different options available. Go to YouTube and see what other artists do. You can search many artists demonstrating this technique on YouTube such as Brienne M. Brown, Angela Fehr, Ley Saulnier or search for “Mounting Watercolor Paper to Wood” or “Framing watercolors without glass”

Posted May 10, 2022