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Old 10-24-2012, 07:37 PM   #1
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Default Stamping/Ink Problems---HELP!

Please help! I cannot figure out how to get my stamped images to be clear and crisp especially when using dye based inks like Distress Inks. They tend to bead up on my clear stamps and then it doesn't distribute evenly on my cardstock. I have looked all over the web and some people have suggested "conditioning" the stamp prior to use with Staz-On cleaner or my rubbing it with either a pink eraser or sand paper, and I have tried all except the sand paper and that has not solved the problem. It is very frustrating for me to see other people having success getting crisp images from their clear stamps and then see mine looking like a child's craft project even though I am using the same products! Help!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:59 PM   #2
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Distress Inks are meant to have a distressed look. They will not give you a sharp, crisp image when you stamp with them. That's how that particular ink is. My personal favorite dye ink is Memento, but even a few of those colors sometimes run on me.

I was able to get the most improvement in my stamping by putting a piece of foam under my surface when I stamp. I started with the piece that comes with every CTMH set but now use this little foam pad I bought from Stampin Up.

Also, not all clear stamps are created equal-- photopolymer is a better choice than acrylic, so that may be a factor. (I am pretty much over certain brands of stamps for that reason.) Also, with the inexpensive stamps, you might find you have better luck with a pigment ink. I like the inks from amuse and impress rubber stamps (Impress's are under the brand Fresh Ink).

Good luck! Bad results are why I stopped stamping the first two times I started. By the third go around I was able to find things that worked. Hope you can, too!
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
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Are you using vinyl stamps or acrylic stamps? That makes a big difference also. And the type of paper you use will have different effects also.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:48 PM   #4
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Ink with Ranger Archival Black ink and let dry. Something in that colour and formula will make it take dye ink better. It will stain the stamp black of course, but you don't have to clean it off, it will not transfer. I actually like that I can see the stamp better now.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:37 PM   #5
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I don't think distress inks are the best to be using on clear stamps, no matter how well you have conditioned them. Pigment inks like ColorBox or Versamagic will probably give you a much better result if you want to stamp in colour.
Another thing that can be an issue with clear stamps is pressing too hard - I can be guilty of this myself!!
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:15 AM   #6
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I always get nice results with pigment inks when I use clear stamps. Use a light touch when stamping.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:16 AM   #7
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You didn't mention what PAPER you are using. I have found that makes a difference. When I stamp an outline that I'm going to color with Copics or prisma pencils, I use Neenah Classic crest solar white. But I've found I get better results when stamping solid images if I use Stampin Up whisper white. I resisted that for a long time too!
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:04 AM   #8
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There was a similar post on here recently, and most people (me included) voted for Versafine as the best allrounder, especially for Clear stamps. I did a tryout of a few pads on my blog recently, including a new pad called Clearly Better- recently launched, and I found out today being discontinued!-using clear silhouette stamps, as they seem the hardest to get a good print with. Versafine definitely came out the best. If you want to have a look at the images, here is the link: Inkpads for clear stamps HTH.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:49 AM   #9
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I really want to thank all of you for your input! In terms of paper use, I was using the Recollections brand of 65# cardstock from Michaels (yeah...I know). I have since found a paper company here in Dallas that distributes Neenah paper and have since purchased 6 reams of 80# cardstock in various colors in their classic crest and 1 ream of Neenah 110# cardstock.

In terms of the difference in stamping, since posting I have tried using other inks besides the Distress after reading that Distress creates for of a vintage look (duh) and probably isn't the best choice for crisp imaging.

I have been testing out different inks since then. Memento, Color Box, and a couple of others and I have noticed that the ink always beads up on my photo polymer stamps when using dye based ink and creates an un-even look to the stamped image (even on my Neenah good paper). I have looked over some videos on You Tube of people using Memento and photo polymer stamps and they seem to be getting good, crisp coverage with their inks and that has furthered my conundrum. I really don't know what I am doing differently than these other folks.

I gather it is a problem with the photo polymer stamps, but I don't know what these other folks are doing to solve the problem. If you have any thoughts or advice, I'd greatly appreciate it!
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evve View Post
I gather it is a problem with the photo polymer stamps, but I don't know what these other folks are doing to solve the problem. If you have any thoughts or advice, I'd greatly appreciate it!
Photopolymer is generally better than acrylic, though. Most companies that you'll read about on SCS (flourishes, papertrey, I am blanking on others) are photopolymer. Something like Inkadinkado is still acrylic.

I know some people use versaMARK on their clear stamps before adding their dye ink to the stamp. Versamark is clear (not to be confused with versafine, versamagic, or versacolor ink) and a little bit sticky, for lack of a better word, so it grabs the ink better than the stamp alone. I did this earlier in the week with a VERY cheap stamp and it worked pretty well.

And, as I mentioned above, my images are much better with a piece of foam under my paper.

Good luck!
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:54 PM   #11
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Since you are already trying so many types of ink, try Ranger Archival Black, let dry on stamp, clean with only water, and ink with dye ink. You will definitely find the ink does not bead. Subsequently, do not clean off the black ink with solvent cleaners, just water.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:39 AM   #12
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Great thread here to understanding inks and paper and stamps. I made a "spread" sheet with the different brands of dies to have in front of me while I learned what did what. As everyone has said Distress Inks act differently and are used for different purposes, though I still use them with any type of stamps. For the most part I used Brilliance Ink from Tsukineko because it was really juicy and ultra black...but no one here has mentioned this brand though a big seller. Momento Ink is not as juicy as T., but it does not run when using coloring of different sorts. But just for nice, crisp, dark black images, i think Brilliance is the best esp when using alone with no coloring. In my experience with Momento it is just not dark enough for the projects I do. Versafine black is good too, but still not my favorite with regular cardstock.
As a side note I just discovered, from lindadukeblogspot, a new specialty paper that has little "tooth" in it so the images gently stamped come out absolutely amazingly crisp and you can use nibs to color in with Distress Inks. So cool. Pricey but with fabulous results for those special projects. So a spread sheet using the same stamp with different inks may just be the thing to do noting that different paper may absorb more dye than others, hence making the color less vibrant.

Last edited by dottiejdavis; 11-10-2012 at 11:44 AM..
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:28 AM   #13
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Its incredible how many types of ink there are in the market. I never used to pay attention to stuff like until I started to notice the differences. You guys sure know a lot about it. I'm impressed
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:03 AM   #14
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Another vote for Versafine. You will get excellent results with that ink on clear stamps. I don't stamp images with Distress Ink for the reasons others have mentioned - just not the best choice for crisp images.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:44 PM   #15
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Funny, I just came across this discussion, and it's applicable to what I did last night. I was using a cheap clear stamp with distress ink, and the image was uneven and splotchy. Used the same stamp with Colorbox Chalk Ink (my faves) in a similar brown and the result was perfect.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #16
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I am a Distress Ink addict, I love the stuff, but I do not stamp with it unless I am going for a watercolor-y look. Like everyone has said, it is not meant for stamping a crisp image.

Your ink can be too juicy and you can over-ink a stamp. Sometimes in an effort to get what looks like total coverage I will over-ink a stamp and get a blotchy image. It's very tempting to look through a clear stamp and try to evaluate how it's inked. We can't do that with rubber stamps. If I ink a clear stamp, it will always looks unevenly inked, even if I've inked it perfectly. When you press down, the ink spreads out. All I'm saying is, I wonder if you are looking at the "beading" on the stamp and then inking it more (too much) to compensate.

Versafine is an excellent ink for clears. It doesn't come in nearly enough colors, though, or I'd probably use nothing else but Versafine and Distress.

Esther is right about conditioning with Ranger Archival - Tim Holtz does it with all his stamps and just wipes them with water to clean. But you have to commit to having black stamps. I have not been able to work myself up to trying it. Maybe I will, eventually, starting with a set I'm not very attached to.

Definitely use a pad. I buy the inexpensive burgundy Darice pads and cut them in half.

Someone said to use Stazon cleaner to condition them? Huh. From what I have read, Stazon cleaner can actually damage polymers.

Don't hesitate to post pictures of what's going on, with info on what paper and ink you used. I've done that here when I was having problems with image quality and got lots of good help.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:45 AM   #17
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Default Versafine & Chalk Inks

Another vote for Versafine. I use clear stamps all the time and struggled to find an ink that worked well. I finally tried Versafine and it is the best on both clear and rubber stamps. Staz-on works well too but it is supposed to be bad for clear stamps so I only use it when I plan to do some type of coloring that might make the ink bleed. When I do use Staz-on with clear stamps, I clean the stamps with Staz-on cleaner and then I wash them right away with soap and water and rinse them. So far, it doesn't seem to have any damage to the stamps. I also recommend Studio G chalk inks. They are inexpensive and do well with clear stamps. The image isn't as crisp as Versafine but you don't get the beaded, blotchy look so if you really want color, I would recommend chalk. More cleaning tips - I find that Versafine doesn't completely clean off clear stamps with soap and water so I wipe them with baby wipes first and then I rinse them off. Conditioning - I tried rubbing clear stamps with an eraser and found that it didn't help at all. When I switched to Versafine, it worked great on brand new clear stamps.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:35 AM   #18
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Why won't Tsukineko make more colors of Versafine! There aren't enough of them! I love that ink! But we need more colors!

I find that chalk inks stain my clears very heavily. So I don't use them with clears, except in the case of sentiments. It can be annoyingly difficult to look at your clear sentiments, especially small ones, and know what they say. So I purposely ink them up with Colorsnap Fluid Chalk Ink in Charcoal when I get them and it stains them so I can read them more easily.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evve View Post
I gather it is a problem with the photo polymer stamps, but I don't know what these other folks are doing to solve the problem. If you have any thoughts or advice, I'd greatly appreciate it!
It may not be what other folks are DOING, so much as how old the ink is they are using. Ink production, like most other manufacturing, has changed dramatically in the past 4-5 years. If you have a new and an old refill bottle of a favorite ink color, you will notice a difference in the viscosity and the color-saturation.

The price is still the same but the results you get from the product are not the same. But really you can say the same thing about new colored pencils, markers, chalks, paints, erasers, cardstock, embossing powders, bras, fabric, shoes, mattresses, meat.........

So my solution is to hoard the supplies I have that are old and increase my use of Versamark on the stamp before the new-ink color, because new ink does not work like the old and Versamark increases the chance of getting an image that is even and crisp.

Cheers, And another vote for VersaFine,
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