How To Use A Sharpie On Glass For The Best Results

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Everyone has a Sharpie pen at home, but it’s generally not the special kind that works on glass. A regular Sharpie washes off, while a special oil-based paint pen Sharpie is specifically designed for drawing designs on glass surfaces. 

Oil-based Sharpie paint pens work well on glass. After you’ve made the design, you’ll need to wait 24 hours for the ink to set, or you can bake the glass in the oven. Always hand wash the finished glass. To remove Sharpie marks from glass, use rubbing alcohol, a coarse sponge, or a razor blade.

Sharpies can be used for a wide range of activities, but you’ve got to be sure you’re using the right type. Let’s take a closer look at which Sharpies to use for drawing on glass surfaces and how exactly to go about it.

Will Sharpies Work on Glass Surfaces?

Match in hand ignites candle in a glass jar

Some people think that because a marker has the word ‘permanent’ in its name, it will fix to any surface. However, this isn’t the case. It takes a specific type of marker to affix to a glass surface, given its sleek and non-porous surface. 

A Sharpie pen can be used to write on glass — but not just any Sharpie will do. 

Sharpie Paint Pens vs. Regular Sharpies

A Sharpie paint pen (on Amazon) is an oil-based marker that works well on almost any surface. From metal, pottery, and wood to rubber, glass, plastic and stone, you can’t really go wrong with getting some Sharpie paint pens. 

They’re resistant to fading and smearing and they dry in a matter of minutes, making them a great tool for anyone who scrapbooks, makes posters, designs mugs, or likes to do window art. 

There are several different types of Sharpie paint pens: fine point, medium point, bold point, and extra fine point (all on Amazon). Having pens with each point allows for everything from fine detailing to bolder strokes of color. 

The Sharpie paint pen comes in fifteen different colors, of which all the basic ones are available, as well as gold, and several shades of green and pink. 

The only problem with Sharpie paint pens is the availability. This variety of Sharpie isn’t the most popular, and therefore it can be harder to find, especially in all fifteen colors. They’re also quite a bit more expensive than the average Sharpie.

How to Use Sharpie Paint Pens

Using a permanent marker on glass isn’t the same as just using a marker on paper. Due to the nonporous surface and the oil base of the marker, there are a few extra steps to secure your design. 

What You’ll Need

  • A glass or ceramic surface

  • Oil-based Sharpie Paint Pens (with a variety of point mediums, if needed)

  • An oven

  • Rubbing alcohol or vodka

1. Prepare the Glass

To prepare the surface — in this case, let’s say you’ll be decorating a wine glass — you’ll need to remove all labels. Then wash your glass and wipe it with rubbing alcohol.

Taking the time to wipe the glass down with rubbing alcohol (or vodka) will remove any oil that was left on the glass from your hands. Allow it to completely dry before continuing. 

A good thing to keep in mind when choosing to use Sharpie paint pens is that they’re not food safe.

Sharpie markers should always be used on the exterior of any drinking or eating vessel and below anywhere your lips may touch. 

2. Choose a Pattern

If you are free-handing your design, then you don’t need to prepare anything ahead of time.

However, if there’s a design online or in a book that you’re copying then you can tape the design to the inside of the glass. This makes it incredibly easy to trace over the design for a flawless DIY project.

When placing the design, you want to make sure that it’s not placed too high, so that your lips don’t press onto the artwork later on. Place the finished design lower on the glass to avoid this mistake. 

3. Decorate the Glass

Using the oil-based Sharpie paint pen, trace or draw the pattern that you selected. If you find you need to do a second layer, then go over the area a second time after ten minutes. This ten-minute wait will allow the first layer to dry a bit to avoid any smearing when you trace over it again. 

Make sure to press lightly when you proceed with the second layer. Pressing too hard can remove the first layer of paint. 

If you’ve made a mistake, you can erase it with rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, or vodka. After erasing the mistake, give the glass time to completely dry again before continuing. 

4. Cure the Glass

To cure the paint to the glass, allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before using it. Alternatively, you can bake the glass.

Baking the glass is optional, but a lot of people opt to do this step to add durability to the design. However, some believe this step can ruin the colors. So keep that in mind if you decide to try baking the glass. 

If you decide to bake your glass, first wait 20 minutes after you finished painting on the design. Then place it into a cold oven. While the glass is inside the oven, start to heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Turn on a timer for 20 minutes and allow the glass to cook. Before removing it from the oven, turn the oven off and allow the glass to cool as the oven does. You don’t want to immediately remove a hot glass as it could warp or shatter at the sudden temperature change. 

Will Sharpie Come Off of Glass in the Dishwasher?

Sharpie paint pens will come off in the dishwasher, or at the very least the design will get damaged.

It’s always best to hand wash any vessel that you use glass markers on for this very reason. You also don’t want to use any sponge on the glass when washing, or you risk damaging the design. 

Wash the glass with your hands or a soft cloth, moving gently over the decorated surface. 

How to Remove Sharpie From Glass

Teenage boy drawing and coloring heart shape on glass of door using marker at home

Removing Sharpie from glass is easier than putting it on. If the design is fresh, and still wet, you can simply wipe it off with some nail polish remover on a cotton ball or soft rag.

This method works best if you’re in the middle of painting and have made a mistake. 

If the design has set or been baked on, then you can remove it by using a scratchy pan cleaning sponge on the design and scrubbing it off. Alternatively, you can also use a razor blade to remove the paint. 

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