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Glass markers are one of the best choices for various purposes and projects, ranging from practical and pretty to post-modern aesthetics. For many years, being creative on glass surfaces as an expression or for practical reasons has been well-liked. We will discuss which markers are best for working on glass and which choices are available.
Table of Contents
- 1 Choices to Make When Purchasing Glass Markers
- 1.1 Cost
- 1.2 Paint or Ink
- 1.3 Ergonomics
- 1.4 Size and Shape of The Nib
- 1.5 Avoiding Leaks
- 1.6 Drying Time
- 1.7 The Quality of the Packaging
- 1.8 Finishes and Colors
- 1.9 Water- and Abrasion-Resistant Features
- 1.10 Lightfastness
- 1.11 Water-Based or Alcohol-Based
- 1.12 Safe for Dishwashers
- 1.13 Quality and Opacity of the Ink
- 1.14 Washable/Erasable or Permanent Glass Marker
- 2 Various Types of Glass Markers
- 3 The Best Glass Markers
- 4 How to Write on Glass With Markers
- 5 How to Write on Glass Permanently
- 6 A Fun Tutorial for Using Sharpies on Glassware
- 7 More Ideas for Using Glass Paint Markers
- 7.1 Glass Painting in Reverse
- 7.2 Painting Shop or Restaurant Windows
- 7.3 Writing Love Notes and Cute Messages
- 7.4 Create a Stained Glass Jar with Glass Markers
- 7.5 Creating a Glass Calendar Frame
- 7.6 Painting on Ceramics or Glass
- 7.7 Photo Decorating
- 7.8 Making Wine Glasses Personal
- 7.9 Customizing your Mobile Phone Cover
- 7.10 Painting Rocks
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
Choices to Make When Purchasing Glass Markers
Not all markers are a good choice for glass and many of those available are not permanent. The best markers for glass will be dependent on the needs of your project, the finished look that you want, and the purpose of your work. In choosing a glass marker, the best thing to do is to look for the label and check that it says it is ideal for drawing on or writing on glass. There are also a few other things to be aware of when selecting a glass marker. Let’s learn how to write on glass.
Price should always be a key consideration when buying a product. Most of the best markers for glass are fairly reasonable, though when buying an artist-grade or extremely high-quality set, you would need to be prepared to pay a good deal more.
Buying glass markers in a set is also usually more reasonable than buying them individually.
Paint or Ink
Like whiteboard or permanent markers, some glass markers function the same as a standard marker. Glass Paint Markers are filled with acrylic or oil paints and are perfect for creating ceramic or glassware artworks with permanent writing or decorative designs. Another choice is chalk markers, they get way less messy than normal chalk. It is your prerogative on whether you would like to use ink glass markers or glass paint markers and will depend on the art piece you would like to create.
Ease-of-use is important when choosing a good pen, comfortable to hold, simple to take off and put the cap back on, and easy to clean off (if non-permanent). First, check the instructions on the product labels to see if the surfaces need to be primed or if the glass markers need shaking to make their application as even as possible.
If you feel that you wouldn’t want to prime the surface or shake the pens before use, make sure that you choose the correct product.
Size and Shape of The Nib
There are many different glass marker nibs available, each of which could be used to create various effects. A fine tip could be used for thin and detailed work such as small writing on glass or decoration. For your average use, bullet tips are normally best. A chisel-tip is better for bold lettering or for writing and decorating on mirrors and windows.
Glass Markers with brush tips can also be great to use and can create various stroke types and widths for versatile use. A glass marker with a tip at each end or dual-tipped is usually the most adaptable. The perfect tips are available for every kind of use in decoration and calligraphy.
Creativity can be hampered by a leaky glass paint marker or pen. It can damage your clothing, surfaces, furniture, or artwork as well as losing the valuable paint or ink from your inside the glass painting pen. A proper container or pouch could go a long way in preventing this as well as looking for a leak-proof glass marker set.
Always check to make sure that the pen seals are fixed and that the product label mentions that the glass marker set is non-leaking.
You should check that the inks or paints in your glass markers dry very quickly. The longer an ink takes to dry, the higher the chance that it would run on vertical surfaces or be smudged by your hands while handling the glass and creating the artwork.
The Quality of the Packaging
When you are purchasing a glass marker set as a gift for somebody, the product with the best-looking packaging will often be most people’s first choice. Many people enjoy inviting friends over for dinner parties, so a wine glass marker set can make a wonderful and thoughtful housewarming or nuptial gift.
It is always a good idea to make sure that the glass marker itself is both sturdy and strong. If the casing is weak and badly made, the glass marker could break and spill ink or paint everywhere, so be sure that it is tough enough.
Finishes and Colors
Purchasing a very large set of the best markers for glass can be very expensive, so it is a better idea to buy a smaller set that includes all of the best colors and build up the rest of your collection as you go. Metallic colors can be very good for wine glasses at big events, and glossy paint pens seem to be best for decorating ceramic and glassware. Sometimes you may prefer an opaque surface for regular use. The finish will always be your own choice, according to what you need for your project.
Water- and Abrasion-Resistant Features
Always check the label when looking to get a good glass marker or paint pen. Find a water-resistant marker, because your work could be washed in warm water or get wet often. You should also get a marker that is abrasion-resistant as any object that is regularly handled will then be safe from any part rubbing off.
The glass marker should also be quick-drying and smudge-free.
This is a good feature for glass markers as they won’t fade over time. It is not needed for non-permanent like whiteboard markers or wineglass markers, but permanent glass markers must be labeled lightfast or archival, especially if you want the colors to remain vibrant and bright for many years. Preserving your colors is essential for your work to remain around for a long time.
If the glass markers or paint pens that you have purchased are not lightfast, the best fix is to treat the painted surface of the glass with a UV protective sealant, using a spray or fixative type. Check to be sure that the chemicals used are compatible with the type of marker that you have used.
Water-Based or Alcohol-Based
Most glass markers or paint pen pigments are mixed with either alcohol or water which dry once applied and so affect the drying process. Alcohol-based glass markers are often permanent, last a lot longer, and dry a lot more slowly than water-based glass markers. Acrylic glass markers are water-based, quick-drying, and are also usually permanent. The ability of these markers to blend is also quite varied.
The washable, erasable, and non-permanent markers are usually water-based.
Safe for Dishwashers
A few permanent glass markers aren’t dishwasher safe, though glass projects created with these inks should generally be washed by hand with a soft cloth. Be sure to read the instructions and take note of all warnings when buying a glass painting pen or glass marker.
Quality and Opacity of the Ink
Drawing or writing on glass can be a real challenge as you need to keep good visibility. The ink in your glass paint pen or glass marker needs to be thick enough to create a solid opaque finish with smooth and even coverage. The writing or drawing on the glass needs to be strongly visible. Lower quality ink will take longer to dry which could cause smudging on your work. You should choose the best markers for glass painting with a high opaque finish.
With high-quality inks, it will be easy to learn how to write on glass permanently.
Washable/Erasable or Permanent Glass Marker
It is completely based on the needs for your work, and what type of project you are needing the glass marker for. Washable or erasable markers like dry erase markers, wine glass markers or window crayons are perfect for non-permanent use. For decorating glass and ceramicware, permanent markers are the best. Certain color markers will only be permanent after they have been baked at high temperatures.
Your purpose and preference will always affect your choice. Always ensure that the label on the product is the right choice for your project, be it non-permanent or permanent. We will check out all of the different types of glass markers available with either non-permanent or permanent inks.
Various Types of Glass Markers
A large variety of glass paint markers are on offer and sometimes it is difficult to choose the best type for your work or needs. This overview table of glass marker pens available will give a better idea of what you should choose.
|Marker Types||Permanent or Non-Permanent?||Purpose / Surface|
|Dry Erase / Whiteboard Markers||Non-permanent|| |
Whiteboards, glass boards, glass storage ware, windows, plastic, and ceramic tiles.
|Wine Glass Markers||Non-permanent|| |
Marking, labeling, and decorating wine glasses and glassware.
|Oil Based Paint Markers||Permanent|| |
Glass, rubber, stone, metal, plastic, wood, pottery, and others.
|Acrylic Paint Markers||Permanent|| |
Painting fabric, porcelain, canvas, ceramic, wood, foam projects, walls, plastic, paper, plaster, glass as well as rock painting.
|Chalk Markers||Non-permanent|| |
Glass, painted wood/canvas, mirrors and blackboards, and most non-porous surfaces.
|Window Crayons||Non-permanent|| |
Decorating mirrors and windows – suitable for both kids and adults.
The Best Glass Markers
We hope the two sections above have highlighted the right choices available for you to purchase when looking for glass markers. Here are three of our best choices for glass paint markers, as well as a great choice for kids to use and enjoy.
Best Oil-Based Glass Paint Marker: SHARPIE Oil-Based Paint Marker Set
Sharpie is very popular and is a well-known and trusted brand, so using these on glassware is a great option. Sharpie’s oil-based markers are particularly good and well recommended. The ink has excellent thick consistency and, there are many bright colors to choose from. These markers are also non-smudge, nonfading, and dry quickly.
Best Water-Based Glass Marker: EMOOQI Acrylic Paint Pens
This glass painting pen set is a high-quality product that is perfect for writing or painting on glass. These permanent markers are better than similar products and paints in a solid, opaque color on a glass surface. The acrylic paint in the pens dries quickly and creates a strong and waterproof finish that doesn’t crack or peel after it has dried. It is also fade and abrasion-resistant.
Best Glass Marker for Kids: CRAYOLA Washable Window Crayons
This product is great for kids’ glass painting hobbies and projects. They are great for any glass surface like windows or mirrors. The bright and vivid colors go on smoothly and dry fast with very little smudging. The ink can be washed off easily so all kids (and adults) can express their creativity freely without damaging any surfaces and draw as much as they please while learning how to write on glass.
How to Write on Glass With Markers
Creating art and writing on glass can be a great hobby. Glass can be challenging sometimes as it is a very slippery surface that can be hard to work with. Glass painting pens and glass markers are unique tools that require some work to be used properly. It will only take a bit of time to learn how to write on glass permanently.
Writing on Glass
Writing using a glass painting pen or glass marker on glass is totally different from working and drawing on paper. Glass is non-porous, so the sticking of the ink to the surface can become an issue. The very first thing to check is that you have cleaned your glass piece thoroughly using a decent glass cleaner, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol. Once it is clean, wearing latex gloves while working on the glass can help to stop the skin’s naturally secreted oils from getting onto the glass while you are working. Almost every glass marker and glass paint pen will require a decent amount of shaking before use and in many cases, pressing the nib down to get the color flowing properly. Make sure that you check and follow the product’s instructions.
Remember that the glass surface is quite slippery when compared to wood, paper, or rock, so a steady hand is needed to hold and control the tip, to apply the color.
How to Write on Glass Permanently
Make sure that you are using a permanent glass marker. There are a few other techniques to extend the life of a piece drawn or painted onto a glass surface or object. Learn how to write on glass permanently. Always allow plenty of time for your piece to dry, around eight hours or so, before touching it and exposing it to any other conditions that could damage it.
To improve the object’s water-resistance and prevent fading or abrasion, you could also seal the surface. This can either be done by baking the object at a high temperature or by using a sealant that is designed to seal the surface without baking. For ceramicware, transparent ceramic paint can be used to seal the surface, by painting two or three coats over the work and waiting four hours between each coat for the paint to dry, then baking the piece in the oven. Always check that the paint pen label allows for baking and follow all of the product’s instructions.
Cold glass pieces should always be placed in a cold oven and then the temperature turned up so that it has a chance to heat up slowly without cracking or breaking. The oven and object should both be allowed to cool slowly so that no issues damage the piece, only opening the oven door when both have cooled.
Either brush-on or spray sealant could be used, according to your preferences and the needs of your project. Always read the instructions properly for any sealant product and make sure that it is ok to use with the ink or paint pens you have used. Four or five layers of spray-on sealant could be used with about 15 minutes between each coat to allow for proper drying. After 24 hours, the sealed surface or object will be completely dried and ready for use. Brush-on sealants are similar to varnishes and are best to be applied methodically with even strokes.
Two or three coats should suffice, waiting an hour between each coat for drying and then a full 24 hours before handling so that the seal is properly dry.
A Fun Tutorial for Using Sharpies on Glassware
The popular Sharpie brand of glass markers has a wide range available in varied colors, finishes, nib shapes, and sizes. Here’s a fun tutorial to show you how to use Sharpies on glassware and get you working on your first glass craft project.
Step 1: Collect All of Your Supplies
A very easy tutorial for drawing on a drinking glass using Sharpie paint pens. By following these guidelines you can create a unique burst of color on your glass and have a gift for a special person in your life or make a fun present for your kids.
Here is what you will need:
- Transparent drinking glasses
- Fine or medium point Sharpie oil-based paint pens
- An easy-to-trace printed image that you like
Step 2: Prepare the Surface of Your Glasses
If the glasses are still brand new, make sure to remove any labels on them and the sticky residue that they leave behind. Then wash them with warm soapy water, rinse them properly, and let them air-dry. Then rub them down with rubbing alcohol or vodka and allow them to air-dry again. Make sure you have your latex gloves handy to stop any oils on your skin from getting onto the glass.
Step 3: Tracing Your Image Selection
Find a simple image in a magazine or old card and cut it out. It needs to be basic enough to trace without any issues. If you’re good enough or confident enough to just draw the picture onto the glass without tracing it, then you can skip the tracing steps and go to work.
Step 4: Stick the Image in Place
Once you have cut it out and have your picture ready, stick it to the inside of the glass surface with some tape so you can work on it. If your inks or paints are toxic, keep the picture well away from the rim of the glass.
You do not want people’s lips on your design when they drink from the glass.
Step 5: Time to Use Your Glass Marker
Choose a color of Sharpie and trace the outline of the image or pattern, then fill in the color, following the image you have stuck in the glass. If a thicker layer or touch-up is needed, wait about 10 minutes until the color is dry, then add another layer. When adding more layers, don’t push too hard or you will remove your initial layer. Sharpies on glassware are great!
Mistakes can be removed with nail polish remover (acetone), rubbing alcohol, or vodka. Only use the Sharpie pens on the outside of the glass as these pens aren’t safe with food, so do not let the drawing be in contact with food or drink.
Step 6: Finishing and Curing
Allowing the finished glasses to stand for 24 hours will make sure the paint is cured unless you want to bake them. Sharpie-painted glass projects should only ever be washed by had to preserve the paints. Here are a few baking tips:
- Dry the paint for about 20 minutes
- Put the glass into a cold oven
- Set the temperature on the oven for 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius and the glass will slowly start to bake.
- Switch the oven off after 20 minutes and leave the door closed to allow the temperature to cool slowly.
Only take the glass out of the oven when it is completely cooled.
More Ideas for Using Glass Paint Markers
A whole new scope for creating art projects opens up with glass markers and glass paint pens, in the home, workplace, or classroom. There are so many new designs that can be done with these tools. Unique ideas will only be limited by your imagination. We have added some ideas to get you into the groove.
Glass Painting in Reverse
Reverse painting is a form of art created by designing and painting on one side of a piece of glass, then flipping it over. The image is then looked at from the clear side of the glass. It can then be framed and hung on display in your home or workplace. There are alternative names for this work, also called very églomisé in French or hinterglasmalerei in German. This method of creating glass art has been around for many years, both using brushes and acrylic paints and now more commonly, glass paint pens. One of the easiest ways to do a reverse glass painting is to make a line art piece or pattern and then stick it on the other side of the glass. Trace the outline with a white or black permanent marker and then fill in the clear spaces with your favorite colors.
Lastly, once your paint has dried, you can add a background such as a nice patterned piece of scrapbook paper and then frame the glass.
Painting Shop or Restaurant Windows
Writing on the glass is a fabulous way to make a restaurant or shop window look beautiful. White paint pens are easily readable in daylight on windows. Any design or letters will be viewed from outside the window, so have to be flipped over to make sure that they can be read. To make doing this easier, you can print your picture and then trace it on the other side of the glass. Larger lettering can be outlined by pen and then filled in with a brush and white glass paint to finish them off.
Writing Love Notes and Cute Messages
You could create lovely notes and cute romantic messages for your loved ones on your bathroom mirror to find when they wake up or come home from a long day at work. Cute designs and messages can also decorate kids’ bathroom mirrors. Little things can always make people smile and cute notes are always a pleasant surprise.
Temporary glass markers are perfect for leaving happy surprises.
Create a Stained Glass Jar with Glass Markers
A real easy project to do with your kids is to paint a glass jar. Take one of your fine-point Sharpie pens and color in a chosen area on a glass jar. To give the effect of stained glass, only paint one layer of ink. If you add a second layer, the color will not be transparent anymore. Each color must be applied separately without overlapping. When the jar is fully covered, put it into the sun to dry. Your jar can be used for a multitude of things like storing your pens or a lovely flower vase that will reflect the sunlight in different colors on your windowsill.
Creating a Glass Calendar Frame
What about creating a reusable calendar or planner for your office, home, or classroom? The basic outlines can be recreated using a permanent marker and thin tape, to create your calendar or planner with permanent blocks on a sheet of glass. It could be hung in a nice frame on your wall where you can see it often and use it to remind yourself of tasks that need to be done.
Bright erasable markers can be used for daily, weekly, or monthly tasks and planning.
Painting on Ceramics or Glass
Painting on ceramics and glass mugs and plates is a very popular craft. We can use glass paint pens to paint on wine glasses and make them unique for a themed party, to create mugs for a personal gift, or to create fine and detailed designs on ceramic plates to display in your space. There is a huge range of possibilities.
Before using glass paint pens on your projects, always check the product label to see if the ink or paint is food safe and follow the relevant instructions. To preserve the paint on your painted ceramics and glassware you may need to cure it by baking it. Check on the product instructions to see if it needs to be baked.
Glass paint markers can be used on any non-porous surface. They are great for decorating photos, even those with a high gloss finish. Lettering with paint pens, patterns, and small drawings can be used to decorate your memories in your scrapbooks and collages.
This method is especially effective on glossy paper surfaces.
Making Wine Glasses Personal
Personalizing a wine glass is great for people to identify their glasses at weddings or parties. Having a bunch of non-permanent glass markers in a jar on each table is a great way to entertain the guests. They can draw on their glasses and create some art, creative expression at a party is great!
Customizing your Mobile Phone Cover
Create a unique mobile phone cover that shows off your favorite color, icon, or signature style. It’s a way more affordable option than buying custom covers. You can buy a plain plastic or silicone cover and use your paint pens to creatively make your cover unique. Acrylic or oil paint pens can be used for any transparent, opaque, or glossy covers and don’t require baking, they just need to dry for 24 hours.
The cover can be properly sealed with a quick coat of clear varnish.
Stone or rock painting has become a massive worldwide trend. For instance, have a look at the Kindness Rocks Project. A “kindness” rock is painted on and has a lovely quote or hopeful message written on a rock or stone, which is then given to someone you love or care for.
Glass painting pens are excellent for rock painting as they can create thin lines and are better controlled than any brush. This is especially good for painting small rocks. Then apply a sealer to seal the paint finish (perfect for rocks that will be kept outdoors). You can give painted rocks to your friends as gifts, play hide and seek to find hidden rocks in the garden, or keep a painted rock on your desk as a paperweight. It’s a great way to create joy in communities.
Glass markers are very versatile. They can be used for entertainment, practical and decorative artworks. They have a massive range of colors, nibs finishes, and sheens. They have very bright and vibrant color pigments, better control, and less mess than normal paintbrushes. We hope that this article has been inspiring and given you plenty of creative ideas, as well as taught you a bit more than you knew!
Frequently Asked Questions
Will My Glass Markers Be Long-Lasting?
This is dependent on the amount of ink in the markers and how much you use them. If you only write on and paint small surfaces then the markers should last a few months. If you use the markers a lot on large surfaces, they will last a lot less. Make sure the glass markers are kept upright when storing them to stop them from drying out.
What Is the Best Way to Store Glass Markers?
The markers should be stored upright in a jar or tin. Always make sure that the lids are on properly and if the nibs can be retracted, push them down to make sure they are moist. Put them in a pouch to carry them around.
Can Acrylic Paint Stay on Glass?
Certain acrylic paint pens would not stick to glass and can sometimes flake or crack. If the entire glass surface is going to be covered, then you should make sure the surface, once cleaned, is properly primed with a layer of gesso. If a smaller area of the glass object is going to be used for writing and decorating, no priming would be needed, as long as you use high-quality acrylic paint pens. These would be best for this purpose.
How Are Glass Painting Pens Primed?
Certain paint pens must be primed when they get used for the first time or after they have not been used for a long time. They need a really good shake. Some of the pens have a ball inside to help the paint get mixed when you shake them. The nib can be pressed down to get the paint flowing. It’s best to always prime the pen on a piece of scrap paper and not on your work. Always check the product’s instructions on how your pen needs to be primed.
Can You Use Mod-Podge to Seal Sharpies on Glassware?
Mod Podge is an excellent all-purpose sealer, glue, and finish. You can seal any glass surface that has been painted with oil, water, or acrylic-based paint pens. Mod Podge will dry clear, creating a protective coat over your painted work.