Aquarel paper excels in dimensional stability and keeps its stiffness when wet. Small sheets of aquarel paper, say 4 x 7 cm have the ease of handling of TLC (Thin Layer Chromatography) plates covered with silica, Aluminium oxide or microcrystalline cellulose.
Aquarel paper is a very suitable "poor man's cellulose TLC plate". Although aquarel paper is considerable more costly than normal papers, the prices are considerably lower compared with commercially available microcrystalline cellulose TLC plates.
The performance of aquarel paper was found to very acceptable in performance using water-soluble dyes used in some brands of filt-tipped color pens. Solvents based on alcohol(s) water mixtures run very evenly through the stationary phase. The very dense stationary phase will accept substantial amounts of dyes especially if the paper sheets have been saturated with water by storing the papers above water (100% relative humidity).