ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Distress Inks Vs Oxide Inks

Updated on February 4, 2018

What Are The Inks In Question?

Distress inks by Ranger have been so popular for many years. So many uses for distress inks have made them a essential tool in most crafters stash. I would have to say that is true for my craft space. I was so happy with my distress inks. Then Ranger comes out with a new ink called Oxide Inks. And the craft world has gone crazy.

The basic difference in these two inks starts in how they are made.

Distress inks are described as acid free, non toxic, fade resistant, water based dye ink.

Oxide inks on the other hand is described as water reactive, dye and pigment ink fusion that creates an oxide effect when spayed with water. It also has a different opacity.

So while, like distress inks, they will react with water, there is a distinct difference. You may know that often with distress inks, if you add water or try to layer the inks, the results often become muddy. Oxide inks, on the other hand are opaque like a pigment ink. So you can actually see the different layers very clearly.

Like with distress inks, you will also be able to watercolor, emboss, stencil, and blend them.

But with the oxide inks, because of their pigment property, you can get a really nice stamped image. It is a crisp image rather than a smeary image that you might get with distress inks.

One important thing to know ! It is important not to mix your oxide inks with your distress inks ! Use separate blending tools and pads. Mixing these will destroy your inks !

Stamping With Oxide Inks vs Distress Inks

Distress inks are mainly used for techniques, but so not lend themselves to stamping. Oxide inks will actually give a clean, crisp image.

Same colors- oxide inks on the bottom
Same colors- oxide inks on the bottom

Difference In Color Ranges

In the distress oxide inks there are currently 12 colors. The color range is bound to increase as the demand grows larger.

The distress inks currently have 62 colors giving it a wider range of choices,

The 12 colors of the oxide inks match by name the same colors in the oxide inks. But if you look at the inks next to each other in the same color, there is some actual color difference

The other difference that you will physically notice in the colors is that the oxide inks have a creamy look.

Another thing that is a big plus for the oxide ink is that they do show up very clearly on darker colored papers. Paper that distress inks, even in the lighter colors do not show at all.

Oxide inks will allow you to layer colors in a multi colored background where distress inks will not work as well. Distress inks tend to get muddy

Differences In Ink Pad Sizes

Distress inks are available in the standard size Ranger pad as well as the mini pads.

The oxide inks are only available in the larger standard pads

Mixing Your Oxide Inks

Add some color to a craft mat, but keep them separate. Spritz droplets of water and run some cardstock through the color. Dry with a craft dyer and watch the color blend. Add more color if you want. You can add as many layers as you want ! Just keep drying in between layers! There are endless combinations.

Tim Holtz Demos Oxide Inks


As of June 2017 there are now 24 colors ! There will eventually be more releases.

Oxide Ink Bundles

NEW Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Oxide 4 Ink Pads: CRACKED + BROKEN + FOSSILIZED + WORN
NEW Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Oxide 4 Ink Pads: CRACKED + BROKEN + FOSSILIZED + WORN

The best and most economical way to buy oxide inks is in bundles. Start with 4 colors at a time. Don't forget to buy re-inkers too. Though these pads last a long time, it's always good to be able to have that back up supply

The colors of the oxide inks work beautifully on craft and dark papers
The colors of the oxide inks work beautifully on craft and dark papers

Heat Embossing

Oxide inks give clear images when you use them in aa heat embossing technique

The color difference on the container makes it easy to tell the difference
The color difference on the container makes it easy to tell the difference

The Ink Pad Physical Differences

Like the distress inks, the oxide ink pads are both felt pads.( In other pigment pads, you might find a more spongy material in the pad). The only real difference is that the oxide ink pads covers and bases are grey. This helps people like me who get involved in the project and forget which one they picked up. Also helps in organizing your ink pads

Oxide inks can be sealed with distress micro glaze

Do you have oxide inks?

Have you started collecting your oxide inks?

See results

You can Mix Distress & Oxide Inks

Have fun, mix them up ! They mix beautifully !

Oxide Ink Tag

Oxide inks make vivid backgrounds
Oxide inks make vivid backgrounds

Paint With Oxide Inks

Stamp your design with a stazon ink and allow it to dry. Then you can use the oxide inks to paint over the stamped image. If you are going to use them with water, remember to use watercolor paper as your base

Stamping With Distress Oxide Inks

Ways To Use Oxide Inks

Like distress inks, oxide inks have uses that make them a must have for any paper crafter.

  1. You can blend them- one of the better things about oxide inks is that they blend faster than distress inks.
  2. The oxide inks react with water. When water is applied you get a droplet effect or a milky tone.
  3. Like distress inks, you can do water color techniques with oxide inks
  4. Oxide inks are good for stamping-especially for backgrounds. Distress inks are not effective for stamping. Rub the oxide ink all over a background stamp. Stamp right away.
  5. You can layer with oxide inks. Since the oxide inks don not get muddy, they layer perfectly.
  6. Use them with stencils-They give a crisp image
  7. Create a background. from the ink pad place ink from three colors on a craft mat. Slide a card through. Dry between layers. Create as many layers as you want to.
  8. Use them to color die cuts-make sure to spread evenly

Stamp Over

You can do a single color background and then Stamp over it with black ink.

Oxide Inks Blend Nicely

Oxide Ink colors blend well. A blending tool is the perfect way to get a seamless blend
Oxide Ink colors blend well. A blending tool is the perfect way to get a seamless blend

Making Plaid Paper

Blending Tools-Must Haves

If you are working with distress or oxide inks then a blending tool set is a must have in your craft space. The pads on my tools set come off and on like Velcro. I store my pads with my inks so that they are re- usable. That way I have one pad per color

You Can Emboss With Oxide Inks

Wow what an exciting idea ! Yes, you can emboss with oxide inks !

Oxide Inks Are Meant To Be Blended

Oxide inks blend well with water-don't get muddy
Oxide inks blend well with water-don't get muddy

Introduction To Oxide Inks

Differences In Storing Oxide Inks Vs Distress Inks

One thing to consider is the difference in storing these two types of inks.

Distress inks can be stored flat or on their sides.

Oxide inks must be stored flat. If they are stored on their side, the pigment will puddle on the pad and ruin the ink

Bottom Line-Oxide Inks Vs Distress Inks

Distress Inks
Oxide Inks
Distress inks are dye inks
Oxide Inks are pigment dye fusion
Distress Inks are more translucent
Oxide Inks are more opaque
Available in 1" x 1" and 3" x 3"
Only available in 3 " x 3"
Distress inks are brighter in color on white cardstock
Oxide inks are brighter in color on dark cardstock
Distress inks dry faster
Oxide inks can be used for embossing because they dry slower
Can be used for watercoloring
Can be used for watercoloring
Can be reinked
Can be reinked
Blends a little streaky
Blends seamlessly
Can be used for embossing
Can be used for embossing
The color palettes of both the distress inks and the oxide inks are the same. The results are entirely different

We would love to hear your thoughts about distess and oxide inks

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)