What's Your Favorite Ink for Clear Stamps?

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Posted 1/13/2013 by thekatsmeow in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 347,059
November 2007
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Posted: 1/13/2013 12:09:49 AM
I recently purchased a bunch of stampin up ink pads and realized they don't work well with my clear stamps so I'm in the market for new inks. I used to use JB but I gave them away so now I'm looking for an alternative. What is your favorite ink for clear/polymer stamps? (I'm not a fan of memento unless I'm using copic markers). Thanks!


PeaNut 508,291
May 2011
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Posted: 1/13/2013 12:15:29 AM
Chalk inks are especially good. Versmagic and Colorbox Chalk Ink. Regular dye inks should be fine if you have photopolymer stamps. The cheaper (acrylic)clear stamps worked better with the chalk ink. Also consider conditioning your clear stamps. This helps them work better with inks of all types.

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PeaNut 95,467
July 2003
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Posted: 1/13/2013 12:16:08 AM

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PeaNut 471,997
June 2010
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Posted: 1/13/2013 1:07:09 AM
It's interesting running into this thread as I too just bought some Stampin Up pads and found the same thing with my clear stamps. Mine were from the clearance rack so they're the made with the previous version of foam pad.

So a couple of days ago, I began experimenting with different inks, papers, stamp brands (high quality vs. dollar bin ones) and used 2 clear stamps, one with detail lines (eg. sentiment) and another stamp with a solid area (eg. sold heart). My goal was to find an ink which didn't bead. I wanted a crisp, uniform dark image that look like it came out of my laser printer.

I actually found that the biggest factor was that the ink pad had to be juicy. If it was juicy enough, it worked on even the cheapest stamp. I own most of the brands of ink and after stamping like mad, I found that I especially liked colorbox chalk inks, versacolor pigment inks, versamagic, and my favorite at this moment is Archival Crimson dye (now called Vermillion) and the dollar Studio G pigment pads for Valentines.


PeaNut 471,997
June 2010
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Posted: 1/13/2013 1:09:49 AM
I wanted to add that I bought 2 dollar Studio G pads today, one was the old square packaging and one in the new round containers, it was a huge difference. The round ones were so much more juicier and created a beautifully solid image. I don't know if they reformulated the ink and/or pad or if the square ones were just old.


PeaNut 188,495
January 2005
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Posted: 1/13/2013 1:56:54 AM
I like using Versafine for black and Colorbox chalk inks.


PeaNut 216,893
July 2005
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Posted: 1/13/2013 3:18:02 AM
Before you toss your various ink pads, try this:

FIRST ink your clear stamp with Versamark
THEN ink it with your dye ink (without cleaning in between)

The sticky versamark helps the stamp to hold onto the dye ink and stamp the image better.

Having said that I cannot recommend versafine enough as a black inkpad, it makes the best image, clear and detailed.


PeaNut 276,171
September 2006
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Posted: 1/13/2013 8:18:14 AM
Versafine is my go to ink

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PeaNut 108,542
September 2003
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Posted: 1/13/2013 8:19:56 AM
Basically the only inks I have are from CTMH and a few from SU. Both work great with acrylic stamps.


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PeaNut 52,171
October 2002
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Loc: Froogville

Posted: 1/13/2013 8:23:14 AM
I prefer to use pigment inks for any kind of stamping. As long as it's a good brand. Normally, store brand isn't a big deal for many products but I learned the hard way that the cheap ones were crap. (Ink it up at AC Moore. I think they're made by Nicole?) They claimed to be pigment but they were lousy - although the USA ones were better than the made in Germany ones.

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PeaNut 600
June 1999
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Posted: 1/13/2013 9:59:05 AM

lisa renea


PeaNut 347,059
November 2007
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Posted: 1/13/2013 11:19:14 AM
Thank you so much for all the replies, you ladies are awesome!


PeaNut 290,184
January 2007
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Loc: SoCal

Posted: 1/13/2013 12:41:43 PM
Hero Arts shadow inks and Colorbox Chalk work really well. The newer Stampin' Up! ones do, too!

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PeaNut 90,692
June 2003
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Loc: West Chester PA

Posted: 1/13/2013 2:11:37 PM
the Hero Arts Mid Tone inks are my new favorites


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PeaNut 268,201
July 2006
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Loc: Northwoods

Posted: 1/13/2013 5:38:24 PM
I use lots of inks with both my rubber stamps and acrylic.

If I need a crisp sharp detailed image Versafine is great. If you want something black and embossed, stamp with Versafine black and quickly emboss with black powder - it looks fantastic!

The whole dye ink, chalk inks, blah blah gets pretty confusing to me. I do know that different inks work better for different surfaces, copic coloring, etc. But for everyday paper stamping use? Honestly, I mostly grab the color I want to use (basically ignoring the ink type unless I have to pay attention to it). I've found that if I have inks that don't stamp well, inking up my stamps with Versamark first THEN inking in the ink works really well.

I even get pretty good results stamping with Distress Inks - especially using the Versamark first! Plus, the Distress inks can be embossed, misted with water after they are stamped so they bleed a little - etc. So many fun extra techniques.

I also have Hero Arts mid-tone inks, chalk inks, Memento inks, 5 colors of Versafine, Colorbox inks, FC Big Brush stamping markers, A couple of Stazon Ink colors, and most of the Distress Ink colors.

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PeaNut 413,587
February 2009
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Loc: Western NY

Posted: 1/13/2013 5:41:41 PM
I use CTMH inks and Stampin' Up. They work great!

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PeaNut 95,467
July 2003
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Loc: N. Cal

Posted: 1/13/2013 6:03:01 PM
I love Tsukineko inks. They make the Versa, and memento inks.


PeaNut 542,105
February 2012
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Posted: 1/13/2013 6:32:27 PM
I bought my first clear stamps not that long ago and was so upset with the results, no matter the ink it did not stamp good. I was not thrilled. Away the stamps went.

Then I saw someone here say to use an eraser on the new stamps then clean it before you try them.

It was like night and day! Perfect stamping no matter the ink!

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PeaNut 475,510
July 2010
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Posted: 1/13/2013 10:16:16 PM
I use versafine.
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PeaNut 377,524
May 2008
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Layouts: 208
Loc: Rochester, NY

Posted: 1/13/2013 10:22:10 PM
I use versafine as well.

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