Does watercolour paper ever expire?
Ask Jacksons: Does watercolour paper ever expire?
Watercolour paper is not produced with an expiry date and its longevity will depend on what it is made of and how it is stored. Wood-free papers are made from chemically treated wood-pulp. Most wood-free artist papers are described as 'acid-free', meaning that the acids which occur naturally in the wood pulp have been removed, making it less likely that it will deteriorate or discolour over time. 100% cotton watercolour papers are made from cotton linters and are naturally acid-free and generally more durable than wood-free papers. However, regardless of what the paper is made of, it should be stored carefully.
Watercolour paper should be kept flat in a cool, dry place. As an absorbent material, paper is sensitive to atmospheric moisture and a damp environment could cause buckling, while humidity can lead to mould growth (paper that is sized with gelatin is particularly susceptible to mould). Watercolour paper should also be kept out of direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure could cause it to become brittle. These guidelines apply to paper in storage, as well as finished artworks on watercolour paper.
To browse a wide-range of watercolour paper, visit Jackson's website here.
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