Tim Holtz Distress Inks Vs Stampin’Up! Classic Ink

I thought it would be an interesting experiment to make two cards the same, one using Tim Holtz distress Inks and the other using Stampin’Up! Classic Ink. They are both dye inks, and they are the inks I use almost exclusively. The card is made using three different techniques, wrinkle free distress, direct-to-paper stamping and watercolouring and I used Stampin’Up! Whisper White cardstock.

Fisrt I did a colour selection from both brands so I could get the closest colour match for my experiment. In order of the photo, naming SU! first; PerfectPlum – DustyConcord, RidingHoodRed – FiredBrick, RegalRose – WornLipstick, PumpkinPie – SpicedMarmalade, MoreMustard – WildHoney, Old Olive – PeeledPaint.

I used the Wrinkle Free Distress Technique for the backgrounds. The top is made with Stampin’Up! Old Olive and More Mustard. The bottom on is made with Distress Ink Peeled Paint and Wild Honey. I was surprised at how well the Stampin’Up! inks worked using this technique. I was expecting a less intense colour and for the colours to mix more for a more ‘muddied’ colour blend, but the colours stayed bright and layered nicely. I added a ‘fingertip splash’ of plain water over the top to see what would happen, and both papers gave the same result with the whitish patches showing up. It maybe worth doing this technique again with more contrasting colours. I may have played it safe using closely related colours.

I should have photographed these two together, because despite taking the pics at the same time, they have a different cast of light. Anyways, here I have shown the Jumbo Peony by Stampendous, stamped with the two different inks. I was never overly fond of using Distress Inks for stamping crisp images, but this particular stamp lends itself well to using them since the image has a nice sketchy feel to the line work. A bit hard to tell from the photos but the Stampin’Up! impression is crisp with even colour, and the Distress impression has some fuzzy edges with a blotchy colour, but it doesn’t detract from the stamping.

Next I move onto the watercolouring. Both colours were easy to use, layer and blend using this technique. It’s hard to objectively say how they were different, but they did have a different ‘feel’ when it come to laying down the colour. The Distress Inks felt smooth, but they were both up to the job of giving me a pleasing and like-for-like look.

Next came the layering and shading with other colours. Both sets of inks were up to this job as well, giving me a watercolour look I was after. I liked the way the yellows from both layered brightly over the pink, and the purples blended when creating my shadows.

And this is what the finished cards look like side by side. I stamped the florish from the Jumbo Peony onto the background before the final assembly. So what do you think? Does one look better than the other? Can you tell that each is made with different types of ink? On these cards, using the techniques I have, I can’t see the difference. My initial purpose was to show how these inks were different, but it didn’t turn out that way, with this card.

Distress Inks do have other unique characteristics that I haven’t explored in this post. So I’ll be back to do some other comparisons with these two inks in the near future, so stay tuned.

Categories: Stampendous, Stampin' Up!, Tim Holtz, Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Tim Holtz Distress Inks Vs Stampin’Up! Classic Ink

  1. That’s a VERY interesting post Miss Treez!! I shall be sharing this on FB for my SU buddies to see. Well done and thanks for the comparison!! SU comes up very favourably!

  2. Awesome! Thanks for the comparison!

  3. sarina

    Gorgeous cards.
    I like to try this technique,very soon.

  4. Love all the techniques ideas and comparisons you are sharing!! Both cards are stunning, and if put to the test—no, I couldn’t tell the difference. The finished product is GREAT in both cases. Great job on the post! You are probably WAY ahead of me in the classes and I leave in a few days for my big trip….

  5. Deb Cragan

    Thanks for this weeks imput with distress inks betgween Stampin Up and Tim Holtz. The end result is flawless and identical. You really did a FAB job. I also look forward to your weekly newsletters. Thanks.

  6. Wow! Thanks for that. I use SU! inks, but have been considering trying out some of the distress inks. I’ll be interested to see your post on the “other” characteristics of the distress inks. 🙂

  7. Traci Major

    This is an interesting and informative post, Theresa! I don’t take the time to experiemnt with inks…so you have saved me some and given good information here. Both cards are so beautiful…I would not have guessed both inks would do such a similar job!!

  8. Great comparison! And I love the techniques you use,

  9. What a great post! You’re a gem for sharing all the step-by-step information with us; thank you. SU! inks certainly gave a great result, when used in the same way as Distress Inks – very interesting. Beautiful work, and no, I really can’t tell the difference!

  10. Pingback: Pieces of Stampendous Dogwood « Cards by Misstreez

  11. thank-you so much for sharing this! i have a few distress inks and wondered how the colours compared and if any of them matched. Lovely job on the ‘colouring’ of the flower AND the background! you rock!

  12. Annette

    Thank you for this comparison. I was interested if you ever compare colors of different inks out there. I see many videos and the stampers always seem to use different inks. My pocket can’t afford all the colors. I realize that there are different types of inks that are better suited for certain techniques. Thank you in advance for your reply.

    • Hello Annette and thank you for your question.
      Short answer – I have not compared colours of different inks as I only use three brands – SU! and Distress (both water based dye inks) and Ranger Archival (oil based dye ink)
      Long answer- Early in my stamping hobby I discovered that I liked and preferred using dye inks. Once I made this discovery I was on a mission to find which brands of dye inks I liked the best AND which one was the most accessible for me to buy at that time. There are some great brands out there, but I chose SU! and Distress. Now with the expansion of online shopping I may have chosen differently. Therefore I don’t have a lot of different inks to compare colours with. I was very deliberate in my colour choices for this experiment as I didn’t want to be distracted with the colour differences so I chose the few colours that matched the closest between these two brands. I must also confess I am not good at picking or sorting colours from a broad spectrum of choices. So by choosing only a couple of brands limited my palette. The Archival Ink serves a completely different purpose to the other two brands so I’m not sure if a colour comparison would be useful.
      I hope some of this information was helpful for you.

      • Annette

        Thank you for your comments. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving & Christmas season.

  13. JenDragonfly

    Awesome, I did order some mini distress ink pads to try, but i got some stampin up ink pads at a yard sale. Like 42 or so ink pads. plus a bunch of stamps. I will have to try it.

  14. Michee

    Wandered here via pinterest. Am from Koumala! Interesting experiment!

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