Permanent pens that write on glass

Written by brandon getty
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Permanent pens that write on glass
Writing on glass requires specialised permanent pens. (marker image by dmitry_kim from

Writing or drawing on a smooth, glassy surface with a regular permanent pen can be difficult. Depending on the type of glass you are attempting to draw on, the ink may not settle on the surface, or it may remain wet and be prone to smudging or smearing. Fortunately, there are a number of commercially available products intended for glass and tile work.

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Fine-Tip Pens

If you are looking for a fine-tipped permanent pen for glass, plastic or metal work, the Itoya brand offers its Finepoint System line. An extended metal sleeve holds the tip so the pens can be used against rulers or other straight edges. Ultra-fine tips allow for minute detail and shading.

Medium and Thick-Tip Pens

Permanent pens with a thick writing tip allow for fast fill-in work and broad lines on almost any surface, including glass. Pilot permanent markers offer an average-sized tip for general use on very smooth surfaces. Sharpie Paint pens offer an oversized tip for marks that resemble brush strokes. The ink is a quick-drying oil blend that appears glossy when dry. The Spirit Marker brand offers a glass-specific series of pens with ink that will withstand wetness, but is removable when wiped or rubbed off.

Colour Pens

Staedtler offers permanent fine-tip pens in a variety of colours. They work well for writing on glass overhead projectors and other types of glossy film. Krylon leafing pens use a permanent metallic ink, usually found in silver and gold, intended for use on glass and metal. The oil-based Sharpie Paint pens can also be found in red, blue, yellow and white.

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