Acrylic Stamps & ink

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! πŸ™‚  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!

Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

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Join the discussion 31 Comments

  • 1
    Jenny says:

    Wow! thanks for the information. I’m brand new to acrylic stamps (you pushed me into them with your fab designs) so any tips are welcome.

  • 2
    Kathyc says:

    Great info Nichole! Thank you!

  • 3
    Stefanie says:

    Thanks so much for this post! I think it will help so many stampers! I’ve been using acrylics for as long as I’ve been stamping and most, if not all of them are at least a little stained. I love it because it means I’ve used them! I’ve never noticed decreased performance and, like you, find it easier to place the image with a little “tint”. Thanks again for producing such a wonderful product and for inspiring us to be creative!

  • 4
    ~liz says:

    FYI: Did you know that Stampin up purchased Colorbox? Yep it’s a little known fact. The owner of my LSS told me. I know they are going to announce it sometime, don’t know when. Cateyes etc.

  • 5
    Beth says:

    Thank-you so much for this information. The spa treatment idea was especially helpful.

  • 6
    K Ostvig says:

    Thank you. I was worried because I came a cross a certain post somewhere;) that you shouldn’t use stazon especially the cleaner on the stamps is bothered me because the first ink I used was Stazon on my little Lady:(, Now I am Happy because you’ve put my mind at ease. Thanks again.

    Do you do the same to keep the blocks clean also. I think its the oils from solvents making the blocks less sticky that people on the other post might be referring to!

  • 7
    Denise Rose says:

    Thanks for all the tips Nicole!

  • 8
    Elizabeth says:

    very helpful! i don’t use acrylics very often, but this definitely makes me feel more confident about the next time!

  • 9
    Laura says:

    Nicole – This was very helpful. Thanks a BUNCH!

  • 10
    Young Chang says:

    Very helpful, thanks!

  • 11
    kimberly says:

    Wow! What great information! Thanks for sharing! You rock!

  • 12

    I don’t have any acrylics yet, though I have been drooling over your sets… I LOVE THEM. Next time my hubby gives me my allowance, I’ll have to invest. I love the info you posted.

    I recently posted some of the cards that I’ve made… you can view them here:

    They’re not quite as detailed as most I’ve seen on other’s blogs, but I do what I can with the stuff I have. I like them! πŸ™‚

  • 13
    Juanita says:

    Thank you for this wonderful comparison, it is just what I was looking for! I needed to see all of the inks listed in one place. I have read about them here and there and when I try to find them I can’t. TFS all in one place!

  • 14
    Beth says:

    So if you soak them in the Spa bath, the stickiness will return? I was so worried about that! Thanks for the tips!

  • 15
    Angela Fisk says:

    Thanks for taking time to tell us about this topic. I’ve wondered about the care of stamps – and the staining doesn’t bother me, but wondering about how to take care of them helps.

  • 16
    c. says:

    the Stamping Up inks do not work for me with your stamps.

  • 17
    Daisydaze says:

    Thank you; this was so informative. I have some stamps and ink that have been just sitting as I was not sure what to do with them…we ‘newbies’ really benefit by the ‘every day’ knowledge you share. Thanks!

  • 18
    Susan Nel says:

    great site beautiful card ideas thanks for this website. will visit again.

  • 19
    Joyce Hobby says:

    I found you ‘sort of by accident.’ I was on another U.K forum when ‘papertrey’ was a good way…so I googled. And got this amazing blog and information. I found a tutorial about the Cuttlebug, – more information and practical help than I had managed to find anywhere at all. So a few weeks ago I bought one..Good. Now I want all the bits and pieces to go with it..not so good !!!
    Seriously, I love the the papers and stamps and think it is all wonderful. If only the postage didn’t cost so much, and our regulations were more generous I could find myself doing doing a lot of damage to our bank account.
    Thank you, I will be following all your activities with interest.
    Best wishes. Joyce

  • 20
    Beth O'Shea says:

    Just recently bought shape by design (love them), some paper,and some mini ink pads. I was wondering if I’m not getting a clear impression because of the size of the ink pad ,my inking or possibly some other reason?The impressions come out precise with stamin up full size pads.Thank you for your help.
    Beth O’Shea
    P.S. Continued success with your company. I cant wait to order again.

  • 21
    Megonn says:

    I have a question!!! i am new at scrapbooking and i bought some clear stamp supplies.. but im a little confused.. do i have to buy a clear block for each stamp?? i thought somehow it would work that i could just peel one design off and then stick the other one on.. but it doesnt look like that works….??

  • 22
    Sophie says:

    Just wondering in regards to the Stampin Up ink pad and acrylic stamps everytime I’ve tried the ink beads up on the stamp and doesnt fully cover it. Any suggestions?

  • 23
    Kim says:

    very helpful – thanks!

  • 24

    Life is only if the “first meet “, that would be…

  • 25

    I take care of my hand using the ped egg and making sure I don’t over chalk the bar or my hands. But I still rip in my higher rep workouts. How is it i’m supposed to keep my hands from ripping even though I take every precaution there is?

  • 26


  • 27

    This collections are works of art in digital perspective. Thumbs up.

  • 28

    This post is a winner! Love the tips and everything you suggest.. Thanks

  • 29
    ugg slippers says:

    I have to say, I enjoy reading your blog. Maybe you could let me know how I can subscribing with it ? I feel I should let you know I found your page through yahoo.

  • 30

    Great posting! This being very informative,thanks for sharing about it would try to use this acrylic stamps.

  • 31

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog post.

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