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Old 04-14-2010, 07:36 AM   #1
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Help: Grainy Embossing Powder

When I use embossing powders on image stamps the finished result is always grainy. What am I doing wrong? I've tried doing more than one coat of powder, but that just emphasizes the graininess.

I'm using a Marvy embossing tool, detail embossing powders, and chalk, Versa, and/or pigment inks. I've also tried using the same colour ink and powder, but it's not any better. The only things that turn out well are background stamps or sentiments.

Any suggestions?
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:42 AM   #2
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Is it missing in spots? or is it not melting all together? Stick with a pigment ink or an embossing pad for the best powder retention. If you have a reinker you could try to make your ink pad a bit juicier. Could you be tapping the excess off to hard? Or posibly not heating enough or even over heating.
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:47 AM   #3
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Do you live somewhere very humid? I've heard of problems with embossing and humidity.

Otherwise, I agree with the above poster.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:19 AM   #4
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Thanks ladies. It's missing in spots so the image (tiny hearts) have dimples instead of a smooth finish. Humidity is also not an issue this time of year here. I tried it again and didn't tap so hard, using ColorBox pigments and got the same result. *sigh*

Guess I'll just stick to clear over coloured inks. They don't show the dimples as much. But I'm still open for suggestions.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:22 AM   #5
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How old are the powders? Over time, they can sort of disinigrate and not work as well.
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:27 AM   #6
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I've had that problem with black EP; I had read that it has a shelf life so I assume mine was 'stale'!
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:26 AM   #7
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Next time I'm out, I'll have to pick up "fresh" powder and see if it works better. I'm tempted to try all of my EP to see which others need replacing. Thanks!!

If old embossing powders are such a pain, maybe the manufacturers should put expiration dates on them or at the least a manufacturing date.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:35 AM   #8
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Have you tried stamping your stamp in VERSAMARK first, then the colour? It's works like a dream for smooth coverage!
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:30 AM   #9
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my clear one from SU has always left an un even surface. Maybe I just got a bad batch but I wont order anymore. I have found Ranger Superfine is the best!
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:44 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the great suggestions!!

If buying new powder doesn't work, I'm giving up on EP for a good long time. I ruined a lovely card (if I do say so myself) this morning because of lousy EP which really bites because I had used the last of a favorite piece of patterned paper and couldn't get if off without ruining it. The frustration isn't worth it when you can buy glorious PP with embossing already done for you.
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:51 PM   #11
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Quote:

Originally Posted by smaverick1View Post
Next time I'm out, I'll have to pick up "fresh" powder and see if it works better. I'm tempted to try all of my EP to see which others need replacing. Thanks!!

If old embossing powders are such a pain, maybe the manufacturers should put expiration dates on them or at the least a manufacturing date.
I doubt they expire. I have a few jars from 1988 that still say hold over a toaster or over a light bulb. I still use them. (yes I purchase giant size)
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Old 04-14-2010, 04:33 PM   #12
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Hmmm I find the brand makes a huge difference. I have tried SU, Filagree (PaperTrey) and Ranger... the regular Ranger embossing powders always leave me with pitted, uneven embossed areas.

HOWEVER< the Ranger Superfine Embossing Powders that only come in Black, Clear, White, Silver and Gold are SUPER! I get the most consistent coverage, never pitting, and ability to emboss superfine details OR complete coverage on a solid stamp.

Filagree in the Silver and Gold I really love - it is also a very fine powder.

Both Filagree and Ranger Superfine - are great to use. When you open up your jars - look carefully at the powders. I know the SU and the regular Ranger powders look so chunky compared to the Filagree and Superfine powders.

Hope you find something that works! I don't know what i would do if I couldn't do my wet embossing! It just makes the cards look so much nicer!
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Old 04-14-2010, 05:53 PM   #13
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I would add one or 2 more layers of powder. While the powder is still hot, sprinkle on some more! Then reheat until smooth. That should help fill in the dimpled spots, esp in solid areas.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:27 PM   #14
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I have found if I hold the heat on just a little bit longer, my ep will smooth out. BUT if I hold it a second too long, I scorch the paper -- so it's a fine line LOL!
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:22 PM   #15
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I use the Ranger brand of embossing powders and have had some jars for more than 5 years and they have not gone bad in any way.

The problem for Post #1 may be over heating or just the brand being used.

If using the Distress variety of Ranger Embossing Powder, they do have a very rough surface after heating, but that's as it's supposed to be.

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Old 04-14-2010, 08:55 PM   #16
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Quote:

Originally Posted by smaverick1View Post
Thanks for all the great suggestions!!

If buying new powder doesn't work, I'm giving up on EP for a good long time. I ruined a lovely card (if I do say so myself) this morning because of lousy EP which really bites because I had used the last of a favorite piece of patterned paper and couldn't get if off without ruining it. The frustration isn't worth it when you can buy glorious PP with embossing already done for you.
It may be that you are using fine detail powder? That would make a more solid image dimple a bit. If that is the case, try a regular embossing powder and save the fine detail for very detailed art and thin delicate greetings.

If that's not it, everyone has given great advice.
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:00 AM   #17
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One thing nobody mentioned was your heat tool. Some embossing powders do "go bad" and the cheaper powders seem to have some find of filler or something that don't give even coverage.

If you think your powder is OK, it may be time for a new heat tool. If your tool doesn't provide even, consistant heat, that may be the problem. I've found that heat tools are one of those things that are you-get-what-you-pay-for. I might be worth it to get a pricier tool. If it still doesn't work, take it back!

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Old 04-15-2010, 07:40 AM   #18
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gina K. DesignsView Post
It may be that you are using fine detail powder? That would make a more solid image dimple a bit. If that is the case, try a regular embossing powder and save the fine detail for very detailed art and thin delicate greetings.

If that's not it, everyone has given great advice.
I think you may be on to something. I tried the same powder on the heart outline stamp and it worked. Thanks a million!!

Thanks everyone for all your helpful advice and suggestions.
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:15 AM   #19
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You can also take a versamark pen to fill in the blank spots. I try to stick to fine detail when at all possible.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:58 AM   #20
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Okay, so I have had Black EP (that is the fine detail) and it won't melt for me... I have had it for a long time, but the jar is still pretty full. Do you think this is a shelf life issue? I don't seam to have trouble with the white, that I purchased at the same time...
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