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3.18.2009

Extra Fine White Sharpie Water-Based Paint Pen


{reported by Noel Culbertson}



Any paper scrapper who has bought a white gel pen with high hopes of smooth stand out white journaling on dark paper, has also experienced the almost instantaneous crashing and burning of that short lived relationship. I have been a fan of the fine point water-based White Sharpie Paint pen because it always had a consistent even flow that never let me down. It writes well on almost any surface, including photos, and is archival. What's not to love, right?

Well, there was that thing about the "fine point". The part where I thought, "Hey, this is not exactly what I would consider a fine point. I mean, maybe compared to a Magic Marker, but for the purpose of scrapbook journaling... not so much." Well, Sanford came out with the Extra-Fine tip Sharpie Paint Pen. I'd read about it on Sharpie's site, yah I'm that much of a Sharpie lovin' nerd. That Extra in front of the fine sure caught my attention. I went on a mad search to find one. After searching high and low online and in craft, office and discount stores, I finally found them on an artist supply site. So I ordered one, okay, I ordered a couple... more like a few. Oh, and they had more than just white. Bonus!

The very first thing I did with the pen when I got it was to scribble on all of the different scrappy surfaces I could think of. I tried it on dark paper, acrylic, transparencies, photos, bags from embellishment packaging, etc. The first thing I noticed about the extra fine tip Sharpie compared to the regular fine tip that I'd used before was the tip. It's a plastic nib type tip, rather than the packed felt type material that can widen and fray over time. Which is a great bonus if you're journaling. This tip is going to stay pointed for the life of the pen. Yea!

There are instructions on the side of the pen for it's first use. You'll want to check them out, since you're supposed to press down the tip before you shake it. The tip is pretty pointy, so having a scrap of cardstock handy is a finger-saver. It also says (after you shake it) to "depress the marker point several times on surface to saturate point." By several they mean somewhere around 20. It took a lot of depressing to saturate that point the first time. But after the original point of saturation, I haven't had to re-saturate it again.

2009_0312_038c

I used it on a Maya Road translucent journaling tag, and messed up my spacing. I figured this was as good a time as any to test the permanent nature of the pen. The line I'd written right before was able to be rubbed away mostly with water and my finger. However, the two lines above that were a little more tricky. I managed to kind of smear one of them with my water & finger combo, but I needed some heavier artillery if I was going to get this stuff off. With some general bathroom cleaner and a scrubby pad, I was able to get the rest off. I figured that was proof enough for me for it's lasting qualities. If it takes a scrubby pad and cleaner to get it off, it will probably be safe in an album!


I also tested it out on some painted metal brads to give them a "distressed" look to match the papers on the layout. Worked like a dream, and dried in about 30 seconds.

2009_0312_074b
I did have a little trouble with spattering on the faux stitching. The ends of the nib would catch on the holes and cause the end to spatter out a little of the ink. Also using it with a ruler caused some smearing, a double whammy if you're used to using a ruler with your faux stitching. I found that if I slowed down and didn't use a ruler, it worked just fine.





I figured while I was at it, I'd try my hand at a little doodling with this fabulous extra fine tipped find. Again, it worked like a dream. I love that the tip is more like a pen rather than a marker. If I wanted to make the line wider I could, but wasn't committed solely to a wide line.



What I liked:
- It writes on everything! Acrylic, transparencies, dark paper, photos, plastic storage containers, brads, kids... you name it!

- This marker simply never skips. Unlike a gel pen, this pen doesn't have a roller that misses picking up the ink. You won't have to attempt any voodoo spells with lighters and expletives trying to bring it back to life mid-sentence.

- Works for more than just journaling. You can really go to town drawing frames, doodles, faux stitching, photo borders, etc.

What I disliked:
- It was not particularly easy getting my hands on one of these babies. The oil-based (non-archival) pens were much easier to find, surprisingly, even on scrapbook sites. I think this could be majority improved. I only found one store online that sells them.

- On some textured cardstock it spattered the tiniest bit.

- When you use it with a ruler, if you don't wait for it to dry the ruler will smudge the line. It works better with a ruler whose edge is not flush against the paper.


Where & How Much:
Product name: Sharpie Water-Based Paint Marker Extra Fine
Manufacturer: Sanford, Sharpie
MSRP: $3.37
Available at: misterart.com (This is the only store I found that sold the pen)

What do YOU think?
I am still floating high on my love affair with this pen, and it's not from the fumes either, it's odorless! Have you been able to find this pen? I'm seriously taking this pen to my local store, so they too can fall in love with it, and in turn order it! What other white journaling pens have you had great luck with?
.

66 comments:

Theresa said...

Thanks a million for this review! I can't wait to get my hands on one of these pens!

Christine (MA) said...

This definitely will be a pen I look into. Right now I use The Ultimate Gel Pen-Pastel American Crafts. But never afraid of change. Thanks for the review.

the real ~Roxann~ said...

This sounds fantastic! I used to love the Signo Uni-ball pen, but found that it rubs off onto the opposing page. (found this out too late w/ a paper bag mini-album...so annoying!) I guess I'll be ordering one of these!

Thanks for the review!

Tina said...

Thanks so much for the tip, Noel. Can't wait to get my hands on one of these puppies!!!

Tina

Kim said...

SOLD!!!!! What a terrific review! I'm excited to get one-ok, a few!- in my hot little hands! I've always had trouble with white pens, & now it seems that the sky is the limit!!!

Super cute LOs!!!

Kim

Jaime said...

I gave up on a good white pen a long time ago. Thanks so much for the review, can't wait to get my hands on one.

kgscrapper said...

I will be sendiong out a search party to find myself one (or more) of these. I love the idea of a plastic nib, rather than a felt one that will broaden over time!! Once again thanks for the helpful review!!

kgscrapper said...

Ohhhh I just re-read the post... now I know where to get them. misterart.com I have order from them before an been VERY happy!!

Valerie S said...

Thank you so much for this discovery. I love the look of white pens but haven't yet found a good one. LOVE your trick of piercing holes in the paper and then drawing white lines in between.
I live in the UK so fingers crossed I can get one from somewhere.

NanaBeth said...

I too have been searching the world for this pen. Heading to Mr Art now before they are all sold out!

JennV said...

I have never heard of this pen! I use fine point sharpies for all of my journaling and love them, but have never tried white. I used a signo white pen that has been awesome for me! I am now going to hunt a white sharpie down now and buy it!

sue-bubbles said...

Oh the fine white journalling pen - its like the Holy Grail! The best I have found is an American Crafts white gel pen...it is finer than all the others, but not quite 'it'! I will be looking out for the extra-fine Sharpie and hope that it will hit the UK very soon!
Thanks for the review - very useful, and also to read everyone elses comments!!!
Sue x

Tammy said...

Oh am I a happy camper now!!!! I love white pens can't wait to try this one!!! :)

meganklauerphotography said...

I haven't used one yet, but know I am on the look out!!!

Queen of Paper said...

I had no idea that Sharpie makes a white pen, until you friend! lol know I want one. I'm going to try and find one today ;)

Heather said...

I have been limping alone with my white Galaxy Marker for a long time. I've NEEDED a white pen for so many projects. Thanks for the review and more important a place we can actually find them.

I seriously hate when I know a product exists and can't find it anywhere.

Tanis said...

OH THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
LOVE my Sharpie fine point, but EXTRA FINE?!?!?!
Thanks for the link so I can go order one too!!

Kate said...

This was a great review - I'm ordering mine as soon as I finish writing this. I was looking on Blick Arts (www.dickblick.com) and found the Sharpie Poster Paint Water-Based pens in a variety of colors, including white. Is this the same thing?

Thanks!

Katt said...

I have been using the Sakura Med Pt Gelly Roll. This is a great white gel pen. I think I will be checking out the Sharpie as well, because of the veratility of surfaces! Love that it will write on acrylic!

Thanks for another wonderful review!

Marie said...

So, I went through a similar searching frenzy for these pens last year when they first came out (or I first noticed that Ali Edwards was using it all the time!) and found them very hard to find....until I realized that you can find them in almost all arts and crafts stores IN THE ART SECTION! You know, back in the area with the paints and all the other general use sharpies and colored pencils...yep, right there. My local Roberts Arts and Crafts (in SLC) and Michael's carries them...as does Wal-Mart. Who would have thunk it!?! Anyway, you do have to be careful to make sure that you pick up the water-based versus the oil-based in the store (but you have to do that online too), but they are there and they are a plenty!!

I hope this helps those who are looking for them...

I also love the Uni-Ball Signo white pen. Though a gel, I find that it writes beautifully.

GEL-Oh said...

Wonderful information.

Scrapycandy said...

I think this is an important review. If the "thicker" version covers nicely and also works on all surfaces, this may be nice to have too (?).

Ashley Harris said...

Hmmm...I have to say I haven't used my white pens much. I use the Signo as well and haven't had too many problems. Thanks for the info! I appreciate the review.

Angie said...

Great article, Noel. You're a fine writer. :-)

mustangkayla said...

I really like my Signo Uniball white pen, but sometimes it doesn't have a fine enough point as I want. I really wanna give this one a try! Great review!

arlsmom aka Lynda said...

Love my Sharpie paint pens...better than any other on every surface. Thanks for the review!

Cassie said...

ooooh...I want this! I haven't had good experiences with white pens! Thanks!!! :)

Maria said...

I have been in search of the perfect white pen since I started scrapping 10 years ago! I have the Signo, which is ok and better than most I have tried, but now I can't WAIT to try the Sharpie!!! I am a sharpie junkie and didn't know about this one. Thanks for sharing the info!!!

Cindy F said...

Very helpful info. I have the Signo but when I go awhile w/o using it, there is a drying up issue. Have had much more consistent results from the 'reg' fine pt sharpie, but as you say that isn't exactly a fine pt pen. I'll definitely be on the lookout for this one! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I have bad luck on with white pens and appreciate you thoughts. I like that it is permanent on kids, too! :-)

jenny41180 said...

Great review! I'd love to get my hands on one of these babies!!!

4guysandagirl said...

This sounds wonderful!! I've bought so many white pens only to be terribly disappointed! I can't wait to try this baby out!!

joscelyne cutchens said...

I love it! I must have one.

Liz Hicks said...

Yeah! Love the article, great job Noel!

Rebecca said...

I agree this one is the best. I have tried all the roller gelly pens and they might work at first but eventually they start skipping.

Shirley Hall said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I had just about given up on finding a really good white pen after purchasing several that were not satisfactory. For another option I started using white rubon lettering and the Basic Gray white rubons for design elements.

saner4 said...

I love it and need one (or two)! I also love your faux stitching. That is my kind of sewing!!

Sara Ancich said...

I am a white pen junkie...I am always on the hunt for a good one. those days are gone now. Thank you for the valuable insight. Those layouts are to die for...

JulieP said...

I tried the Sharpie ones a couple of years ago but the spatter was outrageous. I'm assuming this one is different. I've been using the Signo pens and love them but now you have me curious. Thanks for the review.

angie worthington said...

great review!!!...lol, kelsey is doing her science fair projects on sharpies!!!....

Brooke said...

Great review!! Love a nice opaque white pen, I haven't found one to love yet, so I think I'll give this one a try.

Holly said...

When I discovered these, I bought 5 just in case they stopped making them!! I'm glad you're spreading the word, every scrapbooker should have one.

Haberdawoman said...

THANKS A MILLION!!!!!!!!!!!

Chrispea said...

Great review!! I believe I'm sold! I'll have to ask my local art store stock up on these babies!!

Sharmaine said...

It's so good to hear that this is out there!
I haven't used my white pen(S) in such a long time and would love a sharpie one just because it works so much better than the gel pen.
THANK YOU, now if only I can find this here in Australia

Rebecca said...

Will definitely pick one up if I manage to see it--thanks for the thorough testing!

Jackie G said...

I am going to "ditto" everything you said!!
I have one of these pens and LOVE it!! I swear I use it WAY too much...but I can't help myself!! I've tried those icky white gel pens and have been left with disappointment after ruining a project!! But this pen is so amazing!!!

Nathalie said...

I am SOLD!!! I had heard about them before but now I want one! I think a framing store in town carries them, that's where I am going this weekend! Thank you for the very convincing review and for the great examples!!! I have never faked stitching that way but surely will now ;)

Sam said...

I'm always doodling and gave up the white for lack of a good solid pen --- Thanks for the information, I'm off with the others to capture one (or two) for me. I loved the hole pricks with your stitching --- great idea!

SandyPie said...

Thank you for the thorough review! You covered every question I could have thought of except, why aren't these more popular and easier to find? Thanks for giving us the scoop and direction to get our own. I love me some pens!
SandyPie eddress at gmail dot com :o)

ScRaPbOoKfReNzY said...

Noel! Great review! Loved your examples of how to use it, especially the faux stitching! Keep up the great work, girl! :)

Anonymous said...

Noel, thank you. I think that every single person who scrap has looked for a perfect white pen!! After reading your review, I want one of these. As you said, there hard to find!! So now, I hope to find one soon. I love to use white pen on my pages... Keep up the good work

Sandra-Lee, Qu├ębec sandraleephoenix@yahoo.ca

Cheri Howard said...

I went looking for them, too. Found them at a couple of places, but the cheapest was at http://www.markers4u.biz/ct_CGsharpieposter.htm.

Deb F said...

I am in need of a good white pen and now this will be what I NEED to find. I am getting ready to scrap racing pictures and the colors that I use mostly with them are black, red, blue and some white. SO I really really need a good white pen. Thanks for the tips...now to find it....

Perky Nihilist said...

Thanks so much for the excellent review - I thought that a good white pen was as elusive as pink unicorns!

What is that guide you are using to pierce the holes for the faux stitching?

Bethy said...

I've not had much luck with white pens. My most sucess was a white gel pen but as you stated, they skip. Not fun. Other's were either not white enough or just junk. Thanks for the great review. I need one of these ASAP!

noel joy said...

perky nihilist:

the guide I used for the hole punches is made by Stampin Up.

Tricia said...

I have used the signo uni-ball pen with great success. I also have one or two others but don't reach for them as often. Would love to try this one!

kaydrenth said...

Oh this baby sounds like a winner!! Gonna have to try and find me one. Thanks for the great review!

Kimberly said...

I have been writing with these pens for quite awhile now. They are wonderful. They come in several colors. I am happy to know I am not the only one that loves them so much!

Scrappy Girl said...

A good white pen is hard to find...thanks for the tips!

Rhayne said...

This is the best news I've heard in awhile. I knew I wasn't the only one with a collection of hated white pens. I sometimes go through them all just to get a sentence down on paper :o)

Gayle215 said...

I would love to get my hands on this pen, but it is not available on the website.

Amy said...

It is soo incredible that you guys did an article about a white paint marker because I was seriously just looking for one! I went to my local Michael's (which is the only craft store I have around here!) and they were clueless about what white marker to use for writing on dark paper and pictures. Since I really needed one I just bought a pack that was there of Sharpie oil based paint markers (which has 4 other colors that I didn't need!) and thought what the heck I'll give them a try! Tried it on a photo but it is so fat when I write that there is no way I will be able to get my journaling on the photo I want! So I was seriously over the moon when I read this article!!!! Thank you so much for this article because it answered every question I had! (Even where to get this fabulous pen!)

MaryR said...

Thank you for all the insight on this white marker - and for the deets, like where to find it and what to look for/not look for (water based/oil based)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this article! It was quite timely...I bought yet another white pen without the results I had hoped! I did manage to find the Sharpie paint pen at a local art store here: So if anyone reading this is from Edmonton Alberta, you can find them at Colours Art Stores. I believe there are a few outlets across Canada too. I paid about 4.50 CDN, but received 20% off being a member of an arts organization. Hope this helps someone to find this neat marker!