As I mentioned in a previous post, stamping completely escaped me before discovering the XL Squishy Stamper. Smaller, harder stampers simply do not work well for my nails. With that said, the XL Squishy comes with its own challenges. For one, the stamping head constantly falls out of the holder. Check out this post for my solution to that issue. The even more frustrating issue is that it doesn’t pick up the image right out of the package. I have seven of them, 2 from Wistonia and 5 from Ali Express. None of them have worked without a little prep.
So, enough talk and more tutorial, right? Here’s how I prep my XL Squishy Stamper head to get it to pick up the images.
This is an AliExpress XL Squishy stamper that is straight out of the package. You’ll notice that the head is shiny and may feel a little slick.
That’s a problem. So go ahead and pop the head out of the holder and give that baby a bath. I reach for my trusty Dawn dish detergent. If it will cut grease, it will easily remove the substance the manufacturer used to grease the mold when making the heads. Any soap that is made to cut grease and is void of added moisturizers will work.
Once the head is dry again, you’ll notice it feels stickier, but still has a shine. It may pick up some of the image, but the polish beads up. We’re getting closer, but still not there.
Now, let’s rough up the surface of the pad. Starting at the center of the pad, lightly run a 400 grit file over the surface toward the edge. Turn the head and repeat until the entire surface looks dull. You may see a small amount of dust forming on the top of the stamper head. Remember, the key word here is “lightly”. If you file too hard, you might rip the stamper pad.
Even filing lightly, you’ll have to smoosh the pad a little.
Remove the dust by “stamping” the head onto a lint roller or piece of tape several times.
Test the stamper head again and see if how it picks up. If you notice bald spots in your stamped image, you may need to file a little more in that area. Getting better, but not quite there yet.
Finally, a shine free, ready to use stamper.
There are several factors that may impact how well the stamper picks up the image. After the stamper has been prepped and the shine is completely removed from the stamper head, technique is the next biggest pitfall. I have the best results when I roll the stamper onto the image using a light touch. Since the head “squishes” easily, too much pressure will cause the stamping head to force the polish out of the etched image and cause bald spots.
The rolling technique picks up a clean image.
The plate I used for this tutorial is MJ XX. I love this plate and often use it to test polishes and stampers because I know the plate is excellent. You can purchase this and other MJ plates at MyOnline Shop or at Ninja Polish.
I hope this helps! Please let me know in the comments if this helps you. And if it doesn't, please let me know that too. I may have a few more suggestions you can try. ;)