Hey there crafters! Today I want to go through comparing and contrasting the different paints offered by Ranger Ink. Currently there are four different paints; Tim Holtz Distress Paints, Ranger Paint Dabbers, Dyan Reaveley Dylusions and Dina Wakley Media Paints. Other than the Ranger Paint Dabbers, we have fully reviewed the other three paints here at Craft Test Dummy. I’ll insert links to all of towards the end so you can check them out and see the specifics and samples, but for this post, we’re just going to be looking at the similarities and differences of the paints.
Now before we get into the nitty and the gritty, let’s talk about Ranger’s old Adirondack paints. You know them… you loathe them. The paint dried out on the dabber leaving it useless and if you waited long enough, all of the paint itself dried out inside of the tube leaving the user frustrated and upset. Ranger officially discontinued the Adirondack line of paints, ink pads, reinkers, etc… and was replaced by the Ranger brand. But please, PLEASE, do not think that they simply repackaged the old Adirondack paints into the new Ranger Paint Dabbers. The paint is completely different than the Adirondack paints. What I noticed that it is missing the “texture” of the Adirondack paints; When the Adirondack’s dried they had this toothy texture. I’m guessing that whatever particles caused that texture was also the culprit in the hardening and drying-out of the paints. The new paint dabbers totally solved this problem; I’ve not noticed any drying out on the dabber, just make sure to keep the cap on! Per Ranger customer service, if you still have some of the Adirondack dabbers and they are still liquid, you can add small amounts of water and mix really well to keep them usable. Does that answer your questions? Make sure to ask in the comments if you’re still confused!
So let’s compare what we have! Let’s first take a look at the packaging and paint delivery. The Ranger and Distress paint bottles have a dabber top. The important thing to note about the dabber is that there is a release mechanism to make the paint flow. If there’s a little dried paint on the top of your dabber you can depress the dabber right in the middle and that will allow the paint to flow and the dabber to re-moisten. You can directly apply the paint with the dabber or you can put some on your craft mat if you want to use a paint brush. You could always take off the dabber top and dip your brush in the bottle, but I worry about tipping the bottle over and losing all of that gorgeous paint. Also, if you do use the dabber to directly apply the paint, it can get a little chewed up if it’s a dimensional surface; Ranger sells replacement tops if you wear yours down or if the spring mechanism breaks. Dina’s Media paints come in a tube, which is ideal for keep air away from the paint. And remember, even if you can no longer squeeze any paint out, cut off the top (opposite end of cap), and dig in from there. You can always fold over a little bit of the top and use a binder clip to seal it shut. With using the paints in the tubes, you’re pretty limited as to how you use them; they’re not quite as versatile as the dabber top. You can squeeze them onto a palette, directly to your project or onto a craft mat for use. Dyan’s Dylusions paints are in a wide tub with a screw on lid; think finger paint pots in preschool. Now before I go on, I imagine some of you have had the following issue. Your crushed grape and bubblegum pink paints have seized up. Unfortunately, mine did when I cracked these open for this review.
Mine truly look like gellified brains. They are still totally usable (tips to come) but I reached out to Ranger and asked for some more information. According to Ranger customer service,
“Our lab has discovered an issue that has effected a number of batches of Bubblegum Pink and Crushed Grape and we are just batching the revised formulation.”
If you’re weirded out by zombie brain paints, per Ranger, first contact your point of purchase for a refund or exchange it if they have a new shipment of paint. If there is no resolution after contacting the seller, you can email info@RangerInk.com. If you are ok with the paints being the way they are here are some tips directly from Ranger I received on how to use them.
“ To use a brush or mini blending tool. Place a small amount of paint on a non-stick craft sheet, mist with water and mix well with a craft stick. This will prevent making the paint watery by adding too much water to the jar. Use the paint right from the jar even if it remains on the thick side. We have found it to work ok when using a baby wipe as seen in Dyan’s video. The integrity of the paint will not be affected and the paint can be used for backgrounds and other applications.”
I wanted to make our readers aware of the situation and give you all some tips and tricks if this has happened to you. (Thanks to Tim and Phil at Ranger for their help!) If this hasn’t happened to you, give your paint tubs a gentle hug and enjoy using them with your fingers, baby wipes, palette knives, paint brushes, etc… The sky is the limit with these lovelies because the tub mouth is so wide it accommodates a lot of tools. Here’s a video I did discussing the issue and demonstrating the techniques discussed above.
Next, I wanted to really test coverage and dry time for each of these paints. I may have taken my testing too seriously… nahhhh! I took out my kitchen scale and some disposable souffle cups. Each souffle cup weighed .05 oz and I very carefully added paint until my scale reached .10 oz. I took photographic evidence, just in case.
Next I had four pieces of Ranger’s mixed media cardstock and I took the measured paint and quickly applied it. I tried to apply as evenly and quickly as possible. Then I timed how long it took for each sample to dry. Let’s take a look at the results.
The Dylusions took the longest to dry but had the most coverage. I wasn’t too surprised with the quick-drying of the Distress and Ranger dabbers. Dina’s Media paints had the least coverage but that was to be expected seeing as how it’s the thickest and most heavy-bodied of the paints. One thing to note with dry time is my location; I’m in the Arizona desert and it is just barely starting to cool off here at the beginning of November. I still have my central A/C and a ceiling fan on to keep me cool. You might not get the exact same results that I did, but I wanted to give everyone some kind of base.
Let’s look at some similarities these paints share: You can easily blend all of the paints with each other to achieve whatever color your heart desires. Also it’s good to note that all of them are permanent once dry so you can layer these paints are toss water on them and they won’t go anywhere. None of them have a gritty texture to them, however you can achieve some using the Media paints due to their thick nature. Speaking of viscosity, the media paints stand alone in their super-thick nature compared to the other three paints. The distress, dylusions and Ranger dabbers are all very fluid and thin.
Let’s talk product amount and price point next. Dylusions and Media paints come in 2 oz tubs and tubes. Distress and Ranger dabbers are in one ounce bottles. Dylusions and Distress are approximately $5, Ranger Dabbers are $3.50 and Media paints are $6, metallics are $7. I’m going to gander that Distress and Dylusions are higher on the price list for their popularity. Media paints most likely have a higher price point due to their high quality. I’m going to guess the Ranger dabbers are lower due to them being a brand new product.
So which paint is the best for you? Well, that’s entirely up to you! All that information up there is to help you decide which paints are right for you. If you’re still not sure, think about what you’re going to use them for first. All of them are perfectly acceptable if you like to scrapbook, art journal, create tags, etc… If you’re like, “Sara, I just think they’re pretty and I need them and I don’t know which ones to pick,” lets narrow some things down. Do you like to get your fingers in your paints and get real messy? Go for Dylusions. Do you like to maintain a perfect manicure? Choose the Ranger paints or Distress paints that have the dabber for applying paints. Do you like high-quality heavy bodied paint to feel like Bob Ross and paint palette? Pick up Dina’s Media paints. Also, don’t forget the fine-tip applicator tool for the Media Paints! If you’re interested in writing, scribbling, doodling in your art pieces? Definitely go for Media paints as they’re your only option for that tool. Do you travel quite a bit or craft-on-the-go? I definitely suggest the Distress and Ranger dabbers due to size. (Could you imagine being on a plane with an open tub of Dylusions and hit turbulence? Yikes.) Do you want massive amounts of color choices? Distress all the way, especially with all of these new bright and vibrant colors that Tim is releasing! Here is a quick video I did of a rundown on the paints if you’re more of a video person!
I hope that this post has helped you all decide which of the Ranger paints is best for you! If you’re still not sure, pick up a couple of each and see what you like best! I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Tim Holtz distress paint
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- Craft Product Comparison and Overview: Ranger Ink Paints - November 11, 2015
- Product Review: Ranger Ink – Dina Wakley Media Paints and Fine Tip Applicator - August 16, 2015
- Product Review: Dyan Reaveley Dylusions Paints From Ranger Ink - June 9, 2015
- CHA 2015 – Tim Holtz Idea-ology Booth Tour - March 18, 2015
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