Inkpad Overview

All inkpads generally have a starting point of either a water, oil or solvent base.

From these three starting points various inclusions are added to give different effects and get different results. Examples of inclusion are colours (dye or pigment) mica, glue and some bases have nothing added.

Finding the right inkpad for the job can therefore be a daunting affair.

To help you understand the difference, I’ve put together an explanation of each base type along with some tips, suggested brands and techniques.


Key properties – Water-based inkpads usually have a thin consistency, dry quickly and have a translucent finish when dry. They can also usually be re-activated after stamping with the application of water.

Various brands of water based inkpads will have different properties such as being acid-free and fade resistant – you can usually see this marked on the label.

Both pigment and dye colourants can be used in the manufacture of water based inkpads. A dye based inkpad will give a translucent finish and a pigment colourant will give a more opaque finish.

Examples of water based inkpads are – Tim Holtz Distress Inkpads, Memento, Kaleidacolor, Big & Juicy and Walnut Ink.

I have used Tim Holtz Distress Inkpads on this blog a fair bit, to see the archive click here.


Key properties – Oil-based inkpads are usually translucent, water repellent, permanent on porous surfaces, have a thin consistency and dry a little slower than water-based inkpads.

The natural water repellent properties of oil Based Inkpads make them perfect to spritz watercolour sprays over.

Oil Based Inkpads tend to be ‘sticky’ and so even fine detailed stamps will pick up ink and give a clean and crisp impression.

They are great to use on paper, card and wood.

Examples of oil based inkpads are – Versafine, Versamark, and Encore.

I have used the Versafine inkpad a fair bit on this blog, to see the archive click here.


Key properties – Solvent-based inkpads are usually opaque, permanent on porous and non-porous surfaces. Drying time will depend on the surface onto which it is stamped.

Examples of solvent based inkpads are – Stazon

If you want your image to stay, no matter what surface you’re working on, this is the Inkpad you need.

if you are using alcohol markers to colour in a stamped image do NOT use this Inkpad as the alcohol in the pen will make the stamped outline bleed and blur.

I have used Stazon inkpads a little in the past. To see the blog post archive click here

If you are looking for a great chart to print off and keep, please visit the TSukineko website and print this ink pad quick reference chart from Tsukineko and pop it on your wall.

I hope you’ve found this post useful and will share it with your inky pals on your social feeds and Pinterest boards.

If there is any other craft range you think it would be useful to have this type of clarity on, please do leave a comment in the relevant place below.

Many thanks for reading and I’ll catch you again soon.

J :)

18 thoughts on “Inkpad Overview

  1. Thank you John. This is sooo useful. I have never been able to understand the different ink pads & never had it explained so good before. This might encourage me to give stamping a go now.
    Glad Maisie is better! What a stressful time you have had. Take care.
    Happy crafting

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much John, this is really useful! I get so confused with what ink is what and what to use for what! crafty hugs xx


Share Your Thoughts On This Post

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.