Friday, September 6, 2013

Rubber Renovations

There's nothing like a "reverse" stamp with a solid background to give your project a solid POP of color, right?! But what if you can't get that background to stamp well? What if you're getting "whiteout" in certain areas? This often happens with oversize stamps, particularly the wood-mounted variety, due to block warp, uneven inking, or pressure applied as you stamp down. If this is the case, try:
  • Ink the stamp again, holding it rubber side up so that you can ensure full ink coverage. If you're not getting it, try re-inking your pad.
  • Stamp again, perhaps standing up, and be aware of exerting pressure evenly on all parts of the stamp block. If it "whites out" in the center, try
  • placing your silicone craft mat or your piercing mat (even a mouse pad if that's all you have) beneath a sheet of scratch paper (to protect it from ink), then stamping your project on this more giving surface. If these steps don't correct the problem, you'll need to change the diagnosis.
Rubber new from the factory may have picked up grease or other substances that cause the ink to fail to cling, or the rubber may have super-heated in a spot.
  • Clean the rubber with alcohol, followed by Stampin' Mist to recondition it. Try stamping again.
Finally, if the problem doesn't correct, you have one more option. It is possible that the surface of the rubber has lost its soft "fuzzy" characteristic due to super-heating or age (think of how an old pencil eraser gets a hard crust on it). If this is the case, it will no longer pick up the ink evenly.
  • Lightly buff the surface of the rubber with a paper sanding block or a fine manicure block. The rubber lightens as you go, helping you see when you've gone over the entire surface. Clean with Stampin' Mist, then ink and stamp. Repeat as necessary until you get the solid, vivid impression you want.
I think it's worth mentioning that in the 12+ years I've been using Stampin' Up! stamps, I have had to go through this process only once, on the image shown above. It was easy to correct, and by using this systematic approach I didn't overcompensate and thus end up with another problem!


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