Craft Product Review: Adirondack Color Wash by Tim Holtz for Ranger Ink



It’s no secret, I’m a Ranger-head, I even have taught some fun Ranger technique classes at local scrapbook stores.  Ranger products make my crafty little heart warm with happiness.  I was so excited when I saw the Adirondack Color Wash Sprays by Tim Holtz sent from Jenny!  I’m slighty obsessed with Mr. Holtz’s product line and these color washes are no exception!
So, these days we have so many craft sprays out there. What exactly are Color Wash sprays?

Ranger says:

“Color Wash is an acid-free, non-toxic, water-based dye developed for use on paper, fibers, fabric and more.”

The color wash sprays come in a 2 oz. fine mist spray bottle and are available in 12 earthy and bright colors made to use on porous surfaces. (Think paper, fabric and canvas, NOT metals or plastics) There is no shimmer or sparkle to these, you get straight on fabulous color.  One thing to note is that these are textile dyes, meaning they are going to be extra vibrant and full of color.  You can even use them on fabrics and wash and dry them!  How awesome is that?  If you add water the colors will blend and become more intense.

And can I just say… these are some VIBRANT colors.  I have yet to see such concentrated color like this in any other craft spray.  Here’s a quick test I did on Claudine Hellmuth’s sticky-back canvas to show how you can add more color and intensity with each spray.  You can also see that the mist is a very fine spray. With these tests I held my bottle about 6 inches away from the canvas.  The farther away you hold the bottle the lighter and more fine coverage you’re going to get back.  The closer you hold the bottle to your project you will get a more concentrated burst of color.

Here’s how the color wash works on different paper mediums:

I also wanted to test the washes on some fabrics and fibers.





Ribbons, Trims and Butcher’s Twine



Even Tulle!!!


I also tried it on some Ranger glossy paper. I first clear embossed a Stampendous Jumbo cling stamp and then just sprayed the color wash on and then spritzed with some water, too. I wiped off the excess water and heat set it.  I love the water-color look that this turned out having.

I wanted to see how the color washes worked on wood.  I took a little square plaque I had and tried it out.  The color washes have almost a staining effect on the wood with the grain of the wood still showing through. I like it!  And the colors are still really concentrated and vibrant.

Grunge paper reindeer and wood is color washed and stamped, photo corners and ball chain were alcohol inked.

I highly suggest using a non-stick craft mat while using your color washes.  When I was done spraying my test and review pieces, I took spare manila tags I had and sopped up the extra ink on my craft mat.  Now I have some tags ready for gifts and I didn’t waste any of that precious product!

Background and fibers were color washed as normal. I unscrewed the nozzle attachment off the bottle and flicked blue color wash over it to create drops and splatters.

In the end I was impressed with the Adirondack Color Washes by Tim Holtz for Ranger Ink. As I said before, the colors are rich and vibrant.  The newly improved spray nozzle gives off a fine, almost air-brushed effect.  You can purchase the color washes through and some major craft retailers carry them.

At approximately $4.99 a bottle I find this a great deal. I used these sprays extensively for this review and barely even dented the amount of liquid that’s in the bottle.  So what do you think you would do with these sprays?  Fabric? Paper-crafting? Both?  Let me know what’s on your crafty mind with these Ranger color washes!


Disclosure: sample provided for review purposes. If you’d like to purchase Adirondack Color Wash Sprays, please support CraftTestDummies and use our affiliate links: 



  1. says

    Have you tried washing the fabric samples? I’d be interested in knowing if the color stays as vibrant or if it fades. Thank you

  2. Brenda Savage says

    Prior to reading this review, I would not have purchased the color washes. They just didn’t seem necessary to my crafting. Boy was I wrong! Now, I can’t wait to get to the craft store!

  3. Karen Linkogle says

    These are awesome! We used them last year when we did Tim’s 12 Tags of Christmas on the sticky back canvas to make these awesome poinsettias! I have been adding more colors to my collection so that I can play – so thank you for these great ideas! I really love how it looks on the glossy paper (would have never thought to try that!)and on cloth/ribbon! Thanks for such great products!!!

  4. says

    Toni- no reason it wouldn’t. They are liquid dyes, and as long as you are using natural fibers I’d guess that it would dye the wool/felt well and be reasonably colorfast.

  5. Renee Taylor says

    Can you use these with a gesso canvas? If not any suggestions on what I can use. Love all of the ink spray effects but would love to use them on some canvas projects.

  6. says

    Renee- you can absolutely use them with gessoed surfaces- they are amazing with textured gesso/ mediums, as well!

  7. Karen says

    Can you mix the colors before using them?

    I dyed my wedding dress with Dharma acid dye, and the lace did not take the dye (I had thought the lace was also silk, but I guess not.) I want to get the lace close the the olive of the rest of the dress, so I was thinking of combining the espresso and meadow colors of the Color Wash. Can this be done?

    Here’s a picture of the dress.

    And the dress with my corset over it:

  8. says

    Karen- I’m not sure about mixing colors before using them- you’d need to to extensive testing. (Which means, of COURSE you can mix them, but you’ll need to get your color recipe straight first.) But here’s the deal- it’s hard to dye synthetic fibers successfully at home. The first obstacle is determining what that lace is made out of! I found this guide online to get you started:

    But really, the dress is super-cute as a two-tone, and the Steampunk corset over it just ROCKS!!! So I’d just go with the color combo and make my other accessories match. Very cute idea, by the way!!! Good luck, -Jenny

  9. says

    Hi-I am putting together an online course that incorporates color wash.
    I would like to know the “properties” of this product. I can’t find this. I want to know what makes it do what it does. I love color wash and dylusions. I see on this post that you said “better than any other craft sprays”. Which ones are you talking about? My course will be offered internationally on The Academy of Quilting, my course is: Mixing Up Media.
    It starts March 6th. 2015
    I know the products are exported to some countries (I’m in US) but I would like to know which ones and how far and wide.
    People may hesitate to take the course if they can’t get the products or it will cost too much. Thanks

  10. says

    Deborah- thank you for reaching out. First, there is a post on my site that compares different inks and sprays which you might find useful:

    I provide this information free to consumers so that they may make the busy buying decision for their projects, or learn to use what they have in the best way possible.

    I see that you are charging $30 a person for your class- so if you’d like me to provide specific information for you (which you will profit from) I can arrange for a private consultation for a nominal fee. Me email is CraftTherapy(at)gmail(dot)com.


  11. April says

    I need to dye some prima flowers for neclaces. Would this product dye them permanently enough so that it wouldn’t damage the womens’ shirt/skin? What if someone spilled water on her neclace? Would it then stain her clothes?

  12. says

    I have used these on baby onsies with minimal fading- but you’d need to heat set and wash them before use in a project just to make sure. Have you considered using alcohol-based inks? They are more colorfast- or even sharpie markers or copics. Here are some links to help you along:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>