5 New Ways To Use Ink Sprays

I fell in love with the Ranger’s Dylusions ink sprays when I took a class with Dyan Reaveley last Fall and have been using them on my journal pages ever since.

When I took the splitcoast Mix-ability challenge last week, I mixed Dylusions with matt medium to create a glaze, and it got me thinking about others ways I could use spray inks other than simply spraying onto paper.  I came up with 5 ideas but there are many many more – just got to keep on playing.

About Spray Inks

Before we get started, just a quick note about ink sprays. Spray inks generally come in small 2oz plastic bottles with a spray top.  Some are vibrant and colorful, such as Dylusions and others, like Perfect Pearls, are more subtle.  Whatever effect you’re going for, they’re perfect for creating interesting backgrounds and for working with stencils.

Many inks on the market, including Dylusions, are dye based and react with water event once they’re dry – you reactivate them with a quick spritz of water. However, some are permanent once dried, such as Studio Calico’s Mister Huey.  Some require a lot of shaking to activate pigments inside, especially those that sparkle, and some shouldn’t be shaken because the nozzle can clog. So do a little research before you buy, and play around in your art journal when you get a new ink to see what it can do.

For a good selection, including Dylusions, visit  Simon Says Stamp, and for a nice review of spray inks, read this post on Craft Test Dummies.

Watercolor Wash

Dylusions Watercolor Wash

  • Spray a small amount of one or two inks onto a palette or plastic plate.
  • Lightly mist a piece of watercolor paper with water.
  • Use a flat, moistened brush to apply a thin layer (wash) of the first color onto the paper.
  • Clean brush in fresh water and apply another thin layer of the second color, blending them where they meet.

Bonus tip:

Add texture by pressing bubblewrap into the wet ink and gently lifting away.
Dylusions Watercolor Wash with Bubble Wrap

Ink Splatters

  • Spray a small amount of ink into the cap (one squirt is enough).
  • Clear work area and protect with scrap paper.
  • Choose journal, scrapbook page or card that you want to splatter.
  • Hold cap approx. 12″ away from page and flick your wrist to create the splatter – it’s like you’re waving a magic wand!
  • Blot the ink splatters with a paper towel and allow to dry.

Dylusions Splatter Effect

Acrylic Glaze

  • Mix one spritz of ink with a tablespoon of matt medium or soft gel medium on a plastic tray/plate using a palette knife.
  • Once thoroughly mixed, apply the glaze onto your project using a brush.
  • The glaze is transparent and the background underneath will show through.
  • For a more vibrant color, add more ink spray to the glaze.
  • The ink is now water resistant so you can layer on other wet media without fear of it running or bleeding.

Bonus tip

Use the spray ink glaze to create cool drips on your page. See how it’s done in this video by Tiffany Johnson.
Dylusions and Matt Medium on Vintage Paper


Compressed Air Background

This is a really fun project to make.  Dig around in your office supplies to see if you have a can of compressed air – the kind that is used to clean keyboards and other hard to reach places.  Ditch all plans to clean and get busy making a cool background.

  • Clean off your work table and cover with scratch paper.
  • Spritz the ink onto a palette.
  • Using a round tipped paint brush, place a large drop ink onto a piece of watercolor paper.
  • Hold tip of compressed air can 1/2″ away from the ink drop and spray.
  • Do this several times in different directions to create this spider web effect.
  • Make sure you are spraying in short, sharp bursts not for a sustained period.
  • Add another drop of ink in another area of the page and repeat process until you’ve created your background.


Dylusions and compressed air


Colored Images

I particularly like the spray inks in bold, vibrant colors because they’re perfect for coloring eye-catching stamped images for your journal or a card.

  • Stamp a lined image onto a piece of watercolor paper with permanent, waterproof ink.
  • Spritz several colors of inks onto a palette.
  • With a damp, round paint brush, color images as desired.

Bonus tip

Once your image is completely dry, gently mist it with a water bottle. This will make the color bleed just slightly outside the lines and create a painterly effect.


Dylusions and watercolored stamped images

Let me know in the comments your ideas for using these awesome spray inks.  I’ll share your suggestions in a future blog post.

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2 Thoughts on “5 New Ways To Use Ink Sprays

  1. Hello Ali. I feel like we have met. I just read and responded to your post at SCS and then follow you here. And once I got her I realized I found a Pin of yours and a month or so ago and followed you here then. I thought I signed on as a follower but I see you have been doing a lot of MM recently that I had not seen previously.

    Wow, you have some terrific information here! If you still researching sprays Carolyn Dube, a MM artist, released her 1st stencils last week with Stencil Girl and hosted a week about sprays on her blog. This is the link- http://acolorfuljourney.com/?p=11386 This week she is focusing on gelli plates.

    Thanks for sharing so much great info!…Jan

  2. Shelly Schmidt on October 24, 2014 at 1:55 am said:

    Found this on SCS and thrilled to see it is you! It has been ages since I dropped in- LOVE this post- love to see more ways to use my sprays/Supplies : )

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