What is a Brayer?:
A brayer is a small hand roller that was traditionally used in printmaking. It is also a popular rubber stamping tool and can be used to ink stamps as well as to produce decorative results. Brayers are used to apply a thin layer of ink or paint to a surface. The brayer roller is made from rubber or similar materials. While the surface of most brayers is smooth to allow a consistent application of ink, some brayers have a decorative surface. Some brayers have detachable rollers which allows the to be replaced or changed as required.
Using a Brayer:
A brayer is very straightforward to use. Simply roll the brayer over an ink pad before lifting it and rolling the inked brayer over paper or a rubber stamp. Different effects can be achieved depending on how the brayer is used. Rolling over a single area will give a dense build-up of color while blended or shaded effects can be achieved by overlapping colors of ink or paint.
See Simple Brayer Techniques
for quick and easy ways to use a brayer to achieve great looking results.
How to Clean a Brayer:
It is important to keep the brayer clean. If paint or ink is left on the surface of a brayer it can contaminate future projects. Clean the brayer according to the type of ink or paint used. Water soluble inks and paints are simple to clean in soapy water, while permanent, alcohol or other inks will need to be cleaned following the manufacturer's instructions. Dry the brayer after use and roll the brayer over a piece of scrap paper to ensure that it is clean. See How to Clean a Brayer
for more information.
Buying a Brayer:
Brayers are readily available from craft stores, art and print supplies stores and from online retailers. The price of the brayer will depend on the brand and also the size of the brayer. Good deals can be found by shopping around (