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Play Dates: How I Decide Which Spray Inks I Love

Video Play Dates Spray Ink edition with a Whole Mess of Spray Inks!

Am I an organized, methodical type of person who analyzes or am I the kind that jumps right in and has to play to figure it out?  You might already know the answer if you’ve seen many of my videos.

Play Dates with Carolyn Dube Come and have fun while exploring different supplies!  Play Dates are all about the conversation for me and I’d love to know how you figure out which spray inks make you happiest?  What is it you like in a spray ink?  Are you as picky about how the bottle feels in your hand as I am? Do tell because inquiring minds want to know!

So how can you join the conversation?  Leave a comment here telling us all what you enjoy about spray inks or what your favorite is or tip or trick!  Click on over to  A Colorful Playground over on Google+ and share your spray ink creations. It can be something new or a favorite spray ink project from whenever!  Join in however you are comfortable!

Want to know more about Play Dates? Check out this post here that explains it all!

Watch How I Figure Out Which Spray Ink is Best for Me on YouTube.

Video Play Dates Spray Ink edition with a Whole Mess of Spray Inks!Want to win an Encouraging Words stencil?   One commenter on this blog post chosen by Random.org will get the Encouraging Words stencil!  Want more chances?  Share this on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and come back and tell me where you shared it for more chances to win!  Be entered by the end of the day on Oct. 2nd to win. I’ll announce the winner on my blog on Oct. 3rd. (and yes, Internationals can win too!)  Be sure to check out the posts earlier this week to be entered in those giveaways too!

Supplies Used:

  • Encouraging Scribble stencil
  • The Paper I used
  • A zillion (not literally) different spray inks, many of them antiques and no longer in production.  And in the video I call one Making Memories, but that isn’t right…it is actually Memories Mist.  Oops.  Here are some of them…Hero Arts neons, Color Shine, Shimmering Mist, Memories Mist, Mr. Huey, Shimmerz Paints, Glimmer Mist and Chalkboard from Tattered Angels…
{ 85 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

  • Michele (Princess Buttercup) September 25, 2014, 8:21 am

    Great tutorial again, Carolyn! Thanks for all of your help!

    • Carolyn Dube September 25, 2014, 8:31 am

      Glad you’re enjoying Michele!

  • Jean Marmo September 25, 2014, 8:27 am

    I am not an organized person, I just grab and use. I suppose I should practice and try them so I know ahead of time how they will work. I think I have had an oops or too because they did not work as I imagined they would.

    • Carolyn Dube September 25, 2014, 8:31 am

      I tried to do it the organized way long ago but it just never led me to any useful knowledge…and I’ve had lots of Oops but those are where the real learning happens for me Jean.

  • Shari Czerwinski September 25, 2014, 9:18 am

    I only have a couple of spray inks, so I haven’t really found my favorite use yet. I like how easy they are to use and hope to add many more colors to my stash in the near future!

  • Liz Lumsden September 25, 2014, 10:03 am

    I definitely am not organized enough to do a chart for my spray inks, I just grab one, test it out on scrap then go for it. I find definite uses for the permanent sprays that I do NOT want to run, but the ones that do run a great for other techniques. I favor those that are easy to spray and you don’t have to fight with. I have had some Mr Huey’s that died on the first use! I just pulled out the spray apparatus and splattered! I love your approach to art and appreciate your videos so much!

    • Carolyn Dube September 27, 2014, 6:49 pm

      Crazy how some clog so much and others don’t!

  • Liza X September 25, 2014, 10:18 am

    For other things like ink pads, I’m organized, but with spray inks I get down & dirty like you. If my hands aren’t dirty, I didn’t have enough fun! Love your videos, and appreciate that you use a lot of different stencils, as it’s hard sometimes to know how a stencil will look without using it.

  • Cheryl Gebhart September 25, 2014, 10:23 am

    I’m not very organized either. I learn what I like to use by using it as well. I hate the bottles that clog! I’ve even poured ink into another spray bottle hoping the new bottle would be better. My favorite spray isn’t made anymore; it’s Color Wash Jewels from stampzia.com. Very vibrant colors and the bottles never clogged. I wish I could still get them! And thanks for a chance to win another great stencil.

    • Carolyn Dube September 25, 2014, 10:27 am

      I remember those- you are right – they never did clog – and such vibrant colors too! Miss Stamp Zia!

  • Stacy September 25, 2014, 10:24 am

    oh such fun!

  • Rita McGregor September 25, 2014, 11:01 am

    I love spray inks but they drive me crazy when you go to grab one and it won’t work. My favorite stencils are words and scripts. 🙂

  • Glenda L September 25, 2014, 11:16 am

    My favorites are the shimmery kind, but they do tend to clog a lot. My husband gave me some BB’s to put in the bottle for shaking them up and someone gave a tip about shortening the tube so it doesn’t touch the bottle of the bottle. I also love the Dylusions sprays for vibrant color, just wish they wouldn’t reactivate so easily. All fun to play with though. BTW – your tutorials really make my day(s).

    • Carolyn Dube September 27, 2014, 6:49 pm

      Great idea about the BBs – thanks for sharing!

  • Peg Robinson September 25, 2014, 11:34 am

    Hi Carolyn another great video. I guess I worked very similarly to you. I tried doing squirts and labels but I wasn’t getting much satisfaction from that. I do have to get down and dirty to find out how I really enjoy working with products. I still don’t think I found my favorite sprays. As I’ve been around a long time I have quite an assortment very similar to yours. I haven’t tried any of the hero sprays but from what I’m saying I’m glad I didn’t. Clogs has always been a problem for me. I tend to think the smaller sizes are because people run into the clogging problems. I like the old color wash but I wish there were more colors. I love the reactive quality of the Dylusions. Shimmer sprays just make me happy. Because most are translucent I use them to top things off. I am truly enjoying your conversations. You always make me want to play.

    • Carolyn Dube September 27, 2014, 6:50 pm

      I hadn’t thought about the smaller sizes for helping with clogging but that makes sense!

  • Felicia Aaron September 25, 2014, 11:48 am

    Carolyn, I love your play date today! I loved hearing your thoughts on spray inks and your process of elimination…LOL!!! I think what I really like about ANYTHING you do is your no nonsense attitude! It really comes out in your wonderful artwork as well! I happen to like the crispness that a spray ink “can” bring. I do like a “no fuss” attitude with some of my art journal pages, but when I want a crispness, I better get it or it’s OUT! LOL!! Thanks again Carolyn!!

  • Ruth Reaves September 25, 2014, 2:13 pm

    love your play dates- I am learning alot. Thanks

  • Carol Ponsford September 25, 2014, 2:20 pm

    So much good info coming out of your play date videos. Thanks for sharing and the chance to win.

  • Kathryn September 25, 2014, 2:27 pm

    Research the artsy way! I loved this video. Your page was looking pretty fun too!

  • Alice September 25, 2014, 2:35 pm

    I actually only have the Dylusions spray inks in just a few colors. I am totally UN-organized and usually I just start a page and start spraying away! I have a big piece of paper underneath my journal to protect my furniture (well I try at least, somehow I spray very enthusiastic..) It’s becoming a pice of art on its own. The other day I wanted to test my new colors and I just splattered it on there. I felt very happy! Thank you Carolyn for your great video’s, I always feel better when I watch them!

    • Carolyn Dube September 27, 2014, 6:51 pm

      The papers underneath often turn into the best for me too!

  • Mary in IL September 25, 2014, 3:05 pm

    love this stencil! I am totally organized…NOT!

  • Dawn Mlodoch September 25, 2014, 3:06 pm

    i followed you on youtube

  • Dawn Mlodoch September 25, 2014, 3:07 pm

    i followed you on facebook

  • Dawn Mlodoch September 25, 2014, 3:08 pm

    i commented and plus sed on Google plus

  • Dawn Mlodoch September 25, 2014, 3:09 pm

    i subscribed to your newsletter

  • Dawn Mlodoch September 25, 2014, 3:10 pm

    i followed you on pinterest

  • Beverley September 25, 2014, 3:49 pm

    Nice to see that you have nozzle issues too! I end up putting away, then get out again, thinking why don’t I use…. duh this is why. Oh, and I end up with hands likes yours too. Love it!

  • Lucinda September 25, 2014, 4:12 pm

    I would love to win the stencil.who doesn’t need another stencil? Lol

  • Micki September 25, 2014, 5:36 pm

    Loved seeing how you play with your ink sprays. I really don’t have a preference other than that the nozzle works. It it doesn’t, then I either pour the ink into another spray bottle or since I love drips and splatters so much will use a pipettes to get the ink onto my pages. BTW, I absolutely love your stencils and am hoping Santa will gift me with your new ones :). xoxo

  • Denise Spillane September 25, 2014, 5:46 pm

    Loved how your play page turned out. I love to work on those type backgrounds!

  • Sylvia Tabor September 25, 2014, 6:09 pm

    Organized??? What’s that??? The only thing organized is how I store my spray inks!! Ok, I confess, I do spray them onto foam dots which I have cut between the sticky ends, then put that dot onto the top of the clear cover that comes with the bottle, that way i know at a glance the color.
    Since I keep all my sprays together, I am drawn to color when deciding which spray ink to use. Some are very vibrant, some muted, some grungy, and some shimmer. I just grab the one that I think will work, not cognitive of the brand.
    BTW… Love these little chit chatty videos. And your new word stencil is a must have — adore the font used!!!

  • Lissa September 25, 2014, 6:21 pm

    I love stencils and love spray inks!! A wonderful match!

  • Eileen September 25, 2014, 7:24 pm

    I think that I am more drawn to darker colors and I like the more of the pastel kind of look. I have watched a lot of YouTube videos so if I like the color or the price point then I may buy. If I like them then I will go and test more from that company. I really love the fact about the different finishes like no shine, shine or really bold.

  • Kelly September 25, 2014, 7:41 pm

    So much fun! I too just play. Planning and analyzing is my day job. Rating is totally opposite for me.

    • Carolyn Dube September 27, 2014, 6:52 pm

      I agree Kelly!

  • Alisha C September 25, 2014, 8:27 pm

    I’m still pretty new to all this, so I’m just figuring out how I decide! hehe I know one thing: I’m addicted to sprays. Goodness! I want all of them, every single one. The colors, the sparkles… they call to me. lol

    I enjoyed your video and I was eying that stencil the whole way through. I appreciate the opportunity to win one. Thank you for making the video and doing this Giveaway.

  • Rebecca Buchanan September 25, 2014, 9:02 pm

    Amazing–even when you demo how you discovered the inks that didn’t make the “A” list, you still end up with something wonderful. I guess the key word is “play.”
    Thank you Carolyn!

  • Marina September 25, 2014, 10:02 pm

    Excellent tutorial, thanks.

  • Lynne Phelps September 25, 2014, 10:50 pm

    Oh my gosh I LOVE this stencil! I think it is my favorite of your new designs!

  • Edie September 25, 2014, 10:58 pm

    Any sprayer that clogs regularly or the spray stinks goes into my giveaway pile. I have invested a lot in certain brands because I loved the color in the bottle but it just wouldn’t come on out to play. If i really liked it I might try switching it to a different bottle but mostly I just pass it on.

  • Karin September 25, 2014, 11:32 pm

    I like both the chart and the playing styles! What a fun AND informative videos – good stuff to think about.

  • Raine September 26, 2014, 1:29 am

    Great video! I love your stencil, too.

  • pjay hansen September 26, 2014, 2:35 am

    Wow ! Thank you for the chance to win.

  • pjay hansen September 26, 2014, 2:39 am

    I pinned on pintrest.

  • Anna (Omyn) September 26, 2014, 6:00 am

    I agree with you about everything, other than dylusions. That is my definite favourite for print making. I would never use it in a book, you are totally right that would run everywhere.. but something happens to my prints when I use the dylusions on them.. its sucked into the back ground and it makes my print paint go.. WOW. I use a fairly inexpensive water colour paper, one in particular has a medium tooth.. and when i print on it.. it leaves the sometimes little white flecks on the other side of the mountains of texture found in that paper. (That makes no sense at all..) But Dylusions runs into those areas and seems to make them visually recede and the paint takes centre stage. I have to admit to not having many spray inks other than that, when I don’t find what I want I usually make it myself. I will definitely give the ones you like the best a go though, everything you have taught me has bought my art to a dizzying new level. No one explained colour to me better than you – from then on.. my work just sang to me.. I embraced the riot, the crescendo of colour within and just let it pour out of me.. I have never been so happy to just sit and play 🙂 You would understand if you knew I wore black all the time, and a pink never ventured anywhere near my palette or person.. but between you and my 6 year old .. I’m totally hooked. (that does not mean I wont be wearing black though hahaha). I don’t know but to me, being grouped with a 6 year old is pretty high praise.. they have such a fearless way about them, free and totally unrestricted 🙂 I love play dates, thank you again for sharing yourself with us, it really has open my eyes 🙂 <3 Anna (Omyn)

    • Carolyn Dube September 27, 2014, 6:54 pm

      I consider it high praise to be grouped with a 6 year old! They are such leaders when it comes to fearless play! So glad you embraced the riot of color inside you!

  • Tasha F September 26, 2014, 1:57 pm

    I tend to buy sprays because they are new or look cool. I never test them. I just jump in and start using them on projects and learn from that. I HATE it when sprayers are all wonky and the ink comes out two different direction…

  • Liz Saxen September 26, 2014, 3:32 pm

    I am NOT organized, i just spray and pray, there have been oops but that is the fun. I like permanent sprays when I want a crisp image or if i want to layer on top. but I do like when Dylusions bleeds up through the layers, it i always a surprise how they will react with different products. Love the play dates videos!! I really like all your word stencils they are all great!! Need them!! LOL Thanks, Liz

    • Carolyn Dube September 27, 2014, 6:56 pm

      Spray and pray – love that!!

  • Denise Huntington September 26, 2014, 3:40 pm

    Another terrific video tutorial, Carolyn!

  • Denise Huntington September 26, 2014, 3:48 pm

    I’m definitely more a try it in my journal and decide whether I like it or not. I find making charts/sample lists a little too boring for me.

  • Rita Montgomery September 26, 2014, 10:26 pm

    I have a lot of different spray inks like SEI Tumble Dye, Recollections, Mr. Huey, Adirondac Color Wash, Dylusions, Heidi Swapp Color Shine and a few more I can’t remember the name of. I wish I could find a spray that had the bright intensity of the Dylusions that was permanent. If you know of any I would love to know what it is. I love sprays for background and have loved all your informative videos.

    • Carolyn Dube September 27, 2014, 6:57 pm

      That is one thing that is hard to find in a spray ink!

  • Teresa R September 27, 2014, 3:20 am

    I am definitely not organized and methodical. I like to take a piece of paper and start spraying, whether it is through a stencil or just to get color on the paper and see what happens

  • Becky September 27, 2014, 8:48 am

    For spray inks, I agree, the only way to really know is to give them a try! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and letting us watch you play!!! 🙂

  • Vicki Romaine September 27, 2014, 4:39 pm

    I am trying to use more words on my projects/ canvasses and this stencil would be useful I love the way the words are set up on this stencil.

  • Vicki Romaine September 27, 2014, 6:24 pm

    I really enjoyed your video. The only sprays I have are Heifi Swapps and I did make a sample with name in my “inventory book” which I just started making. I did this only to remember what few colors I had when I wanted to buy one. I have taken Rit Dye and made a spray buy dissolving in a spray bottle. I do have an airbrush gun for my Copics

  • Faith September 28, 2014, 12:27 am

    Thank you for these wonderful videos! I’m off to try my stencils again. 🙂

  • Cara B. September 28, 2014, 1:32 am

    I just had a duh moment watching this video. A chart! Duh me! I never even thought of trying a chart. My favorite spray…SEI Tumble Dye in Silver and Gold. Holy glitter batman! It is fab-u-lous! Thank you for the great video. Helps to see what I may want to add to the stash and what not to bother with.

  • Josie September 28, 2014, 1:56 am

    I have just started working with the inks but loving them so far, haven’t used any but dylussions

  • Laurie Hunt September 28, 2014, 4:32 am

    i would love to live with abandon and let my stencils bee dirty and just grab and spray repeatedly but I am far more likely to grid my sprays. (Head hangs in shame!) note: I have yet to grid my sprays but someday I most likely will.

  • TheresaMP September 28, 2014, 6:59 am

    3 chances to win a word stencil. I am paying attention now. thanks as always for sharing.

  • Mary September 28, 2014, 7:52 am

    Love learning more about using spray inks through these videos, and your new stencils are great – would love to win one! Thanks for all you do, Carolyn! ☺

  • Angela Watson September 28, 2014, 3:08 pm

    This stencil with words in a circular pattern is pretty darn (and pretty darn unique, too). Loved all the spray inks, and what they can do. Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me.

  • Cassie @ For the Art of It September 28, 2014, 6:32 pm

    So how do you deal with a bottle that has clogged?

    • Cassie @ For the Art of It September 28, 2014, 6:33 pm

      LOL – should’ve listened a little longer on the video! I shared this link at pinterest also!

  • Michelle M September 28, 2014, 6:50 pm

    This series is SO helpful! I’ve been intimidated by spray inks!

  • Jane Ellen Kimball September 28, 2014, 8:11 pm

    Wow I love the stencil. Also had a huge smile on my face when you brought out all your sprays. I have them all too. funny…My favorite is currently the Dylusions. I even still have the Making Memories sprays. Gads.

  • Melody S. from KS September 28, 2014, 8:47 pm

    This looked like so much fun! I think this is how I will try out the inks on my wishlist when I get them! I love the words you use in all your stencils!

  • Lora September 28, 2014, 9:00 pm

    Once again, thanks for giving me some more food for thought before I go out to buy my first spray inks!

  • Yvonne September 28, 2014, 11:55 pm


    Another informative video. My favorite sprays are probably Lindy’s and some old Radiant Rains I have in the large bottles. Love the shimmer and vibrancy of the colors.

  • Gini Cooper September 29, 2014, 12:32 am

    Wow, I love that spiral words stencil!!! The comparison of various sprays is helpful too. Clogging is the only downer about sprays – nice to know that there are some with less clogging issues. Thanks for another great tutorial.

  • Kathy H September 29, 2014, 12:55 pm

    Loved the video. Just to watch you get all messy and turn out an impressive background is encouraging! I have to get past the ‘messy’ and just enjoy the process! It’s sort of like jumping in mud puddles!! Be especially blessed…

  • marie schwab September 29, 2014, 2:23 pm

    love the video. only have homemade ink sprays so this really helped me. Thanks so much

  • Melissa September 30, 2014, 12:51 pm

    I love the saturation of color….my tip is that you can use liquid water color as a spray too. Its pretty affordable too.

  • Vicky September 30, 2014, 2:05 pm

    great to see what you dislike and why, then I won’t bother buying them and spending my money rather on some colorblooms which are apparently great.

  • Carolyn September 30, 2014, 2:51 pm

    I’m a random person with moments of organization. So first, I grab and play. I pay attention to the coverage, the intensity and all the other properties, including how the bottle feels in my hand. I agree about the Luminart bottles btw. Later I go back and do color charts. My first impression from the grab and go does tend to stick though.

    Unclogging mist heads – probably not your thing but I use and ultra sonic jewelry cleaner, dismantle the spray mechanism – tube, cap everything that can come off. Run it through for one cycle, test and if needed run it again.
    Pics Here: http://perennialtransient.blogspot.com/2012/02/unclogging-mists.html (no sales pitches promise)

  • Sally Bowen October 2, 2014, 9:40 am

    I use spray inks in my art for a bit of fun color here and there, and have been known to create almost an entire piece with spray inks dripping down the page. They are so vibrant and full of color! I love your vlog about painting gesso over them, will def try that. Your word stencils are some of the best stencils I’ve seen come out for awhile, but I can’t afford them right now. So I’d love to win them! Thanks for the chance!

  • Andrene October 2, 2014, 7:56 pm

    For me its all about the pump. Clogged or hard to push pumps really tick me off! It should do what I tell it when I tell it 🙂 One thing I do (when I remember) with a bottle/color that doesn’t work for me anymore – I’ll add it to white paint/heavy gesso or embossing paste for a different look.

  • Andrene October 2, 2014, 7:56 pm

    Shared on google+

  • Andrene October 2, 2014, 7:56 pm


  • Andrene October 2, 2014, 7:57 pm


  • Liz October 3, 2014, 10:32 pm

    I’m learning so much from watching these videos, Carolyn. I don’t think I play enough with my spray inks. I’m going to fix that.