My Secret for Getting FULL Ink Coverage with Solid Stamps


Tell me. Have you ever had this problem? You have a shiny new clear stamp, and every time you push down there are splotches left out of your design. Ahhhh, so frustrating!!! Well, after trying a few things, I have found the answer!

First, let's talk quickly about WHY this happens. Unlike traditional wood-mounted stamps, clear stamps don't have a foam cushion between the block and the rubber. (Photopolymer is also denser than red rubber.) When you have a big solid shape in your design, you have to get it perfectly mounted to the acrylic for it to have an even surface that will make full contact with your paper. Since our stamps are made by hand, there's simply no way for me to push out all the bubbles and get a vacuum-tight fit every time. Inevitably, there are bubbles...and where there are bubbles, there are missing splotches.

TRY THIS FIRST :: Peel your stamp off the block. Then, slowly "roll" the stamp onto the block from one edge to the other. Carefully push down as you go, trying to squeeze out any air bubbles.

TRY THIS NEXT :: If that doesn't do the trick, make sure you have the right INK. For solid designs like you see above, I've found that pigment inks work best. Try VersaFine for Fine Details or Colorbox. Both are high quality pigment inks, and they do a fantastic job with details. Thinner dye inks (or cheaper inks) may bleed into your paper a bit, filling the details of your design.

If you're still having trouble, read on!

Ok, here is my stamp after it's been inked. It's pretty big (3" x 3"). (I actually used my Memento Dye Ink Pad because I was lazy and it's the fastest to use. But it still worked!)

This is what happened when I stamped my paper on a desk (i.e., a regular ol' hard surface):

See the splotches? I want FULL, solid ink coverage. So, I'm going to slip this secret weapon under my paper...

(Hint :: it's a dense foam pad.)

And...huzzah! Here are the results:

By using a foam pad, the parts of your stamp that didn't touch the paper before can now touch the paper. Since the pad is dense, it doesn't squish down and mess up your design...instead, it gives just enough to produce full, beautiful ink coverage.

Here's the product I used (it's only $5.40 on Amazon!):

I hope you found this post helpful! If you have additional tips and tricks, feel free to share below.

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