Thursday, January 2, 2014

Adirondack Paint Dabber - Drying Up!

Hi All...
Over these past few days I've been sorting, organizing and rearranging my craft room.  I'm nowhere near being done but I wanted to share a startling discovery I made.  I was moving my paints to a new box when I dropped one of sounded like a rock when it hit the floor. 

Well, I started opening them up and sure enough
MOST of them had turned to stone!!!!!

As you can see from this selection only one (the terra cotta) wasn't turning into a solid acrylic rock.

Well, I was really upset - after I checked these I also checked my Distress Crackle Paints and those were rocks as well...  They didn't even have a hint of moisture to them so that entire collection (including almost a whole brand new set) went directly into the trash.

I decided that if I was going to get any use from these at all I had better do something with them and quick!  So I pulled out my palette knife and started painting up tags.  Now mind you most of them were too far gone to even get my metal palette knife into but there were a few left that I could still use like a thick gesso.

Some I just smeared the paint onto tags creating lots of texture and depth...

Others I used with a stencil

I even pressed the sticky painted stencil onto a tag

For an interesting look...

I also was playing with the Tsukineko Squeegee...
it was fun because there are different edges you can play with for lots of different designs...

Anyway, I thought I'd give you the heads up just in case you have some Acrylic Dabbers you have sitting around your craft room.  You might want to check them out to see if they are still alive. 

Just a note, we'll be starting the Technique Calendar on Monday (1-6) so you still have a bit of time to choose your calendar & buy/make your tags.


  1. Thanks for the timely reminder. I bought a few of these on sale and a couple were already too dry to dab so I added some water and gave them some serious agitation and that seemed to help. I just checked and they are quite stiff so I have topped them off with water. Your post made me laugh cos I was looking for some rub and buff I haven't seen for a few years and found it in a box of window paints. The kind that are like plastic when they dry and you can peel them off. There were two makes in the box. One lot were fine. The other lot have separated and I have a nice plastic plug in some water!! Thinking I may need to see if I can cut them up and use them as something more exciting........

  2. So frustrating ... my TH crackle paints dried up too. Kudos on the creative use of the drying dregs :)

  3. Yep same here. Adirondack and one of the other paints by ranger dry into bricks! No amount of water restores them. I hope my new Tim distress paints won't end up this way!

  4. I live in a hot country so I add water to mine all the time to keep them going, but thanks for the heads up to check on them again

  5. Oh yes, so sad. All my paints are rocks...Adirondack, distress and CH acrylics. Lesson learned-occasional painters which I am may only need the primary colors and a few others at one time.

  6. I had the same problem with my Distress crackle paints. Very disappointing after spending so much to have them. Some of my old Deco Art and Folk Art paints were much older and are still like new. Big lesson learned about buying paints. I now mostly stick with Golden or Liquitex products, and other brands that I know will stand the test of time.

  7. Roni, leave it to you to find a way to turn that frown of dried up paint upside down!
    I also live in an extremely hot part of the country so I have learned to keep my paints in a dark cabinet to avoid exposure to sunlight. Unfortunately for my Crackle paint, no amount of careful storage could keep them alive.

    I wonder how the company would respond if they received your tell all photo and a copy of our comments. I would hope that as an industry they might provide either a mixative or at the very least an apology. Often times you feel that your one letter might be seen as the result of personal error, but perhaps with a large group of would be customers there might be a greater impact with their call to outstanding customer service.
    Roni, you have my permission to use my post if it will help you to receive some type of dialogue with the company. After all, we all purchased the product because we liked their color saturation and the dabber. Perhaps they need to rethink their packaging to insure longevity of their paint product.

    I have cheap little bottles of acrylic paint purchased over two years ago. With a good shake,each bottle is still the same consistency as the day I bought it. Makes you start to wonder if the hype of the product really meets our expectations as consumers. I am an avid crafter, but I don't consume all of my paint products within a period of six months or less. I do expect some degree of longevity of my art supplies. Our crafting industry offers quite a bit of competition especially when it comes to paint. I would hope that our willingness to try "the other brands" would gain us some notice as a viable sampling of their larger consumer market. I guess at 1:04 am, I still have a bit of spunk when I see a need for a wrong to be corrected...thanks for listening.
    Kathy Jones

  8. How odd, my Americana paints lasted for years. I agree with the comment above about the hype of the product. What a shame and I"m so sorry.

  9. Yes, pretty much any liquid paints from Ranger last at most 6 months before they go south. If you send an email to Ranger with a photo of all of the products that went bad on you, they will replace them once. But the lesson I learned is don't buy any more Ranger products because the same thing will happen again, too quickly. I haven't seen any willingness on the part of Ranger to change their product formula to make things last longer. Ranger has known about these issues for at least three years, which is when I started asking for them to be replaced. It is really a shame to have to throw out hundreds of dollars worth of product over and over. And I totally agree that other cheaper brands of acrylic paint last for forever (Americana, Ceramcoat). Golden paints only last about 1.5 years though so go figure.

  10. Ranger is very good at replacing defective (or dried up) products. Send an e-mail with a photo of the paints and they should replace them. I did it once with some of the old dabbers (they have since changed the bottle so they don't dry out as quickly).

  11. Ranger is good about replacing products, . But replacing it with the same product that will dry up in 6 months, is pointless. I have added water to mine with some success and also threw out a fair amount. I love ranger products with the exception of of this issue. I am really hoping the distress paint does not dry up.

  12. I agree that Ranger is good at replacing products. However, I have seen Tim mention it on his blog before and also mention it in some of his videos that the products were made to use....not sit in a drawer. But, that is easy for Tim to say, seeing as he does this for a living. We all can't be doing crafting and using inks and paints every day of the week. It may be a few months before I bring my paints out in between different projects. I don't use the same stuff every single day or even maybe once a week (or two or three or whatever). I've learned instead to just make good with what I've got on hand because I've had the same thing happen to me and it's just a waste of money. Ah, well......

  13. I checked mine tonight and have the same situation as you. Only mine are too dry to get even one project or mix with water. Ranger is good about back their products. I may ask them to replace the crackle paint but that's all. I think I'll stick with the other brands because all of those paints are fine. Thanks for the heads up to check our paints. And I love how you salvaged the remainder of the paints.

  14. Ranger changed their formulation so when they replace the paints it shouldn't dry up again. It's pretty easy to get them replaced, they just need a photo of the dried up bottles unless you have a large quantity and then they ask that you return the products. I had forty bottles replaced and have not had the same problem again. My terra cotta paint also did not dry up. Must be something about the red mineral used to color the paint. Hope this helps and thanks as always for sharing.

  15. Thanks for heads up on this problem. Will share it with friends. Guess I'd better check mine out. Edna.

  16. tim holtz
    To Me
    Today at 1:18 PM
    hi Edna.

    sorry to hear about your adirondack paint dabbers. if you or anyone else has an issue with your paint you can contact ranger (who are the manufacturers) directly at and they will replace them if needed.

    - tim

    I just got this answer from Tim about all the ink problems. I didn't mention any names so everyone is safe, but here is his information. Edna

  17. Thought I'd see who else was commenting on this. Wowzer! Mine were brand new too thick to use but were sale items and the shop didn't have replacements. Do you think ranger replace to Norway?? LOL. Might give it a try. I don't have many but won't be buying more. I hate in built redundancy in products. Like everyone says we aren't professionals, just consumers........ I haven't heard this anywhere else so thanks for starting this discussion Roni and thanks everyone else for chipping in

  18. I have been searching on -line for suggestions on TOTALLY dried up paint. I hate the thought of throwing them out - all those pretty pretty colors. I emailed prior to even reading the posts here hoping they had some other suggestions - other than warm water. I tried even crushing up the dried paint to almost powder and try to mix it into a medium or even another good heavy body acrylic like liquitex or golden - got a little color that way, but not what I was hoping for and not really worth all the trouble. Will see what Ranger has to say. Got to be something I can do with them or some way to use them - I cannot bring myself to throwing them out.

  19. Just Googled and found your post. I have 10 TH paint dabbers and I just went to use them. All except the copper and silver were like rocks. With water and a lot of clean up I was able to make them all functional again except for the white. I contacted Ranger a few months ago and they said to add water.

  20. Me too! I had my White Adirondack paint dabber for 6 months (lightly used) and I can't get it dispense any paint. The paint isn't solid although probably too thick to work through the dabber. I have just added wate,r as discussed in this post, and it's better but nothing like what TH gets when he uses them.

  21. Thank you everyone for this post. I bought 35 of them from a store that is no longer in business so no way to return to the store. I took pictures and I've got the same problem. Hard as rocks. Brand new/who knows how long they sat on the shelf at the store.... I opened 2 of them a few weeks ago and added water to see if that would help.... Just water sitting on top of rocks... Going to send pictures to Ranger and see what they'll do as I LOVE Ranger products, have ALL of their distress inks and distress markers and even teach Tim Holtz themed classes at my job!!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!