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Unread 05-11-2017, 04:39 AM   #1
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Default Blotchy Stamping

Hi All

I'm a new stamper and already having issues before I can get off the ground. I've purchased my first set of clear cling stamps. When I stamp, everything is blotchy (like the picture I've attached). I can never get good coverage. I'm using Memento Dew Drop inks on heavy cardstock. Any advice for a beginner would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

P.S. Never mind about the attachment. I can't get it to upload. I hope you can help without the pic.
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Unread 05-11-2017, 04:54 AM   #2
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I have the best luck using Versamark to condition new stubborn stamps. Apply it to your stamp like you're going to stamp with it, wipe off lightly with fat part of your palm, and apply the color you want to use as usual. There are other techniques for conditioning, like lightly roughing up with a nail file, especially useful on non polymer clear stamps. I find the Versamark method works pretty well for me.
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Unread 05-11-2017, 05:16 AM   #3
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I tried the Versamark technique last night to no success but I didn't wipe lightly. I pretty much wiped it all off. I'll try that this evening. Thank you
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Unread 05-11-2017, 09:07 AM   #4
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I have many clear stamps and find I have the best luck using Versafine Onyx ink to get the clearest image. It's a pigment ink, but dries pretty quick.

Try turning the stamp over, and applying the ink to the stamp, so you can see if you have good coverage, rather than putting the stamp down onto the pad to ink it.


Also, the pressure you use when you stamp can make a difference. Apply firm pressure, but not too much, or you will "squash" the stamp onto the paper. Also, don't do it too quickly, as ink needs a little time to adhere into the paper.


Good luck.
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Unread 05-11-2017, 12:49 PM   #5
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Hello, welcome!

You need a few more posts before you can attach a picture (I think it's 10) - it's just a "safety measure" to stop nasty spam pictures.

Not all clear polymer stamps are created equal, some will stamp cleanly more readily than others. For many polymer stamps, a pigment ink will work better than a dye one (the Versamark trick is basically making the dye ink act more like a pigment ink).

A good white eraser is another trick you can try - rub all over the surface of your stamp, wipe with a baby wipe or damp cloth to get rid of any rubber crumbs, let it dry and then ink up.

Make sure your stamping surface is good and flat, too. A little bit of "cush" can help - an old mouse mat or a thick magazine or old telephone directory are all good choices so you don't need to spend lots on specialist kit.

Let us know how you get on and if none of this helps we can try again!
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Unread 05-11-2017, 04:09 PM   #6
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This didn't work for me. I tried doing the Versamark technique but I can see when the ink goes on the stamp it's blotchy before I stamp it. 😔

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annecards View Post
I have the best luck using Versamark to condition new stubborn stamps. Apply it to your stamp like you're going to stamp with it, wipe off lightly with fat part of your palm, and apply the color you want to use as usual. There are other techniques for conditioning, like lightly roughing up with a nail file, especially useful on non polymer clear stamps. I find the Versamark method works pretty well for me.
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Unread 05-11-2017, 04:13 PM   #7
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I tried turning the stamp over and inking it up. When I do this, I can see the ink is blotchy on the stamp before I even stamp. So naturally the stamp image is blotchy.

I don't understand what I'm doing wrong. I guess I wasted my money on these ink pads. 😔

Quote:
Originally Posted by buggainok View Post
I have many clear stamps and find I have the best luck using Versafine Onyx ink to get the clearest image. It's a pigment ink, but dries pretty quick.

Try turning the stamp over, and applying the ink to the stamp, so you can see if you have good coverage, rather than putting the stamp down onto the pad to ink it.


Also, the pressure you use when you stamp can make a difference. Apply firm pressure, but not too much, or you will "squash" the stamp onto the paper. Also, don't do it too quickly, as ink needs a little time to adhere into the paper.


Good luck.
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Unread 05-11-2017, 04:39 PM   #8
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I tried the white eraser technique and had the same result, blotchy stamping. I tried stamping with both Memento Dew Drop inks and Tim Holtz Distress ink. Maybe stamping isn't for me.
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Unread 05-11-2017, 08:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcurtis739 View Post
I tried the white eraser technique and had the same result, blotchy stamping. I tried stamping with both Memento Dew Drop inks and Tim Holtz Distress ink. Maybe stamping isn't for me.
Well, the distress ink is really not meant for a crisp stamping image. I know some people really like it but it's meant to give you, well, a distressed look.

What brand are the stamps you bought?
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Unread 05-12-2017, 01:51 AM   #10
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OK, you've tried lots of suggestions so I agree with Emily, we probably need to know what brand stamps you bought. If you can see the ink is blotchy on the stamp itself then it sounds like it's "beading up" which is not generally too much of an issue with high quality photo polymer stamps - if the brand you bought is generally good then it's possible you got a set with a quality issue.

Do you have any stamping friends? Somebody with an ink pad like Versafine or Brilliance or Memento Luxe who'd let you try out the stamps with one of those pigment inks to see if you get better results.
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Unread 05-12-2017, 06:05 AM   #11
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May I ask what type of paper you're using? When I'm checking whether I want to use a stamp sometimes I'll stamp it on cheap copy paper, and the image is not like what I get on quality paper.

Someone may have said this already, but any chance you're not applying equal pressure all over the stamp surface? When I was learning to stamp it took me a while to get that down, and being short, at first sometimes I had to stand up to press firmly.

It can also be more challenging at first to get a good image with a solid stamp - one with a large flat surface.

But you'll get it, promise.
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Unread 05-12-2017, 06:25 AM   #12
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I'm also thinking it may be the brand of stamps. If it is acrylic and not photopolymer, only certain inks will give you good results. Inks that work well on even the cheap stamps are Colorbox Fluid Chalk ink, Versafine (fast drying) pigment ink, and any other brand of regular pigment inks.
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Unread 05-12-2017, 07:07 AM   #13
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I'm stamping on white heavy cardstock I bought from Hobby Lobby. I also tried cheap copy paper. Same results on both. When I'm inking up the stamp, I can see that the ink on the stamp is blotchy before I even stamp. Last night, I went over the stamp with ink, then looked at it. I went back over the blotchy areas and inked until it was all covered. It took a bit tho to cover it all. Surely it can't be like that every time. I'm thinking it's the stamp or the ink I'm using which is the Memento Dew Drops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjeans View Post
May I ask what type of paper you're using? When I'm checking whether I want to use a stamp sometimes I'll stamp it on cheap copy paper, and the image is not like what I get on quality paper.

Someone may have said this already, but any chance you're not applying equal pressure all over the stamp surface? When I was learning to stamp it took me a while to get that down, and being short, at first sometimes I had to stand up to press firmly.

It can also be more challenging at first to get a good image with a solid stamp - one with a large flat surface.

But you'll get it, promise.
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Unread 05-12-2017, 07:32 AM   #14
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Memento ink is a good ink for rubber stamps and the clear photopolymer stamps. That is why I am thinking it is possibly your brand of clear stamp.
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Unread 05-12-2017, 08:25 AM   #15
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They are Simon Says Stamps.

Quote:
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Memento ink is a good ink for rubber stamps and the clear photopolymer stamps. That is why I am thinking it is possibly your brand of clear stamp.
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Unread 05-12-2017, 12:41 PM   #16
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Hi, went back over the posts but I may have missed this tip:
When you stamp, remember to leave the stamp on the paper for a few more seconds. I never knew that I needed to let the ink absorb into the paper before lifting it off.

Hope you find a solution, it's frustrating to want to stamp something but not be satisfied with how it looks. I guess just keep practicing with what you have. If it still isn't what you want, buy another stamp pad and another brand of clear stamps just to satisfy your curiosity. It's probably not you, it's what you're using.
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Unread 05-12-2017, 12:52 PM   #17
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There are lots of brands of clear stamps to choose from these days.

I've always had very good luck with clear stamps by Hero Arts. The image stamps clean and crisp when I use Versafine Onyx ink.


They have lots of neat sets and aren't too expensive. You can find them online at Amazon and many other places.


Don't give up on stamping just yet. It could be your ink choice and this particular stamp set and not you.
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Unread 05-12-2017, 01:22 PM   #18
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I am not personally familiar with Simon Says Stamp brand.

I do like the tip above about leaving the stamp on the paper for a few extra seconds.

Also, after I originally posted, I did think to ask how juicy your memento dew drops are. I don't have them, but have often wondered how long they last.
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Unread 05-12-2017, 01:43 PM   #19
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I posted this same exact question here back in March if you want to see the comments I got. I do find that Versafine ink works great for clear stamps and I don't press down as hard as I think I should and I get much better results. Good luck!!

Why do some clear stamps stamp crisp while others do not?
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Unread 05-12-2017, 04:50 PM   #20
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Don't give up! I'm a very experienced stamper [25+ years] and just last night had a horrible time getting a good image with a new stamp set. I tried different inks, different cardstock, using Versamark and then ink and NOTHING WORKED. I got out my eraser and erased and erased and erased that stamp, cleaned it off and then used Versamark and one of the inks that didn't work before and I got a good image. I've had some Simon Says Stamps that gave a good image on the first try and others that didn't and I had to keep trying different things.
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Unread 05-12-2017, 05:36 PM   #21
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I like Simon as a store; their stamps are not my favorite in terms of quality (even though I think they claim they are using photopolymer, they just don't seem as great at other brands.) Don't give up!

One thing that sometimes helps is first inking it up, then stamping it off on scratch paper multiple times. DO NOT CLEAN between the stamping off and going to stamp for real.

Another thing that sometimes helps is to stamp the clean stamp in the palm of your hand a few times before inking it up. It might seem a little counterintuitive because there are oils in your skin, but I feel sometimes like the microscopic cell transfer (or something, I don't know what) roughs up the stamp surface enough for some better inking.

I find that stamping on a little mat (I got mine from SU) helps. I usually try to hold the stamp in place a little bit longer for the ink to "bleed" off the stamp to the paper.

Personally, I don't feel there's any water-based ink that is a perfect ink for clear stamps. (Like pouring water on a smooth surface, that's just, you know, science that they don't totally mesh.) I find memento usually works well for line images, but for things like thicker (solid) text, if the coverage is important to me, I will pull out archival or versafine (NOT versamagic) inks. Otherwise, I'm okay with like 95% coverage or whatever. I don't like pigment inks because they never seem to dry for me.

Which brings me to another point: every single stamper on this board probably has some combination of type of stamp, brand of stamp, type of ink, brand of ink, type of paper, and brand of paper they prefer to use. And it can take some work to find YOUR winning combo.

So, even though I know it's hard, try not to get frustrated and keep experimenting! I had two or three goes at stamping before I really started to get it and was able to make the supplies really work for me.
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Unread 05-13-2017, 03:10 AM   #22
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One thing no one seems to be mentioning is to wash your stamp and let it air dry before using. Another method is to stamp repeatedly on scrap paper loading the stamp with ink each time. It has to do with the process of producing the stamps. There is a release agent that often clings to new stamps and prevents the ink from sticking. Also the smoother the paper finish the smoother the image. HTH
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Unread 05-13-2017, 04:41 AM   #23
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Are you using a stamp block or a stamp position tool like the MISTI. Is your stamp a solid image. I have found that solid images may need to be stamped more than once and that is where a stamp position tool is very handy. I also have found Versafine to be a good solid ink and use all the time unless I am using my Copic markers-then I use Memento
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Unread 05-13-2017, 11:05 AM   #24
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So many good suggestions!

You'll try out many of them, I'm sure. But it's not unusual for things that you would think should be simple to turn out not to be you when you are starting out.

Stamping: ink the stamp and press it down, right? But I think what those of us who have been doing this for a while don't realize until we think about it is that there's a way to ink, an amount to ink, a way to press, a type of surface to press down on, and a degree of pressure that is optimal, and all can vary with type of stamp, and even stamp set. All of which has become more or less second nature (with exceptions - we all run across those "impossible" stamps that just won't behave).

It will all fall into place. I still have the very first card I ever made, with all it's struggles writ plain. It's a nice reminder of how much I've learned over the years.

Just keep at it. And ask lots of questions here. !
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Unread 05-13-2017, 12:49 PM   #25
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I find that I have the most success with pigment inks if I want a solid image. VersaFine is the best for this, IMHO. If you're trying the VersaMark method, don't wipe off the VM ink before you ink it with your color. If you have a stamp positioner, you can repeat your stamping until the image is solid. I feel your frustration, because I still have issues with this, and I've been stamping for over 15 years. HTH, and good luck.
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Unread Yesterday, 04:37 AM   #26
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I skimmed the info you were told. All good stuff!

Another suggestion I didn't see was to use an emery board and scuff up the stamp. I always do this with clear stamps.

Once it's scuffed try the stamp on scratch paper and see how well it stamps. If there are bad sections still then scuff again!

HTH!!
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