How to Re-ink a Stamp Pad That Dried Out

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Stamp pads and stamps can be used together to embellish anything from a handmade card to a decorative box. Stamp pads come in a wide range of color and ink varieties. Ink can be either permanent or washable. Over time, ink pads can start to dry out. Instead of tossing them aside, re-ink them using an ink or pigment refill kit.


Things You'll Need

  • Old ink pad

  • Refill kit

  • Stamp

  • Paper

Check for Defects

Before you can refill a stamp pad, you must first inspect it for defects. If there are tears or imperfections in the pad itself, you will be better off replacing the ink pad. If the pad is in good shape, consider refilling it.


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Choose a Refill

Many stamp pad companies now offer ink refills that coordinate with their line of stamp pads. When you have a dried out ink pad, start by checking both the manufacturer name and the color of the stamp pad. Check to see if there is a specific refill available for that stamp pad, as it is preferable to purchase the coordinating refill ink. If there is not a matching ink, look for a different brand in the same color. This is easier for black, brown and primary colors because they tend to be a closer match than custom colors.



Purchase coordinating refills at the same time you purchase ink pads. You never know if the ink color will get discontinued in the future.

Inspect the Refill

Stamp ink refills typically come in small plastic squeeze bottles. Underneath the twist-off cap there is a small nozzle opening to dispense the ink. Store your ink refills standing up and with the cap securely on so that they do not leak. An ink refill should provide you with multiple uses, depending on the size of the pad and the ink needed to rejuvenate it.


Refill the Stamp Pad

Once you have determined that your ink pad is in good shape and you have a replacement ink available, you can go ahead and refill your stamp pad.

Step 1

Open your stamp pad and place it flat on a table.


Step 2

Remove the cap from the ink bottle. Turn the bottle upside down along the top edge of the stamp pad. In a zig-zag motion, start running the ink back and forth down the length of the stamp pad, squeezing lightly as you go. Repeat this a couple of times until you think the pad is properly saturated.


Step 3

When you think you've added enough ink, use your stamp to do a sample stamping. If the stamp comes out dark and consistent you are done. If not, repeat step 2 and then stamp again.


Make sure to read manufacturer instructions on the refill bottle. If they vary from these instructions, always follow manufacturer instructions first.



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