Brayer Play: Comparing A Brayer to Other Application Tools

brayer play

Today, I’ve been busy working on the next eArticle, “Brayer Techniques”. (It will be ready to post sometime on Monday afternoon 5/20/13.) I’ve mostly been working on the text and the layout for the pdf version today, but I had a little bit of time to get my fingers inky too! Here, I am comparing the look you get with six different ink applicators using Ranger Archival Ink on glossy white cardstock. It probably won’t be in the eArticle itself; consider it a bonus! :)

End of a Cosmetic Sponge: This is the way we used to get ink on paper for backgrounds way back when. We stampers still do it some, but we’ve learned easier ways since then. Still, I thought the look of simply repeatedly pressing the sponge end to the paper (instead of trying to smear it smooth) had potential for a background pattern.

Direct To Paper: DTP is a technique popularized the the ladies at Magenta many years ago using Clearsnap pigment inks and it is still a good one. You want  a juicy inkpad so that it doesn’t drag on the cardstock too much and cause the inkpad come loose.

Brayer: I used a soft rubber brayer here. It was the quickest of the techniques (except for using a stamp) and gave me a smooth bold result.

Sea Sponge: I tend to use sea sponges more with paint than with ink but sometimes when you want a more random speckling of ink, they can be an effective choice.

Stipple Brush: This was done with a JudiKins Color Duster brush. It creates a more uniform speckling pattern.

Stamp: The stamp is by Deadbeat Designs. Stamping is of course my favorite way to get ink onto a piece of paper. What is yours?


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Nancie Waterman

Nancie Waterman created and self published Vamp Stamp News magazine for nearly twenty years. These days, Nancie creates and posts monthly eArticles on stamping topics on the Vamp Stamp News website (

4 thoughts on “Brayer Play: Comparing A Brayer to Other Application Tools”

  1. I have tried all three too and the best coverage with a smooth finish for me was the rubber brayer….especially the dark colors! Look forward to the article.

    1. Jan – I like the brayer version too for smoothness. The direct-to-paper version is a bit more intense color-wise but I think that is because I needed to use a LOT of patting to get full coverage. (The direct-to-paper ink was so wet that I had to dry it with my heat tool before I could put it on my scanner.) Of course if I had brayered longer, it would have worked out the same way, so six of one, half dozen of the other I guess. The brayer is much quicker either way. ~Nancie

  2. I buy mostly white glossy paper and brayer the color I want (mostly Rangers Archivals and Adirondacks) right onto the paper I am going to use. That is great as a background or punched item. After that you can stamp an image that will coordinate with your other pieces.

    1. Donna – The paper you use really does make a difference. You are right, brayered paper can be great for not just backgrounds, but also as a starting paper for punching or die-cutting. So many possibilities! : ) Nancie

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