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Guide to Different Types of Paper and Their Uses

Posted by Miller Pads & Paper on

In this week’s blog post, we are going to examine the different paper weights and their uses in art. However, it seems fitting that we dispel any myth or misunderstanding regarding paper weights.

At Miller Pads & Paper, we often refer to our paper based on their paper weight. We use the US system of Basis Weight which is pretty simple. Basically, when you weigh 500 sheets of a basic sheet size for that type, it will weigh 25 pounds or 80 pounds. Now it is important to understand that just because you order a ream of our 80# paper, it does not automatically mean that the package you receive will weigh at least 80 pounds! This is because the Basis Weight system uses different size sheets depending on the type of paper. I know, it’s a little confusing.

The Most Common Weight Papers and Their Uses that We Carry

20# Paper

This is probably one of the most common paper weights that we use at Miller Pads & Paper and one that most of our customers will be familiar with. We use this paper for our Picture Story and Penmanship Paper products! Additionally, we use it for our paper game pads such as HangmanBattleship, etc. However, this paper weight is also useful as tracing paper!

50-60# Paper

Our customers will know this paper weight from our economy sketchbooks and pads! This paperweight is great for sketching or as practice paper. It is generally too thin for paints and may be too thin for ink or markers as well. However, it is great for working with pencil, pastels and charcoal!

80# Paper

Probably one of our most popular art paperweights is our 80# paper. Our customers know it best for our artist sketchbooks that come in pocket size6x9” and 9x12”. However, we also have pads of 80# paper as large as 12x18” for your more ambitious art projects! The paper is great for finished artwork in most medias. Additionally, it can be used for watercolors and other paints, but it does not work as well as the heavier weights.

140# Paper

This paperweight is not for the fainthearted! It is generally not used for drawing but instead most artists will use this paper for painting. They are often found in pads or sketchbooks. The paper will have a rougher texture that is great for a number of different art mediums.

Now that you are equipped with this knowledge, you can boldly select your paper with confidence!

  • Paper
  • Art
  • watercolor
  • charcoal
  • oil
  • pastel