Stamping on Various White Cardstock and Other Paper

I’m still messing around with paper today – specifically white paper for stamping projects. Yesterday I compared coloring with various art mediums on an assortment of white papers. Today I’m looking at the actual stamping: How does an image stamped with regular black dye ink look on that paper?

I stamped the same image (from Time To Stamp) on seven different white papers I had in my paper stash using Stewart Superior’s India Ink Black (an archival dye inkpad for watercoloring.) The seven papers used were: Kromecoat (glossy coated cardstock), Strathmore Premium White Ultimate White 80 lb, Strathmore Aquarius Cold Press watercolor paper 80 lb, Canson Cold Press watercolor paper 80 lb, Bienfang Bristol Vellum Surface paper 100 lb, Copic Bleedproff Marker Pad and Canson Pro Layout Marker Paper 18 lb. I have various pieces of other smooth white papers but for this post, only included those that I can identify by name. I didn’t test the more textured / rougher white papers in my stash.

Stamping on White Papers


Not surprisingly, the nicest, most complete and most crisp image was on Kromecoat, a glossy white coated cover stock. The lines are sharp and there is nice contrast between the black ink and the glossy white surface.

Stamping on White Papers

 It’s a little subjective, but I think I liked the image stamped on the Strathmore Premium Cover Ultimate White second best. The lines are a bit thicker and less crisp than the Kromecoat but the detail is still good and the overall look is good.

 Stamping on White Papers

Next I tried two different brands of cold press watercolor paper. The first is Strathmore Cold Press Aquarius watercolor paper 80 lb. As you can see, stamping with black dye ink on this particular paper is horrible. The lines are incomplete and fuzzy. Unless you are going for a grainy soft look with your stamping, this isn’t going to work.

 Stamping on White Papers

On the other hand, this is the Canson Cold Press watercolor paper 80 lb that I like to use. Same type and weight of paper but the difference in the way they stamp is big! The Kromecoat and the Strathmore Premium Cover are both still nicer impressions, but this one is not bad and so I continue to like this paper for when I want to color with colored pencils or use wet techniques like watercolor.

 Stamping on White Papers

When I was digging through my pads of paper, I came across a pad of Bienfang Bristol Vellum Surface paper 100 lb. Because I’ve heard some colored pencil artists recommend Bristol Vellum paper, I thought I’d see what happened when I stamped on it. As you can see, while the lines are not as fuzzy as the Strathmore Cold Press watercolor paper, it is still too soft and fuzzy for my taste, so for now, I’m sticking to the Canson Cold Press watercolor paper for projects where I want to color with colored pencils.

 Stamping on White Papers

While we stampers don’t use it very often, there actually are papers designed specifically for artists who use alcohol ink markers (like Copic, etc.) These come in pads and they are nice because the alcohol ink sits on top and doesn’t bleed through. BUT, they are very thin – not quite as thin as translucent vellum, but close. So to use them in a card, you’d have to layer it. This one is the Canson Pro Layout marker paper 18 lb. The stamped lines are a bit thick, but they are sharp enough to look decent and so this paper is useable for when I want to use alcohol inks.

 Stamping on White Papers

Here is a second paper designed specifically for alcohol ink markers. This one is from the Copic Bleedproof Marker Pad. It too is a thinner paper. It stamps fairly well, although I think the lines are just a little bit fuzzier than the Canson Pro Layout version. Still, it is useable for projects where I want to color with alcohol inks.

I thought this was an interesting exercise. I was particularly surprised with the difference between the two different brands of cold press watercolor paper. It goes to show that both type of paper and brand both go into the mix when you are looking for paper that can both be stamped and will work for a particular coloring medium as well. Now, I did only try one type of ink on each of these papers, but I use archival dye inks the most, so that is what I particularly wanted to test. It is completely possible however that some of these papers would do better or worse if I was stamping with a different type of ink.

Nancie, VSN

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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 (

9 thoughts on “Stamping on Various White Cardstock and Other Paper”

  1. Again, I have to get, get yourself some Neenah. The images are crisp and sharp and the 80lb holds a fair amount of water.
    the ink makes a difference too of course. For any fine line image I use VersaFine.
    Use that on the Neenah, and you will never go back!.
    I buy mine through a printer and get a great price.

    1. Hi forrestwife, Yep, I’ve got the Neenah on order. Just playing around with other white papers I have in the meantime. : ) Not all of these papers were originally purchased to be stamped on, but it’s useful to see which ones CAN be stamped on decently. One thing about the watercolor papers is that they have a yellow cast to them, while the stamping papers and marker papers are whiter. Different projects need different things. I like to know my options. Thanks! Nancie

      1. Most good quality water color papers- Arches,Fabriano come bleached if you want a whiter paper. Canson and Strathmore are lower quality papers- as far as how much water and messing about it can take, and archival-ness. Years ago I demoed for Liquitex, so I learned a lot about the chemical make up of paints, inks and papers.

        1. hit send too soon, I wanted to say that any white paper has bleach in it, that will continue to react with water that will cause a fading/color change in any water based paint or ink. Not so much with solvent.oil based inks and paints.

          1. Hi again, So it sounds like if you want to work on white (or near white) paper, you can’t avoid the bleach content. Without the bleach, it would be what? Tan? Have you found that papers that are less white are more archival because they use less bleach? Or is that too simplistic? Thanks, Nancie

        2. Hi forrestwife, Interesting. I’ll make a point to look for Arches or Fabriano next time I need to replenish my watercolor paper supply (I go through a pad pretty fast) and see if I like one of those better than the Canson. The Canson is working OK for me now, but sometimes you don’t know for sure until you actually compare it to something else. For example, I have a Strathmore variety pad of various papers and have found that I like the Canson better than some of the Strathmore watercolor papers for what I do with it (typically stamping on it and then coloring with colored pencils or watercolor techniques.) I’m sure that I don’t have the same needs as a watercolor artist but I do like working with quality supplies whenever possible. Thanks! Nancie

          1. The Archival issue is not simple, as I’m sure you know. Even our air is acid now, as well as a lot of our water, so even if you are using “acid” free materials, it’s complicated.
            I would say that yes, a natural paper is more Archival- how much more? hard to tell. You have less fading of values and hue, tho the color of the paper can change the color of the ink/paint/dye, and a lot depends on viscosity and transparency too.
            Sample, sample sample.
            A good excuse to make more art!!

          2. Hi forrestwife, Interesting. I guess one thing that I keep in mind with all this is that I’m mostly making cards, and they are not meant to be forever pieces of artwork. I try to use the best quality supplies that I can afford, but as you point out, there is only so much you can really do. :) Nancie

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