Construction Paper

There are different types of construction paper, so how do you choose the best one for you? Use this chart as an easy reference to help you decide! You can also view our Paper Glossary below for a better understanding of terms.

  Premium Sulphite Super Heavyweight Heavyweight Lightweight
Composition Sulphite Groundwood Groundwood Groundwood
Acid Free Yes Yes No No
Recycled Content 50% 100% 0% 0%
Use Upper Elementary, Middle & High School Levels Elementary & Middle School Levels Elementary Level Beginner Artists
Texture Smooth Soft Eggshell Finish Slightly Textured Slightly Textured
Attributes Fade-Resistant Color Strong Fibers Cuts & Folds Evenly Cuts & Folds Evenly

Paint Brushes

Paint brushes are confusing! There are so many types and styles, so which one should you choose? Review our guide below to learn about the parts of a brush, their shapes, and even the types of bristles.

Brush Shapes

Round - Round ferrule, round pointed tip. Use for details, fills, and thin to thick lines. Use with all media. natural or synthetic hair.

Tapered Round - Round ferrule, sharply pointed tip. Great for detailing and fine lines. Use with all media. Natural or synthetic hair.

Flat - Flat ferrule, square tip. Good for large areas and editing for fine lines. Use with all media. Natural or synthetic hair.

Brights - Flat ferrule, taped tip, short length hairs. Width and length of brush head is about equal. Useful with thick or heavy color. Use with all media. Natural or synthethic hair.

Brush Hair

Natural Camel Hair - Camel hair bristles are made from natural hairs such as squirrel, goat, ox, pony, or a blend of these. Camel hair is a soft brush.

Synthetic - Man-made of either nylon or polyester. Synethic brushes can be used with all media.

Natural Bristle - The bristles are obtained from the hairs on the backs of hogs, which are strong yet springy. The bristles are good for loading with a lot of paint.

Paper Rolls

There are several options of Art & Kraft Rolls, so which do you choose? Use this chart as a quick reference to decide which one is perfect for your project.

  White & Natural Kraft Colored Art Rolls Lightweight Dual Surface Heavyweight Dual Surface Flame Retardant
Brands Pacon® Decorol® Art Rolls Rainbow® Kraft ArtKraft® Duo-Finish® Decorol® Flame Retardant & Flameless® Flame Retardant
Use Packaging, wrapping, table coverings and art projects Murals, banners & art projects Murals, banners & art projects Murals, banners & art projects Murals, banners & art projects
Media Dry Dry Wet & Dry Wet & Dry Dry
Widths Available 18", 24", 30", 36", 48" 36" 36" & 48" 36" & 48" 36" & 48"
Attributes Natural Kraft is 100% Recycled Fade Resistant Two distinct surfaces Two distinct surfaces Flame Resistant

Railroad Board vs. Poster Board

What are the major differences between all the Boards we offer? Use the below information as a quick reference to decide which is best for your project.


  Railroad Board Poster Board
Manufacturing Process Fibers are dyed into the sheet and it is made in layers or plies (Uncoated) Colors are coated on top and bottom of a base stock
Fade Resistant No Yes
Available Sizes 22" x 28" 11" x 14", 14" x 22", 22" x 28"
Caliper (Thickness) 4-Ply (14 pt.) & 6-Ply (20 pt.) 12 pt. & 18 pt.


  Railroad Board Poster Board
Board Type Uncoated Colors are coated on top and bottom of a base stock
Acid Free Yes Yes
Available Sizes 22" x 28" 11" x 14", 14" x 22", 22" x 28"
Caliper (Thickness) 14 pt. & 20 pt. 10-11 pt., 14 pt. & 20 pt.

Railroad Board  Uncoated, vat-dyed board made from recycled fiber that is made in plies (layers). The color is dyed into the sheet, and has a brown or gray center layer. It is available in 4-ply (14 pt.) or 6-ply (20 pt.), and available in colors and Uncoated White. Railroad Board was developed in the late 1800s, and used in train stations for identification purposes.

Colored Poster Board  The color is coated on both sides of the white sheet with a durable and smooth coating, so it is more fade-resistant than Railroad Board and does not bleed when moistened. Available in 12 pt. and Heavy 18 pt. Common sizes include 11" x 14", 14" x 22" and 22" x 28". Single sheets of 22" x 28" are the most popular, and smaller sizes are commonly found in packages.

White Poster Board is typically coated on one side (C1S) and matte on the other side. It is available in 11" x 14", 14" x 22" and 22" x 28" in single sheets or retail packages.

Other Board

Colored Bristol Board is a 2-ply version of vat dyed Railroad Board that runs 9 pt. in thickness.

Display Board is a heavy-duty art board colored on both sides that is offered in calipers of 30 pt. to 48 pt., and available in White, Black and Assorted Colors. Common sizes are 22" x 28" and 28" x 44". Display Board is similar to Railroad Board, but much thicker in construction. For example: 14-ply White Display Board measures at 48 pt.

Foam Board is polystyrene extruded between two sheets of facing paper to form a lightweight but strong and rigid surface. Typically 3/16" thick, and is available in White with a White core, Black with a Black core, or Assorted Colors with a White core. Available in various sheets sizes, but the most common is 20" x 30".

Presentation Board is made from a corrugated or foam construction. They also are available in Heavy-Duty or Double-Wall Construction. Other names for the tri-fold presentation boards include Science Fair or Display Boards. Most common size is 48" wide x  36" high, but also are offered in 40" x 28" and 48"x 48" sizes. Corrugated Boards are traditionally White with a Kraft color back, but do also come in Assorted Colors. Foam Presentation Boards come in White, Black and Assorted Colors.

Ruled Papers

How are ruled papers measured? Reference the below diagram to learn what the different terms mean.

Our ruled papers are an excellent tool to help students with their penmanship, note taking, creative writing and more. View our product offering and download our Ruled Papers Reference Guide for more details.

Glossary of Paper Terms

Acid Free Paper  A paper manufactured to a neutral PH reading. Used for fine art prints, limited edition printing, permanent records and to protect other materials where contact with paper acidity would be harmful.

Archival Paper  A paper with long-lasting qualities, normally 100 years, acid free, lignin free, usually with good color retention.     

Basis Size  Parent sheet size of a grade of paper. 25" x 38" for book papers,20" x 26" for cover papers, 22½" x 28½" or 22½" x 35" for bristols, 25½" x 30½" for index.

Basis Weight  Weight (in pounds) of a ream of paper (500 sheets) in the basic size for that grade. Below is a comparative chart. 

Bond Paper  A grade of writing or printing paper generally manufactured for letterheads or forms. 

Book Paper  Commonly used for printing books. The most important characteristics of book papers are shade and caliper consistency. 

Brightness  The reflectance or brilliance of the paper when measured under a specially calibrated blue light.

Bristol Board  A fine quality paperboard that may be made solid by pasting two or more sheets.

Caliper The thickness of paper usually measured in mils or thousandths of an inch (unit of measure is Point (pt.)).

Carbonless Paper  Paper commonly used to produce multi-part business forms. Chemically transfers images from one sheet to another without carbon paper. The sheets are coated on one or two sides with an emulsion of colorless dyes and oils. A set is made up of three types of papers:

  1. CB (coated back), which is the top, transparent sheet in the set;
  2. CF (coated front), which is the bottom sheet;
  3. CFB (coated front and back), which is used for middle sheets of a multi-part form. The accepted color sequence is transparent, Canary Yellow, Pink, Green, Goldenrod.

Card Stock  A heavyweight paper also known as Cover. Used as covers of catalogs, brochures, books or business cards.

Chemi-Thermo Mechanical Pulp (CTMP)  Same as TMP only chips are also sprayed with chemicals.

Chemical Pulp  Pulp made by cooking the wood in the present of chemical agents (acids or alkali) which eliminates most of the non-fibrous material.

Coated Paper  Paper with a coating to produce various smooth finishes.

Coating  A layer of minerals applied to one or both sides of paper or board to improve brightness, gloss and printability; the coating is held together and stuck to the paper by a binder.

Cold Pressed  A paper surface with slight texture produced by pressing the finished sheet between cold cylinders.

Converter  A firm that specializes in converting reels and sheets of paper and board into packaging or finished goods for sale to the public.

Copier/Laser Papers  Lightweight grades of good quality and dimensionally stable papers used for copying correspondence and documents.

Cover Paper  Heavyweight stock used for covers of catalogs, brochures, books or business cards.

Embossed  A paper surface textured in one of a variety of patterns by passing the paper through engraved steel rolls.

Embossed Finish  The overall design or pattern impressed in paper when passed between metal rolls engraved with the desired pattern. Produced on a special embossing machine after the paper has dried to create finishes such as linen.

Free Sheet  Paper that contains little or no mechanical wood pulp (groundwood). Also called wood-free.

Glossy Paper  Paper that has undergone advanced calendering on a supercalender. Steam and pressure are applied to burnish the paper and improve uniform reflection of light.

Grams per square meter (GSM)  The gram weight of one square meter of a particular type of paper; a good comparative measure because it does not vary with sheet size.

Groundwood Pulp  A mechanically prepared wood pulp used in the manufacturing of newsprint and publication papers. See Thermo-Mechanical Pulp.

Hardwood Pulp  Pulp obtained from deciduous trees (short fibers) which gives good printing quality and imparts high bulk, compressibility and good opacity to the paper.

Index Papers Commonly smooth, hard, heavyweight grade paper used for producing index cards, file folders and flash cards. 

Laser Papers  Papers with special coatings or hard finishes that are optimized for laser printers and copiers.

Lignin  Non-cellulose material found in wood and other cellulose plants; lignin in paper makes it weaker and more inclined to discolor when exposed to light; in the chemical pulp-making process most of the lignin is removed. Lignin is present in mechanical pulp.

Mechanical Pulp  Same as groundwood pulp. Pulp produced by grinding logs and wood chips into pulp.

Newsprint  The relatively low-grade paper on which newspapers are printed; it is mainly produced from mechanical pulp and recycled fibers.

Offset  The most commonly used printing method, whereby the printed material does not receive the ink directly from the printing plate but from an intermediary cylinder called a blanket that receives the ink from the plate and transfers it to the paper.

Offset Paper  An uncoated or coated sheet specially suited for offset printing.

Paper Grades  Paper is classified into different grades according to the end use, the pulp used and the treatment of the paper.

PCW (Post Consumer Waste) Percentage of fiber used in the process of making paper that has been previously used.

Ply  A single thickness (sheet) of paper. Artists’ papers and mounting boards, as well as other grades, are identified as 1-ply, 2-ply, etc. As each ply is added together, the increased thickness and stiffness is described by the number of plies.

Point Unit of measure of caliper. Abbreviated at “pt.”

Pulp (chemical)  Pulp obtained through the elimination of a large proportion of non-cellulose matter through a chemical treatment (ex. through boiling).

Pulp (mechanical)  Pulp obtained from various raw materials, essentially from wood, entirely through mechanical means.

Pulp (semi-chemical)  Pulp obtained when eliminating the non-cellulose components from the raw material by means of a chemical treatment.

Ream  A unit of measurement for sheets of paper; normally 500.

Sizing  Additive substances such as starch, animal glue or a synthetic product which are applied to the surface of the paper (surface sizing) and/or added to the furnish (internal sizing). Sizing is applied to the paper to improve the drawing, painting or printing qualities such as moisture hold out and paper strength.

Sulphate Pulp Paper  Pulp from wood chips and pressure-cooked in a solution of caustic soda and sodium sulphide. Also known as kraft.

Sulphite  Sulphite pulp is produced from the wood of coniferous trees. Wood chips are cooked in calcium bisulphate or sodium sulphite, and bleached, producing fairly long strong fibers. Since the end of the 1860's until recent years, it has been the most widely used pulp in America. In fact, the term "sulphite" has become generic and is still accurately used to describe any paper made from wood in distinction from papers made from cotton or other fibers. Sulphite pulp is available in a range of grades up to pure alpha cellulose.

Sulphite Pulp Paper  Pulp made from wood chips cooked under pressure in a solution of bi-sulphite of lime.

Tag  A dense, strong paper stock.

UV Coating A very slick, glossy coating applied to the printed paper surface and dried on press with ultraviolet (UV) light. The slick surface of UV coating makes it eye-catching and, therefore, very popular for printing the covers of paperback novels.