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Distress Inks Vs Oxide Inks

Updated on July 30, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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