Reported by Melissa Norris
One of the first real crafts I remember doing is using paint pens and Sharpies to alter items. Picture frames, book covers, and more, I left my trace on it all. When I went to college, my markers went with me. I decorated the front of mix CDs, labeled anything I didn’t want a roommate to eat, and made gifts for my sorority sisters. Due to my long history with these crafting staples, I jumped at the chance to review the paint pen options from Sharpie and as well as the new Stainless Steel marker.
Due to a recent move, I only have access to a few other craft supplies (my husband thought furniture was more important…what was he thinking!), so I decided to go with tests for this review. Here are a few things to note, I received the water-based paint pens, oil-based paint pens, and the Stainless Steel Sharpie.
I started with black cardstock. The first four are the water based pens and the green is the oil-based. As you can see, the oil-based didn’t fare so well. The others did alright. I think especially after using them a bit, the ink will thicken up a bit and flow a bit more smoothly. The oil based ink immediately faded and has actually gotten lighter since taking the picture.
Next, smooth, white cardstock. All all of the pens did well. The blue and bottom black are the water-based paint and left a rich, opaque color. The first black is the regular Sharpie and gives a finer line than the black paint pen even though they are both the standard fine-point. The paint pens, green, oil-based especially, did that thing on paper, where the bristles in the nib sometimes hang and give you that splatter effect. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about. I think it was mostly due to the larger nib size on the oil-based pen.
I had high hopes for the Hambly overlay. The top black is the regular Sharpie marker, which worked well as far as staying power goes. You do see more of the brush strokes and if you don’t go over multiple times, you get that purple-black color. The green, oil-based pen dried a bit shinier than the water-based, but scratched off easily. None of the paint pens held up to a simple scratch of my fingernail, so only use these if it will be something that isn’t handled regularly.
Sharpies of any time are a great idea to dress up simple sheer flowers. The regular, black Sharpie held up well to my scratching, but pooled a bit more and has that purple-black color again. The black, water-based pen scratched off very easily, and the green, oil-based pen stayed a bit better. Again, not a good choice if you will be handling this a lot. And this flower was textured as compared to the smooth Hambly overlay.
Glossy paper had interesting results, and it’s hard to tell from the photo, so I apologize. The blue, and bottom black, water-based pens looked great going, but when I came back I noticed that they had crackled. This is great if that’s the effect you are going for, but I wasn’t. The green, oil-based did well and maintained that shiny look it has when it dries. The standard Sharpie also did well (first black).
A great use for any Sharpie marker or pen is to dress up those boring buttons. The oil-based pen and regular Sharpie (black through the middle) did great. They couldn’t be scratched and left a smooth, bright look. The black on the right, the water-based, scratched off easily.
- Stainless Steel Sharpie: Sleek design, refillable, the envy of my husband and easy to find when he steals it; what more could a woman want.
- Sharpie Oil-Based paint pens: Similar to the rest of the paint pen market out there, but has the name Sharpie to back it up. I feel more comfortable with that if I have any problems with my product. Also, works great on those non-porous surfaces.
- Sharpie Water-Based paint pens: I love the acid-free and water-based qualities and does great on porous surfaces. I can definitely see myself using these on posters and layouts. Great when you want that bold, opaque color that markers can’t provide.
- Stainless Steel Sharpie: More colors please!!
- Sharpie Oil-Based paint pens: I wish they are more widely available on the market, I don’t see them often at my local craft store.
- Sharpie Water-Based paint pens: Same thing, I wish they were more widely available. I also wish they worked better on non-porous surfaces.
Follow up: There was a comment in one of our articles about the Sharpie Water Based pens no longer being available. I am happy to announce from our contact with Sharpie that they are continuing to be made, there was only a packaging change. So go get some today!!