January 30, 2007

Brown Ink Comparisons

I've been told that brown is the "new black." Of course, I'm probably a year behind the trends, but I love brown with a host of other colors -- pale pink, turquoise, and red, just to name a few. I took a piece of smooth Beckett's Expression cardstock (virtually identical to SU's Ultrasmooth White) and stamped a solid heart and a phrase, using the same amount of pressure on the paper. I adjusted the amount of ink I put on the stamps based on the type of ink pad (less pressure on a juicy pad, for example). I took a boatload of pics of this sample of 7 brown inks in an attempt to get an accurate picture of the results, but I'm afraid a picture on a monitor is not totally reliable. So -- with that in mind -- drumroll, please (disclaimer: the following opinions are mine only and cannot be attributed to the influence of any connection with any company. I work for no one except my loyal blog readers...)! SU Chocolate Chip Classic (dye): Very good coverage on both the solid and phrase stamp. Grade: B+ SU Chocolate Chip Marker: Poor, uneven coverage on the heart, Good coverage on the phrase. Grade: C Color Box Dark Brown Fluid Chalk Cat's Eye (not the full ink pad, which has a different texture and a totally different result): Excellent coverage on the heart. This ink was the only one to provide a completely dark, solid coverage with no variation in shade. Very good coverage for the phrase. Not as crisp as the Memories, but good nevertheless. Grade: A Memories Dye Chestnut: Excellent coverage on the heart and on the phrase. The ONLY ink here that is waterproof. Chestnut is a lighter color than dark brown, but this ink provided a dark, even coverage for the heart and the crispest image for the phrase. Grade: A- SU Close to Cocoa Classic (dye): Similar results to SU's Chocolate Chip, except a lighter color, which is as expected. Grade: B+ SU Chocolate Chip Craft (pigment): While the color was dark, the image of the heart smeared, leaving the dreaded "halo" effect. The phrase stamp is acceptable, but uneven and not as crisp as dye ink. This isn't surprising as pigment ink is much "juicier" than dye ink and requires a lighter touch. This is the only ink that will stay wet enough to use embossing powder. Not the best choice for a solid stamp, you practice and use just the right amount of pressure. Grade: C+ SU Close to Cocoa Craft (pigment): I stamped the solid heart twice -- the first time I tried to use a lighter touch and got very uneven coverage; the second time I re-inked and pressed harder. Unfortunately, I got the halo again! Uneven coverage on the phrase stamp, but this is a relatively light color. Grade: C+ The best? The Color Box Fluid Chalk Cat's Eye blew me away!! The SU Chocolate Chip Classic was a close second for the heart and did a better job on the phrase stamp. The cat's eyes are tiny and you can't use a brayer to ink a background stamp with them. They are excellent for direct to paper uses, however. Conclusion? Get both! And, if you watercolor, get Memories! There are many other inks on the market. What are YOUR favorites???

15 comments:

  1. As for the browns, I agree with you on the Colorbox Chalk - I love that shade. Vivid also make a good brown, almost identical in color to the Colorbox Chalk (they're both made by Clearsnap) and it's just called Brown (go figure). I didn't know Memories had a Chestnut, I will have to find that, it looks like a good one to have.

    Thanks for your info - you always have such good information on here! I can't wait to see your new stamp room photos (hint, hint).

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  2. Thanks for taking that time and sharing with us!!

    As for me...I am stuck on SU! ink pads. I am in that rut. Really don't have the places to buy anything else, but I love SU! and that is just where I get my supplies. PLus I am anal that they have to look the same on the shelf! :oP

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  3. Thanks for the good research. Brown is a difficult color to get just what you want. I'll be on the lookout for the Colorbox.

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  4. This is GREAT info. I have to say, I only have about 4 of those Colorbox Chalk (cateye shaped) ink pads but I love them. They go on so nice and rich. I love the variety of SU's stamps but, and don't get me wrong, I LOVE SU, I don't love the stamp pads. The design I find is very awkward, especially for small hands. My daughter (and I) have been covered in ink just trying to get the lids back on when she has accidently opened it incorrectly. The SU stamping spots seem to go on better than the classic pads. Just my opinion. Thanks for all the research!

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  5. Great chart, Joan! I've found that I hate the Craft inks on SU Whisper White or Beckett, but they work so much better on the Georgia-Pacific white from Walmart. Either that or the SU confetti or naturals cardstock. I used to hate the Chalk inks as they always bled on my paper (which was apparently cheap crap, can't remember the brand.) Now I love them on the Whisper White. The paper makes all the difference!

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  6. I love when you do experiments for us like this. thanks for the info! Adelle

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  7. Thanks for the comparison chart and for sharing your opinion. I have had good luck with the full size pad of Fluid Chalk - Chestnut Roan. It is a dark rick brown. Yummy color.
    Donna

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  8. Joan, you FORGOT SU Basic Brown which is waterproof.

    I have a basic brown coming to see how it covers and such. Not to mention the added benefit of it being waterproof. Thanks for the scientific experiment!

    TFS~~bobbie

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  9. I love fluid chalk ink but found I had a Hero Arts brown that I liked very much!!! it's juicy but does produce great image on both phrases and images!

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  10. Juanita aka Toni173 on scs2/01/2007 01:33:00 PM

    Wow, what a smart thing to do! I really appreciate you sharing this type of info with us.

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  11. Joan, thanks for making this chart.I have a few of the Colorbox chalk inks and like them very much. I will have to buy a brown one becuase I do not have that in the colorbox. But I do use the SU Chocolate Chip more than the other SU browns.

    Mary

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  12. Terry Molineux2/02/2007 06:00:00 AM

    Just wanted to let you know that I have received this same article four times...maybe there is something wrong...

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  13. Have you tried the STAZON Timber Brown? I find that it gives really good coverage. It's my brown of choice :)

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  14. Staz-On Timber brown, Versafine Brown (can't remember shade name), and Brilliance brown--these all work well for me. I like the chalk pads too, but I usually forget to get them out. . . :oops:

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  15. I'm a big fan of the Colorbox inks, chalk and pigment. Their black pigment is my go-to ink for anything that doesn't have to be waterproof.

    I noticed you didn't have SU's Basic Brown ink on the chart. I thought I would share to fill in that blank. For some reason it doesn't stamp as cleanly or evenly as the Basic Black I bought at the same time. It bleeds right into my Whisper White paper.

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