Are Distress Inks by Tim Holtz Ranger Lightfast?

Distress Inks by Tim Holtz / Ranger are a watersoluble dye product for crafters, rubber stampers and card makers. The colors come in a variety of formats including markers, rubber stamp ink pads and spray bottles. You can use them similarly to liquid watercolor products on the market (like "Ecoline" or Ph Martin's "Radiant" which are also dye based).

As with any dye based product, they are not lightfast. These are NOT a fine art supply for hanging paintings on the wall that resist fading from nearby window light. They are however beautiful vibrant colors ideal for greeting cards, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, brush lettering and calligraphy practice. They can produce beautiful effects and are capable of smooth blending. There is nothing stopping you from making beautiful art with them, but it might be a good idea to scan the art for print reproduction or digital downloads instead of selling original art.

Compared to lightfast pigment based paints, like traditional oil paints or watercolors in tubes that often contain thick particle natural minerals, Distress Inks fade incredibly quickly when left in sunlight. While pigment paints often remain unchanged in direct light for over a year, these thin particle dyes in Distress Inks start to fade in 1 to 3 weeks.

distress ink markers tim holtz ranger color chart lightfast test fading uv sun 

By the one year mark most of these colors will have completely disappeared (as if they were never there).

Distress Ink tim holtz color chart sun fading lightfast test dye inks rubber stamping craft spray markers 

This is the case with almost all "dye" in craft products, rubber stamp ink pads and water-based markers like crayola or tombow.

For Distress Inks and other craft supplies, such as Art Philosophy and Prima Marketing watercolors, alcohol inks, stamp pads, markers etc. I shop at: Thousands of scrapbooking supplies. HUGE daily discounts!

For more art supply lightfast testing go here.


Note: this page contains affiliate links. All product opinions are my own. I am committed to honest reviews showcasing both the pros and cons of each product. I have not received payment from any brand for a review. I earn a commission from sales made through this web page's clickable banners or links to Amazon, Arteza, Scrapbook, Jackson's or Blick Art Materials websites.