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Old 06-19-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
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Default Ink for clear acrylic stamps

When using clear acrylic stamps, is there a particular ink that you've found works best? I've always used stampin' up's rubber stamps and their dye-based inks. But I've started to branch out into the clear stamps made by other companies. Maybe it's just my imagination, but the stampin up inks seems runny and faded on clear acrylic. Is a different ink better suited to these types of stamps?
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:56 AM   #2
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It depends on what kind of clear stamps you're using. I've found that photopolymer stamps (most good clear stamps are made from this, Gina K, Papertrey, Paper Smooches, Flourishes, etc.) can take dye inks very well. I use Memento and Papertrey ink on these. Acrylic stamps (usually the cheaper stamps, My Mind's Eye stamps that match their paper lines, the dollar stamps at Michael's) don't like dye ink at all! Not to say you can't stamp with them but just that the ink will bead up or appeared mottled when you stamp with it. No crisp, clear image. I use pigment or chalk ink with those. Read the label on your stamps to see what material they are made from so you can be sure and use the correct ink.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:57 AM   #3
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ps-you can use pigment or chalk inks on the photopolymer stamps as well, they will just stain more easily because of the richer pigment in the ink.
Oh and Versafine ink is something a lot of people like because of the crisp images you get with it.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:30 AM   #4
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You can try "seasoning" your clear stamps before using dye inks with them. You can take an eraser or very fine grit sanding block (I use my nail buffing block) and go over the stamp to rough up the image so it has some tooth and will accept the ink better. Another trick I learned by accident is to stamp it in Versamark and then let it dry. It will pick up dye ink better. You can also try different inks - chalk, pigment, or hybrid inks really work the best with clear stamps. I found the little cheap Studio G inks from Michaels are fantastic with clear stamps - especially the cheap acrylic/silicone ones like the $1 Michaels stamps. The best part is the little cube is only $1 (well only $1 for those of you in the US, they're $1.50 in Canada ).
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat_woman View Post
You can try "seasoning" your clear stamps before using dye inks with them. You can take an eraser or very fine grit sanding block (I use my nail buffing block) and go over the stamp to rough up the image so it has some tooth and will accept the ink better. Another trick I learned by accident is to stamp it in Versamark and then let it dry. It will pick up dye ink better. You can also try different inks - chalk, pigment, or hybrid inks really work the best with clear stamps. I found the little cheap Studio G inks from Michaels are fantastic with clear stamps - especially the cheap acrylic/silicone ones like the $1 Michaels stamps. The best part is the little cube is only $1 (well only $1 for those of you in the US, they're $1.50 in Canada ).
Oh yes, the seasoning is a great suggestion, but I have found that even after doing that some stamps don't like dye ink. I have never heard of the versamark trick but I'm going to try it for sure!!
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:37 PM   #6
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I was frustrated with the same problem too for quite a while before I learned that not all clear stamps are made of the same material. Having tried the usual advice to rub the stamp with an eraser or cloth or lightly rub with sandpaper, without success, it was like an epiphany when I heard other stampers here talking about the differences between photopolymer and acrylic, and how the former will take dye ink but not the latter. By this time I had already invested in all the craft ink spots from SU! so that I could use it for both my rubber and clear stamps.. I don't regret going that route even though they've been discontinued and even though I had to buy all the reinkers for the colours I wanted to use (most of the spots were dry even when brand new). The craft ink (i.e. pigment ink) is usable even on my cheap $ bin stamps and is of archival quality, compared to the dye inks which I understand will fade more quickly over time. I've also found black Versafine ink is my go-to black ink, since it gives a great impression with everything from cheap plastic stamps to finely detailed art stamps. It's also supposedly waterproof and is a nontoxic alternative to stazon for watercolouring, though in my experience I find it still has a tendency to smudge, even if the image has been drying for a day or so. Perhaps it's the paper I've been using...
This thread brings up a topic I've been meaning to post on for some time (just haven't found the time to do it yet!) It would be great if we could come up with lists of companies who make photopolymer stamps vs. those whose stamps are made of acrylic or other materials- I hesitate to rank these two groups as 'higher' or 'lower' quality, since some of my favourite companies would belong to the latter category! But now that I'm aware of the differences between these types of stamps, I'd like to know what I'm buying from a company in advance, and they don't always make that information known.
Good luck with your clear stamps JoAnna, and I hope you have some success with the advice in this thread!
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:59 PM   #7
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I love chalk inks but my ultimate preferred ink for clear stamps is Versafine. It's sooooo crisp and clear. I clear emboss my stamped images, then color with markers (even my Copics if I'm careful).

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Old 06-19-2012, 06:50 PM   #8
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Black Versafine is my fav along with Colorbox Fluid chalk ink.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:23 PM   #9
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ColorBox Fluid Chalk ink, ColorBox Pigment ink or ColorBox Dye ink...love them all and use them all the time with all my clear stamps.
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