Many people have been emailing me recently in regards to the compatibility of different inks with acrylic stamps. Everyone has different stamping styles and different "looks" or "results" that they prefer with their stamped images. The following information is my personal opinion and not necessarily based on any scientific research! :) I have been using acrylic stamps for about 3 years, and this experience is what I am basing my conclusions/opinions on...
DYE INKS: I love using dye inks with acrylic stamps, especially richer, darker colors and bright, vibrant hues as well. My favorite brand of dye ink is Stampin' Up!
CLEANING: Dye inks may leave a VERY slight tinting on my stamps, but the majority of time they clean thoroughly.
PIGMENT INKS: Sometimes when I want a more vibrant hue or I'm layering images in different colors I prefer to use pigment inks. Once again, Stampin' Up! is my favorite brand of this particular ink.
CLEANING: The clean up is a dream, with no noticeable tinting. If the ink is allowed to dry at all on the stamp, a little scraping with a fingernail under warm running water may be in order.
CHALK INKS: These give a BEAUTIFUL matte finish and leave a nice dense coat of color on my projects. Clearsnap's Fluid Chalk Inks are my personal favorite.
CLEANING: These inks stain the acrylic stamps pretty aggressively. There is some kind of ingredient in the ink that penetrates the acrylic and tints it quite thoroughly. I have not yet found any cleaner that removes this tinting. The stamps still remain transparent (just tinted, think rose colored glasses!) and that's good enough for me!
SOLVENT INKS: I have used StazOn frequently with my acrylic stamps, although have recently switched to my personal preference of the Palettes. I have heard from several people that you should not use solvent ink with acrylics, but I can attest to not having a problem. I have acrylic stamps that I have used with StazOn for over three years, and the stamps are still performing just as well as they did when I first purchased them.
CLEANING: StazOn cleaner or Ultra Clean works well for cleaning my stamps after use with solvent inks. Some staining may occur, depending on how aggressive I am with my cleaning.
PALETTE INKS: Black Noir and Burnt Umber are my two favorites. The Noir is a nice dense black and I love the look it gives me. Umber is the nice, deep chocolate brown that I've always wanted!
CLEANING: The noir & umber will stain your stamps, even after a thorough cleaning. Although,the staining doesn't bother me, because if anything, I can see the outline of the image better for easier placement/use on my projects.
ACRYLIC PAINT: To use acrylic paint, I just dab it on with a foam brush. Or I sometimes use the handy dandy daubers from Ranger! And don't forget, less is more when it come to inking with paint! I love the uneven nature that a paint stamped image creates. There is something so earthy and organic about the whole process!
CLEANING: Be sure and clean your stamps with warm water immediately after stamping. If the paint happens to dry on, I do a little gentle scraping with my fingernail to remove any residue.
In the end, I have three points I always make to the students in my classes...
1. A stained stamp is a loved stamp. I purchase them to make beautiful projects, not to sit pretty in a box!
2. If I clean whatever medium I chose to stamp with (Staz-on, bleach, acrylic paint, etc...), immediately from my stamp, long term effects do not apply.
3. Treat your acrylic stamps to a special spa treatment every month or so, depending on how often you use them. Draw them a nice warm bath (without any soap or bubbles!) and allow them to soak for about 15 minutes. When time is up, go through and massage each one, while still underwater) using a circular motion between your thumb and index finger. This helps to loosen any residue that may have built up over time. When done, you can rub them on your stamp scrubber to remove all the excess dirt and grime for good. Then pat dry with a lintless cloth or lay out to air dry on a solid surface.
I hope that some of you will find this information useful. Overall, just remember to have fun with your stamps and not worry too much about what the technique/medium may leave behind. This craft is all about experimenting and broadening you creativity! Happy Stamping!