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watercolor question

Hi to all:

I have a question regarding using watercolors.

I frequently use watercolors in the pages of my books...whether it be to
color the paper, create a background for text that I then paint over it, or
to paint the various other parts of the book. Sometimes the paper gets
quite a workout and I was wondering if I could treat the paper afterwards
to hold the color as well as keep the paper strong. I am not sure if this
is possible, but I would want a spray of some kind, since to brush
something over the paper would wreak havoc on my artwork.

Any suggestions of how I could preserve the paper better for years to come
would be greatly appreciated.

As a background, I use ph-balanced paper (I know what postings have been
put up regarding ph-balanced and they were very interesting) and I paint on
traditional watercolor paper, as well as various handmade papers...

I guess I am worried that all the extra water and rubbing, drawing, and
scratching at the surface will make the paper weak and prone to tearing and

Thank you,

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