Stamping is a timeless art of marking that began many decades ago. Traditionally, stamps were for official use and acted as seals.
A spur of creativity, however, rendered it useful in artistic and decorative ways too. Today, stamped cards, clothing, paintings, frames, and walls are all common.
While ink is the typical medium associated with stamping, you may wish to explore trendier alternatives. Something like paint which is readily available comes in unlimited fantastic shades or matches an already painted surface. It may also last far longer.
So, what are the best paints for stamps? The best paints to use for stamps include oil paints, watercolors, and acrylic, depending on the surface to which you will be applying it. Simply sponge or apply the paint using a small brush on the stamp and press where desired.
Not all paints are suitable for stamping, though. So before rushing to grab your favorite paint tube, read on to find out which specific paint is best for stamping on which surfaces.
What Kind Of Paint Do You Use For Stamps?
We have already established that paints could indeed be used as ink for stamping. This is super exciting, considering all the lovely tones, textures, and effects you can achieve with paint.
But the critical question is, what is the best paint for stamps? There are three popular paint mediums – oil paints, watercolors, and acrylic.
1. Oil Paints
Oil paints are not the best paints for stamping. They contain harsh solvents detrimental to certain materials like rubber and can damage your priced stamps.
Even if you were to throw the stamps away like the one-time use kind of stamps, it is still not a good idea. The stamped design would take forever to dry because oil paints remain tacky for many days.
Watercolors make wonderful “imperfect” stamp impressions if the watercolor effect is your muse. They are particularly recommended when getting creative with kids.
On the other hand, this medium only works best on paper or absorbent surfaces. It lacks the permanence desired for stamping washable items, or those that stay outdoors.
Since it is water-activated, the stamped design can be ruined by water. The watercolor look is also sort of washed and not as brilliant and precise as ink or other paint media.
In addition, watercolors are very picky and can be troublesome loading onto clear stamps and adhering on to non-porous surfaces. Notwithstanding, they are an excellent inexpensive option if you are stamping paper or fabric you don’t intend to get wet.
3. Acrylic paint
Are acrylic paints the best paints for stamps? Absolutely, water-based acrylic paints are the best paints for stamps, and here are a couple of reasons why.
Water-based acrylic paints are very gentle paints. They do not contain harsh solvents as part of their composition.
Solvents degrade numerous materials, including rubber, which is the most ubiquitous material for stamps. With acrylic paints, the durability of your priced stamps is guaranteed.
- Fast Drying
Another reason why acrylic paint is the best paint for stamping is that it dries rapidly. Within minutes of application, it is usually dry to touch, which means your craft will be ready to handle in no time.
The time factor is critical when you need to complete a craft quickly or work on both sides of a surface like paper or fabric. You can turn it over to work on the next side without ruining the initial stamp marks.
Once acrylic paint dries, it forms a plasticy coating whose bonds are practically impossible to break. It becomes impenetrable and develops a high level of permanence.
That means the stamped designs will be long-wearing, whether exposed to water or rain while washing or left outdoors.
- Easy To Clean
Water-soluble paint is the easiest paint to clean up after. Acrylic paint is water-based, thus water-soluble while still wet.
You just have to use a damp cloth to wipe your stamping tools after use to remove the paint. This, however, has to be done immediately after stamping to eliminate the stain effortlessly.
Time is of the essence because it is fast drying, and if it stays unattended longer, it will certainly clog the ridges of your stamp. Dried acrylic paint is not only painfully difficult to scrape off, but you also risk permanently damaging the stamp.
Water-based acrylic paint is loved for its minimal to solvent-free makeup that renders the paint non-toxic. It has little to no odor, making it great for stamping everyday items that we use close to bodies, even children’s clothing.
Acrylic paints are within the affordable price range for many folks. You can get an excellent selection of colors for a relatively low price.
So, if you want to do a variety of colorful stamping patterns or turn your stamping skills into a money-making venture, there is no need to break the bank.
- Easy To Use
Lastly, acrylic paints are the best paints for stamps because they are easier to use. The paint can go onto the stump right from the bottle; there is usually no need for preparations of any sort, unless you are adding a fabric medium to get it to adhere to cloth. You may also want to add some water to create a thinner or more transparent finish.
The pigment is also not fussy, and the consistency allows it to go on all types of stamps; sponge, rubber, or clear stamps.
Things To Consider When Choosing Paint For Stamps
All acrylic paints are not created equal. There are general-use acrylic paints and others specially formulated for specific tasks. Therefore you must consider the following when choosing paint for stamps.
You may choose to stamp anything made from paper, wood, fabric, canvas, metal, etc. Some surfaces will produce good results with any type of paint, while others need specialty paint.
If you are stamping cards, scrapbooking, or imprinting paper crafts, you can use any craft acrylic paint like the Craft 4 All acrylic paint set. You can also opt for watercolors if you prefer that softer, less defined, washed effect.
3. Canvas, Wood, Walls
When stamping over a canvas painting, it is recommended that you match the stamped impression with the artwork. Acrylic paint layers best on acrylic paint, so you can use the same product for both stamping and painting.
Go with high-quality artist-grade paints like Liquitex for professional results. They are so versatile. You can even use them to stamp wooden doors, frames, or small accents on your wall too.
Stamping fabric, however, requires a special fabric paint. When the regular acrylic paint is stamped onto fabric and dries, it becomes an inflexible polymer film.
Consequently, the design starts cracking with time because of all the agitation when washed. The stiffness also doesn’t feel comfortable for the wearer.
Therefore, when stamping apparel or other fabric items, choose fabric paint. It already comes with a medium that enhances flexibility even after the acrylic paint dries, keeping the stamped part of the fabric soft.
There are many brands, but we like Jacquard textile paint the most. It is not thin and runny like its competitors hence easy to apply on stamps without drips. They also have a gorgeous color selection, and the paint dries with an attractive pearlescence/luminosity. You can buy individual colors or a set.
If you already have regular acrylic paint you prefer to use, you will have to invest in a fabric medium to mix into the paint before stamping.
Well, metal stamping is slightly different from other materials because the stamp is applied without color. It is indentation that creates the design not color. Any color (usually black) is added into the indentation after the impression is made to make it pop.
There are a couple of marker pens for the job, but the ImpressArt metal stamp enamel marker stands out. It is the best for painting precision work like impressions made on metal jewelry.
You’ll just apply the paint over the stamped metal plate then wipe it across the surface with a damp cloth to leave only the paint inside the indentation. Paint pens are not necessarily for metal stamps only. They are a fantastic option for those looking for convenience and less clean-up to do.
You can actually use the tips to color the impression on any type of stamp with precision before stamping. They are super versatile and work well on rubber, clear, wooden, and metal stamps. Just ensure you choose a water-based paint pen.
Alcohol-based marker pens evaporate and dry too quickly. You won’t have enough time to color the stamp and transfer it to the surface before the paint dries.
For watercolor stamp effects, you can try these watercolor brush pens by Gencraft and Artisto acrylic paint brush tip pens for water-based acrylic paint stamps.
6. One Stamp Vs Repetitive Markings
Something else to consider is whether you are stamping just once or creating a repetitive pattern. Here’s why.
As reiterated, acrylic paint is water-soluble while wet but fast dry at the same time. If you are doing one stamp, it is possible to wipe the paint off of the stamping tool immediately after you are done.
However, when stamping a repetitive pattern using the same stamping tool, it is impractical to clean it after every impression. But again, doing several rounds of just loading paint and stamping eventually leads to build-up.
The earliest paint inside the grooves starts drying up slowly and clogging the tool. Consequently, removing it later becomes a horrendous task.
One way to combat this problem is to use open acrylic paint like the Golden open acrylic set. This paint is designed to remain wet for an extended period compared to regular acrylic paints.
The slow drying speed gives ample open time that allows you to stamp several times in one session without the need to clean the paint off instantly. It stays wet and thus easy to wipe off the stamping tool even after a while.
Hopefully, you are now equipped with the information you need to select the best paint for stamp projects. Happy stamping!
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