How To Choose The Right Paper For Coloring


Coloring is not just about coloring medium and designs, there is another component that is just as important if not one that requires even more focus. The paper on which your designs is printed is possibly one of the most underrated parts of a coloring design, yet it is what the entire coloring process is set on, making it an important foundation for the entire experience. In this blog post you will read about 3 different types of paper, when they should be used, and how that will affect your coloring book buying process.

Printer Paper


This is perhaps one of the most readily available paper, and the one that you are probably most familiar with. It can be bought from all office supply stores and comes in large, brick like, stacks made up of hundreds of individual sheets. This makes it very affordable and a great starting point for most colorists.

While printer paper is easy to get and very affordable, it does have very important limitations that you need to keep in mind, mostly surrounding how it handles ink. Printer paper is designed primarily with one job in mind, to be used in the printing of documents using regular ink in small quantities. Because of this, printer paper does not handle markers or water colors well, and will at the very least bleed through. This is why we recommend only coloring on this paper with pencils and using gel pens very carefully.

Bleed Proof Paper


Even though bleed proof paper may appear to be thinner than normal printer paper, it is specifically designed to capture the ink from markers and stop any sort of jagged edges from occurring with the ink. This means that you can use alcohol based markers which take longer to dry, but lay down a very nice flat color (without that annoying overlapping dark line) and with some practice can even be used to create blending.

The issue with bleed proof paper is that due to its special design it is more expensive per sheet than regular printer paper and can be more difficult to find, although most art and illustration stores should have some type of bleed proof paper for sale. The thing to note with this paper is that even though it is of much better quality, it is rarely used for coloring books because of the added costs. This means that it is primarily an option if you will be printing out designs yourself.

Watercolor Paper


Watercolor paper is the go to paper for many artists. It is much thicker than printer and bleed proof paper and is designed to soak up watercolor paints. This means that it is an excellent choice for things like water color pencils and will also do a great job at soaking up all the ink from markers although some jagged edges may occur.

The really great thing about water color paper is that it allows you to use mediums that few other paper options allow you to use, like water color paints and watercolor pencils. Additionally the texture of this paper (while it can have a negative effect when using markers) can add a very nice sophisticated touch to your water based colorings. Once again though this paper is rarely, if ever, used in adult coloring books so you will probably have to print designs onto it yourself.

Coloring Book Paper

Most coloring books on the market will use standard printing paper for their choice because of it’s mass availability, low cost, and general use. When buying a coloring book on Amazon, or anywhere else, always check the info or the reviews to find out what kind of paper the designs are printed on and most importantly, if they are single sided, or if a design is printed on both sides of the same page.

Our Creatively Calm coloring books use some of the thickest paper in the industry, which allows us to print our designs back to back, which means that you get more designs per book, while still being able to use a medium like markers since most will not bleed through our paper. Many other coloring books however opt out of using high quality paper like ours and will require you to choose between using pencils exclusively, or only coloring half the designs since the bleed through will ruin the other half.

Doing Your Own Printing


There are tons of places online where you can find free coloring designs, for a breakdown of the best places check out our blog post on the matter. Doing your own printing gives you the ability to print the same design multiple times on different types of paper so you can use different mediums.

If this sounds more like your thing, check out our website where you can download a year’s worth of coloring designs for absolutely free!

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