When you are stamping, you will discover that different paints and stamps will produce very different results. Here are some of the best materials to experiment with.
Dutch metal leaf and gold size: metal leaf is a cheap, easy-to-use alternative to real gold leaf. Use a sponge stamp to apply gold size in a repeating pattern. When the size is tacky, carefully apply the gold leaf.
Inks: water-based inks are too runny to use on their own but can be added to wallpaper paste or varnish to make a mixture thick enough to adhere to the stamp. Use them for paper or card, but not for walls. If you are using rubberstamps, inkpads suitable for them are commercially available in a wide range of colours.
Interior filler (spackle): add filler, in its dry powdered state to emulsion (latex) paint to give it body without diluting the colour.
Paint: water-based paints such as emulsion and artist’s acrylics dry quickly to a permanent finish. Use emulsion paint straight from the can or dilute it with wallpaper paste or varnish. For wall treatments, emulsion paint can be thinned with a little water and sponged or brushed over the wall as a colourwash.
Precut stamps: rubber stamps are widely available in thousands of designs, usually mounted on wooden blocks. Finely detailed motifs are best suited to small-scale projects, while bolder shapes are more effective when used for walls and furniture. Make your own from foam or sponge.
Sponge or foam: different types of sponge are characterized by their density and are easy to make yourself. High-density sponge is best for detailed shapes and will give a smooth, sharp print. Medium-density sponge or low-density sponge will absorb more paint and give a more textured result and is better for larger projects.
Varnish: use water-based, acrylic varnish (sold as quick-drying) for stamping projects. The varnish can be mixed with emulsion paint or ink to thicken the texture and create a range of different sheens.
Wallpaper paste: wallpaper paste allows you to thin emulsion paint without making it too runny to adhere to the stamp. Mix up the paste with the required amount of water first, and then add the emulsion.