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White Card Stock Comparison

Reported by Taylor Usry

There are so many options out there for white card stock! With the popularity of both clean and simple (CAS) cards, as well as detailed images that can be colored with markers or any other coloring medium, choosing the right white for your project can get tricky. Today I’m going to show you how different techniques work on several popular white card stocks – Neenah Solar White, Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select, Stampin Up!’Stampin’ Ups Whisper White, Bazzill’s Prismatics Textured White, Mohawk‘s Color Copy 98 Bright White, and Georgia Pacific‘s White card stock.

Here is a quick overview of each card stock:

  • Neenah Solar White: 80# weight, acid-free, ultra-smooth finish; widely available in packs of 25, or by the ream, online
  • Papertrey Ink’s Stamper’s Select: 110# weight; only available in packs of 40 sheets through their website
  • Stampin’ Up’s Whisper White: 80# weight; only available in packs of 40 sheets through a demonstrator
  • Bazzill’s Prismatics Textured White: 70# weight, textured on one side and smooth on the other; available online
  • Mohawk’s Color Copy 98 Bright White: 100# weight, acid-free; available by the ream or large pack online
  • Georgia Pacific’s White: 110# weight; available in large packs online and in retail stores such as WalMart, Staples, etc

The Neenah, Mohawk, and Stampin’ Up card stocks have the smoothest, glossy-type finish. Papertrey ink is also incredibly smooth, but it isn’t quite as glossy. Bazzill’s Prismatics has one textured side (in a mottled, orange peel finish) and one flat side (but not smooth and glossy to the touch). Georgia Pacific’s card stock is just flat. In terms of weight, although Stampin’ Up’s card stock is 80#, it feels much flimsier than Neenah’s. And while the Georgia Pacific is purported to be 110#, it feels flimsy as well. I don’t particularly advocate using either the Stampin’ Up or the Georgia Pacific as a card base. All of the others are quite sturdy and thick.  

All of the card stocks work well when used with a paper punch (here, a Martha Stewart one). I did notice that the Georgia Pacific card stock did not punch as cleanly as the others did. Some edges needed filing or smoothing several times, both when using an edge punch and a standard shaped punch.

Next I cut each image out using a different Spellbinder’s Nestabilites die, and left the card stock plain inside each one to do some sponging using Tim Holtz ink.. The smooth finish on the Neenah, Mohawk, and Papertrey Ink card stock provided the best surface for the blended sponging effect. Stampin’ Up’s card stock also has a smooth surface, but I don’t think the ink blended as well. I like the way the sponging turned out on the textured card stock by Bazzill as well, but again it is not a smooth finish. It still blends well, though. The Georgia Pacific does an okay job – but just okay. I found that the ink didn’t want to blend as easily as with the others, so the changes in colors were more noticeable. As you can see, the Neenah card stock took the ink really well; it is the darkest of all. I sponged each piece exactly the same, to demonstrate the variations of the inks once they’d been applied.

On these I partially colored a variety of Stampendous images with Copics. All images were stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black ink and had fifteen minutes of drying time, but were not heat-set. Stampin’ Up’s Whisper White is not at all suitable for coloring with Copics – it doesn’t blend. Georgia Pacific’s card stock is mediocre – it blends alright, but occasionally you can see streaks, and the lines between colors can be harsh. Papertrey Ink, Mohawk (which is not pictured above, but you will see it in a minute – stick with me!) and Neenah’s card stocks have an excellent surface for Copic coloring, and all blend beautifully. The Bazzill Prismatics also colors gorgeously, but I noticed a bit more bleeding (that could be due to not heat-setting my ink, but I didn’t do that on purpose).  In my opinion, the Papertrey Ink is such a heavy weight that is sucks up lots of Copic ink, which then necessitates quicker refills.

Lastly, I stamped some solid images on each card stock (using acrylic stamps from Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps and Tim Holtz ink), to see what kind of coverage I got. The only one I was underwhelmed with was the Georgia Pacific card stock. Bazzill’s Prismatics stamp better on the smooth side than the textured side; you can see the mottled look the textured side gives. The others all have a smooth finish and take ink very well. Drying time varies a bit with each card stock, but none took longer than five minutes. Again, the Neenah card stock had a darker color than all the other smooth card stocks.

On this sample, I colored that Stampendous image using Copics on the Mohawk card stock. The base and embossed layer are Papertrey Ink. All of the card stocks emboss equally as well. For me, the Papertrey Ink provides the strongest base. It is not flimsy at all, and you can add as many layers or heavy embellishments as you want.

I also ran a few sheets through my printer, to see how well they worked with digital images and papers. I have an HP inkjet printer. The Papertrey Ink card stock was too thick to consistently go through my printer – they had quite an argument. The Neenah, Mohawk, Georgia Pacific, Bazzill Prismatics, and Stampin’ Up all fed through just fine, and worked great for digi images. The smooth-finish card stocks (not the Georgia Pacific or Bazzill Prismatics) worked better for printing digital paper on (*tip: run it through twice, to create your own double-sided patterned paper!).

What card stock is your favorite for coloring on? Do you use it for rubber stamping, printing and coloring digital images, or scrapbooking? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

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31 Responses to White Card Stock Comparison

  1. Avatar
    Korin May 16, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    Fantastic article, Taylor!! Very informative and helpful!!!

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    Korin May 16, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    BTW, thank you for putting the time into this :)!!

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    Cindy O May 16, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    Thanks Taylor for the comparison! I love PTI for my card bases – very sturdy, which is important to me. For Copic coloring, I love Neenah. It works well for my drawings and for ink-jet printing (goes through my HP printer ok, and the ink doesn’t smear).

    I buy mine from Ellen Hutson. FYI, for anyone looking on the Neenah web site, it’s Classic Crest solar white, 80C (80 lb cover) weight – not text weight.

    They make 2 finishes – smooth (what I use/ sold by Ellen Hutson) and super smooth. Just wondering, Taylor, which one did you test?

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    Clever Creations May 16, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Great information. Thanks for sharing.

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    nina May 16, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    Great article! Very informative. I also like PTI for my card bases. Good to know about the PTI sucking up the Copic ink – I didn’t realize that so I shall have to be careful. I’ve also tried the GP & am not particularly thrilled with it.

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    Patricia H May 16, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    Taylor, thanks for all the super information here. I’ve been using the PTI white (and fwiw, I haven’t had problems using it in my Brother printer) but I’m willing to try something different for my coloring.

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    Taylor U. May 16, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    @Cindy O: I am almost 100% positive I used Neenah Classic Crest Solar White in smooth, NOT super smooth. But I buy it from Korin at Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps, so if I’m wrong she’ll tell me!

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    Rochelle May 16, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    PTI all the way!

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    Tona May 16, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Thanks for such a great article. The camparisons were very helpful.

  10. Avatar
    Theresa May 16, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    This was so helpful, thanks for taking the time to do this 🙂

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    Jan May 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Nice comparison Taylo..thanks so much. I use the Nennah #80 cover…I have several neutral colors, as well as the white. I buy mine from Paper Zone by the rheam…great for the Copics, etc., also as a card base.
    Jan

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    Sue McRae May 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Great article and comparisons. I’m always on the hunt for a perfect white cardstock.

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    Karla Anderson May 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    I am actually in the middle of doing this same type of comparison for a blog post. Great minds… I think for Copics – The Copic cardstock is best, second is Neenah – I did not like Papertrey ink for Copics at all – uses too much ink. For regular straight on stamping – I felt SU paper gave a very crisp true image with all the inks I used – chalk, distress and dye. I use Georgia Pacific for all my card bases unless I have lots of layers or embellishments – then I use Papertrey. I also use the GP for layering paper and some stamping if it is just outline or if I am using colored pencils. I have not tried the Mohawk, but have heard from many people its a great cardstock.

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    Nena May 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Great post! I guess from your info
    I will continue with the paper I use
    which is Papertrey for the base and
    Neenah for Copic images:-)

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    Kathy May 16, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Very useful and informative article, Taylor! I use American Craft CS for all my scrapbooking, and card making. I like the weight and finish. I use Neenah for Copic work. And I use Georgia Pacific for journaling, because of its smoothness and low cost when purchased in bulk.

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    Lori Barnett May 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    I have been using A Muse white cardstock for several years. It’s 80lb cover and is a nice bright white. I’ve compared it coloring, stamping, etc. to many other brands. It doesn’t bleed anywhere near what Neenah does. It colors and stamps beautiful!!! I have been using it for teaching for several years now.

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    Mary Friederichsen May 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Thank you for taking the time to do this!
    I use GinaK pure luxury white cardstock, it is 120# wt and there is no bleed thru when I use my copics. Beautiful for blending and for the card bases.

    Thank you for sharing!

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    ThePurplePlace May 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Great Article Taylor!

    I would love to see a comparison done specifically of white cardstocks to use Copics and to include the Cryogen and Xpress it to see how those go against PTI and Neenah.

    I also don’t like GP for cardbase or coloring, but it works well for sentiments and to add to the inside of a dark card! 🙂

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    Lysa May 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Thanks for this great review. I have become a fan of stampin up digital files and have been printing 12X12 papers for about 2 months or so. My favorite is American Crafts textured white card stock. I also have been using bazzill smooth and like that too. I stopped worrying about the ink consumption because I invested in a continuous ink system for my HP wide format printer. I just love printing my paper. I have also ran it through twice to create double sided paper. Thanks so much for the review.

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    Melissa M May 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    I use PTI and think it is wonderful – mostly because of how sturdy it is. I have wanted to try the Neenah to see the difference for Copics but haven’t done so yet. The only time I use GP is for something I am doing for my kid’s school parties and I need to color some digis to add to the project. I do this because I know the children are usually just going to tear it up and then throw it away. No sense in wasting good paper for that right!!! LOL.

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    Gina May 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Thanks for the valuable information. I am unfamiliar with Neenah, and will have to find a local source to try it.
    How did cost per sheet compare? I know GP is inexpensive, which makes it perfect “practice” paper for my die-cut machine.

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    Lori May 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Awesome work Taylor!!! Thank you 🙂

    I use PTI for my card base… LOVE it! Cryogen white from Paper Temptress for coloring with copics. It has a subtle sparkle and blends very well. BUT it will not work with my HP printer… so I also have a stash of Xpress It I use for digi printing.

    Have a wonderful week 🙂
    Love n hugs,
    Lori

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    jenna May 17, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Great Job! I just a one tid bit of info for you, the Stampin’ Up!’s Whisper White (& Very Vanilla) card stock isn’t #80, it’s actually #65 due the process that makes it so smooth. The rest of the Stampin’ Up! card stocks are #80.

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    Eileen Hull May 18, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    What a great comparison! Thanks Taylor.

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    bernietom47 May 19, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    Thanks for all the work and greagt info.
    Blessings Bernie

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    Sage Kimble aka The Mad Stamper May 19, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    FYI: Stampin’ Up! card stock is available to order online from http://www.stampinup.net. No demonstrator is needed, but if you choose a demonstrator you get “preferred pricing” discount. If you don’t have a demonstrator, you can choose one from the website before you order.

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    oilin May 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Thanks for the comparison! I use GP for the price. Will consider PTI for card base.

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    Cathy T May 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    Thank you for your comparison article. I also love the Neenah for Copic coloring. I also cut images from the Neenah on my Cricut and color them with Copics. Neehan also cuts beautifully. One white paper that I use often is the Bazzill Smoothies. Its not as bright white as other Cardstock paper, but it has a great weight, it takes Copics well and its smooth – has no texture, which is what I like to use when cutting in the Cricut. I don’t use the GP paper anymore, as it seems they changed it in recent years – if you hold it up to the light you can see how uneven the paper is. It used to be heavier. I use Michael’s Recollections brand for card bases.

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    Tessa March 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    I love this review, but the images aren’t showing up! Is there any chance they’re stored elsewhere so I can visually see the comparisons? Since this post is about 16 months old, I’m hoping that you will be notified of my comment. I’ve been looking for a review like this for days! Thanks 🙂

    • Avatar
      Nancy Nally March 5, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      Sorry for the inconvenience Tessa. Due to a server issue, some of our images are currently inaccessible. Our sysadmin is working on a solution that will bring them back soon.

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    ELISA SALAT December 28, 2013 at 5:25 am #

    Hi there! Thanks for the awesome comparison!!! I am looking to buy the Mohawk but cant seem to find the exact same one. Any links you can direct me to purchase this awesome paper? Thanks again!