Distress Inks have been specially formulated to produce an aged look on papers, photos, fibers and more. These inks are not "better" than other inks; they just work completely "different" for the purpose of creating an aged look.
Here are some key points that make Distress Inks different:
STAYS WET LONGER ; the Distress Ink formulation allows blending and shading on photos and paper, as well as embossing! Other dye inks dry too fast, especially on photos which would result in lines and marks for direct to paper techniques. Not with Distress Inks!
COLOR WICKS OR SPREADS OUT - these inks will travel across the surface of your paper when spritzed with water; other dyes do not travel as much although they might bleed a little when wet, the Distress Inks actually "wick" or spread out much further creating several tone on tones.
COLOR STABILITY - the colors of the Distress Inks will not break down when wet or heated allowing you to have more color control for the finished look; other "brown colored" dyes will break down when water is added leaving a pink & green hue.
COLOR PALETTE - Well these are unlike ANY other colors of inks you've seen!
Tim’s Distress Ink Techniques
TO DISTRESS: I like to use water when I am distressing. I think it gives the papers more of a weathered texture, so here's how I start.
Working on any type of paper (manila, cardstock, or text weight), crumple the paper up - always press in the center of any heavyweight cardstock or manila stock - this will break the surface tension of the paper and allow you to crumple up the paper easier without tearing it.
Next rub the Distress pads over the surface - you can work with several different colors or just one - WALNUT STAIN IS IDEAL FOR THIS.
Then spray the inked surface with water (you will immediately notice the ink "travels" outward when water is applied as these inks are designed to react with water).
Heat the surface to dry - and here's why... Although you don't have to Heat Set these inks for any reason, I like to dry the water using either my Heat Tool or a craft iron. This will allow for more tone control and keep areas dark and others light. Ironing the paper will also give you a much smoother surface to stamp on without compromising the aged finish.
Note: If you allow the surface to air-dry most of your color will end up on the edges only because the paper will bend and buckle when wet, forcing the ink and water to the edges. Notice that these Distress Inks retain their color value even when wet and dried. Other brown dyes will break down in color (sometimes leaving a pink and green hue).
FOR STAMPING: What can I say about the many stamping applications these inks can achieve. Once again the special formulation on these Distress Inks provides a versatile finish on papers yet still allow for "normal" stamping applications. I like to stamp on uncoated (matte) papers and immediately rub the image with a cloth - this will soften or shadow your image WITHOUT smudging any detail, VINTAGE PHOTO, WALNUT STAIN and TEA DYE are wonderful for this one! Another surface is glossy cardstock - keep in mind this is a different type of dye ink so when you stamp on glossy, certain areas of your image will "bead" up, once again providing a Distressed look without you doing a thing (this is probably one of my most favorite looks) - some areas of the image appear "pitted". Brayering on glossy cardstock is also wonderful because you can still manipulate the inks with different tools, brushes, fingers, whatever. Even after the ink is applied you can achieve amazing texture and color shading.
ON PHOTOS: Finally an ink formulated for photos! Whether you’re a scrapbooker or not you can use all types of photos (vintage or new ones) on your cards and pages. Distress Inks work on MOST types of black and white photos - inkjet, laser, toner copies, and regular photos. Always test the type of photo paper and printer first!!!