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Product Review: Distress Oxide Inks

Distress Oxide Ink Review

Hi All!

When I first saw the Distress Oxide Inks, I didn’t feel any desire to purchase them. Why? Because I knew they were made to react with water, and when they do, they turn white and chalky. That didn’t sound appealing to me. I tend to go for bright, vibrant color. I figured I would end up purchasing them anyway to show them here.

Fast forward a couple of months, as I’m not in any rush to purchase. Videos start coming out about how awesome these inks are. I start believing that these inks are the miracle answer to every crafter’s dream of having a single brand of ink that can do everything. I take the bait and purchase 10 of the ink pads (okay, I would have purchased anyway, but probably not 10). I went into this review hopeful yet objective. You know I always try to be as honest as possible.

It’s kind of a long video because I wanted to cover what we normally do with inks – I needed to answer the question… can they really do everything? No, they cannot do everything. However, there are some things they can do extremely well.

Watch the video below and then scroll for the detailed photos and a wrap-up. I have a post-video important note that you need to see about pigment inks.

Click on the images below to enlarge:

Distress Oxide Ink Review Distress Oxide Ink Review Distress Oxide Ink Review
Distress Oxide Ink Review Distress Oxide Ink Review Distress Oxide Ink Review
Distress Oxide Ink Review Distress Oxide Ink Review Distress Oxide Ink Review
Distress Oxide Ink Review Distress Oxide Ink Review Distress Oxide Ink Review
Distress Oxide Ink Review Distress Oxide Ink Review Distress Oxide Ink Review
Distress Oxide Ink Review

After I completed the video, my conclusion was that these inks are worth purchasing for their ink blending characteristics. As I began writing this recommendation, I thought to myself… why can’t I just ink blend with my pigment inks the same way? The reason why these inks blend so easily is because of their pigment formula. So, I grabbed 3 of my Memento Luxe inks and blended this beautiful panel:

Distress Oxide Ink Review

Here is how it looks against the ink blended Oxides (click to enlarge, so you can see the paper absorption better):
Distress Oxide Ink Review

The Oxide colors are softer. They absorbed better into the paper (presumably because of their dye characteristics). The Luxe colors are brighter. The Luxe colors weren’t quite as easy to blend, but that could be due to the fact that they are not as juicy as the new Oxides.

I also dropped water on the Memento Luxe and there was NO reaction. Sorry I didn’t think to do this comparison as part of the video!

In summary, these Oxide inks are definitely different than anything out there. They are not a cure-all for everything, but they do have some great properties that are fun. If you often create ink blended backgrounds or if you like to experiment with fun and interesting watercolor backgrounds, then these inks might be a good purchase for you. I purchased mine at Blitsy because they had great pricing and free shipping, but it looks like they are out of stock. As of this writing, Ellen Hutson and Simon Says Stamp both have them in stock.

Since everyone’s needs and desires are different, they may or may not be a justified purchase for you. You’ll have to figure out what’s important to you. That being said, I’m here to answer any of your specific questions. 🙂

I hope you found this review helpful.



To purchase at Ellen Hutson, click the EH link. To purchase at Simon Says Stamp, click the SSS link.

Distress Oxide Inks
Distress Oxide Inks
Stampin' Up! Flower Patch
Stampin’ Up! Flower Patch
Simon Says Stamp Birthday Balloons
SSS Birthday Balloons
Layered Letters
Layered Letters
Leaves & Scribbles
Leaves & Scribbles
Artful Flowers
SSS Artful Flowers
Drawn Hearts Background
Drawn Hearts Background


  1. wrote on February 27th, 2017 at 7:09 am


    Your video was exquisite timing as my 5 Distress Oxide inks just arrived today. Thank you for such a thorough review. As I suspected, these Distress Oxide inks are not as fantastic for everything as some other videos lead you to believe. But, I’ve always intended to use them mainly for backgrounds where they seem to blend very well. I will also now use them direct to paper over embossed background stamps. You often use Gansai Tambi watercolors for backgrounds.. It would be interesting to know if you prefer the way the Gansai Tambi backgrounds look to the Distress Oxide backgrounds that have been spritzed. From memory, I think I prefer your Gansai Tambi watercolour backgrounds.

  2. wrote on February 27th, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Barb H.

    I’ve been seeing these oxide ink pads at the Hobby Lobby stores in my area. So glad you did a review since I had no idea what they did differently from normal distress inks. I may use my 40% off coupon and pick up a few.

    • wrote on February 27th, 2017 at 1:04 pm


      REALLY??? I’m excited that they’ve shown up there so soon! I can’t wait for the stamp platform to show up as well!!! These products are so exciting!

  3. wrote on February 27th, 2017 at 1:04 pm


    I also dismissed these inks, initially, Darlene! Thanks for your review. I’m more and more convinced that I need to have these in my life! 😀

  4. wrote on February 27th, 2017 at 1:50 pm


    As always Darlene, you have done a superb review! You are thorough and detailed. Thank you for another job well done!!!!! I don’t know if I’ll try them or not. 🙂

  5. wrote on February 27th, 2017 at 1:57 pm


    Very thorough review…I am still unsure if I need to get these.

  6. wrote on February 27th, 2017 at 2:26 pm


    Thank you the review. I’ve been on the fence about buying these. Based on your review though, I might try a few for blending backgrounds and also stenciling.

  7. wrote on February 27th, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Sherry W.

    Me, too. I wasn’t at all excited about these inks until I saw some another video. Your review is very helpful. I do like the easy blending. It’s also nice that it does a decent job on regular stamping. The Distress dye ink blending takes forever and never really looks smooth. SOooo, it might be nice to get a few.

  8. wrote on February 27th, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Teresa S

    Thanks for the review. I was dreading having yet another collection of inks financially. I love the marbleizing affect they have with the Tim Holtz review, but really appreciate your review with the many other techniques we crafters use most often. Glad to have a thorough, unbiased review. Still think I’ll be buying these inks as I do love the marbleizing and oxidizing. Plus the way they seem to blend for backgrounds is yet another justification, lol (That was my reference to your white embossing and placing ink directly to paper then blending.)

  9. wrote on February 27th, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Carol Mac

    Great review Darlene! I was wondering when you were going to spritz and dab with a tissue…and you saved it until then end! I think I will wait to see if they come out with the minis as it would be more cost effective and takes up less space in my craft room! ?

    • wrote on February 28th, 2017 at 12:07 am

      Lesley S

      I saw the video from Creativation where Tim Holtz was demonstrating these new Oxide inks. You can double check, but I think I remember him saying that there are no plans to introduce these inks in the mini cube size. I think he said something about the best properties of these inks not performing as well from a small surface such as the mini cubes.

      • wrote on February 28th, 2017 at 5:18 am


        Yes, I have heard this from several sources too. No Minis! So, Carol will just have to find room somehow in the cupboard for them. LOL!

  10. wrote on February 27th, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Colorful Card Maker

    I’m going to watch your video and see how I feel. I like inks that do lots of things. Like the fact that I rubber stamp on fabric and color on fabric too. If an ink can do that besides work on paper, I am a happy, smiling camper. I know this ink doesn’t work on cloth and I don’t do backgrounds much but it is worth checking it out on your video. I’m thinking I can trust you to tell me if it’s something I should get, not because you are trying to sell me something but because I will really use it. I can’t afford to spend money on stuff that is trendy or new but I will never use.

  11. wrote on February 28th, 2017 at 5:56 pm


    I just received these inks yesterday, so I haven’t had a chance to play with them yet. Having said that, I’m wondering if they would stamp better with red rubber stamps. In case there are people who don’t use the distress dye inks very often they stamp much better with red rubber stamps than clear stamps. I do a lot of art journaling & mixed media work so I am anxious to use these for that.

  12. wrote on February 28th, 2017 at 6:03 pm


    Great, in-depth review, Darlene! I was kind of on the fence about these inks, too, when I first heard about them. Like, what makes them so special? But now, after seeing this and another video on YouTube, I think I will get some. (In fact, I already got a storage unit for them! *grin*) Two things I wish you had addressed here, though. First, I know when blending regular Distress inks on watercolor or bristol paper (but not regular cardstock), that you can leave finger marks in the ink if you hold the inked part of the paper down with your bare fingers while you’re blending. Do you find that the Distress Oxide inks perform similarly? Also, I’ve seen that, with blending or backgrounds, where the Oxide inks shine even more is that you can layer different, non-analogous colors over each other. Because of the pigment ink in the Oxides, the colors lie on top of each other. So you can get blending, but not as much of a risk of getting mud. I noticed that you stuck pretty much with analogous colors in your blending tests. I’d like to know your take on, say, using green and orange together with the Oxide inks. Otherwise, a very good & thorough review. Thanks so much for doing all this for us! 🙂 ~ Andrea

    • wrote on March 1st, 2017 at 7:39 am


      Good points Andrea. Perhaps Darlene can give us further insights as she continues to play around with these new inks.

    • wrote on March 1st, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      Darlene DeVries

      Hi Andrea. Since they go on pretty wet, then yes, you could probably get finger marks. But, with one swipe of the applicator, the finger marks would be gone. As far as mixing colors that don’t normally go together, I did a quick test. I used orange and purple. Keep in mind that you probably wouldn’t mix these colors to begin with for aesthetic reasons. I colored with orange, sprayed, dried, colored with purple, sprayed, dried. Distress inks:
      Distress Inks
      Oxide inks:
      Oxide Inks
      The oxide inks mixed a bit better, but there’s still a brown tint to the blend. Hope that helps a little!

  13. wrote on March 1st, 2017 at 4:42 pm


    thank you for this review, darlene. I haven’t even heard of this product before! I appreciate all the tests you have done.

  14. wrote on March 1st, 2017 at 6:39 pm


    As usual your product review was excellent! I had no desire for these inks until I saw your video. I may get a few but I think I do not need many to achieve what I do in background blending. Sure appreciate your research and video!! Julie L

  15. wrote on March 2nd, 2017 at 11:35 am


    I really do appreciate this review – but wish I’d seen it earlier. I bought the whole set after watching another rave video.

    • wrote on March 3rd, 2017 at 8:15 am

      Darlene DeVries

      Don’t worry Elyse – I think you will really like them. They may not do everything, but they can do some very fun things. 🙂

  16. wrote on April 10th, 2017 at 5:16 pm


    Great review Darlene. So far I bought 5 colors but haven’t used them on my cards yet.
    I’m excited to try them after watching all the pretty backgrounds you created with these Oxide inks.

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