Painting pen tubes?

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Forum topic by Darell posted 10-30-2009 09:06 AM 4587 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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433 posts in 3013 days

10-30-2009 09:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe turning

I’ve got a question for the pen makers out there. I need white tubes for a Woodcraft European style pencil kit. The brass tubes show through the blue acrylic blank I used and turned the ends a greenish color. White tubes aren’t available in the pencil kit tube size so I’m wondering if I can paint the brass tubes myself and if so, what kind of paint would you recommend? Are there any little secrets I should know if I paint the tubes?

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

4 replies so far

View papadan's profile


1166 posts in 2787 days

#1 posted 10-30-2009 12:33 PM

Painted tubes never worked for me. Paint was too thick and scraped off while inserting tube and glue softened paint so the tube would not stay in place. I stopped trying to use those plastic pen blanks that are see through.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View airman's profile


51 posts in 2635 days

#2 posted 10-30-2009 03:35 PM

I never had any trouble painting tubes. Just do not put it on too thick, give it plenty of time to dry, and do not worry about a perfect paint job.

View GHaugen's profile


37 posts in 2549 days

#3 posted 10-31-2009 02:01 AM


I’ve never had any issues painting tubes and these pens sell very well. I’ve had success with a couple of different methods. The first step, just like with gluing-sand the tube a little before painting. Don’t sand it after it’s painted. It helps the paint to adhere to the tube. I used to use spray paint-krylon. This can be applied in very thin uniform coats. I’ve stopped using spray paint though because of the smell. Lately I’ve been using Testor’s Model Acrylic Paint and really like it. Other acrylics would work as well. It dries fast, but give it some extra time to “cure”. There’s no smell, water clean up, and easily brushes on in a thin coat. When I’m dealing with acrylics I also don’t use CA glue to glue the tube. I’ve been using Loctite’s Sumo Glue. It’s similar to Gorilla glue but dries A LOT faster and doesn’t make any where near the mess. I coat the tube with glue, mist it with water from a spray bottle and insert. Or I’d use some 5 minute epoxy. The urethane glues and epoxies are not as brittle as CA and doesn’t break down the paint like CA will. CA is a little better with wood since it can “soak” in, it can’t with the acrylics.

If you don’t want to paint the tube, you could also use a Q tip to paint the hole. I’ve done it either way, or both ways on the some highly transparent blanks and never had an issue with tubes not fitting.

Just remember, use enough to do the job, but not too thick.

Hope that helps.

-- Greg H.-Chaseburg, WI.

View Darell's profile


433 posts in 3013 days

#4 posted 10-31-2009 03:49 AM

Thanks guys. I had wondered about the effects of the ca glue on the paint. That’s all good information Greg. Papadan and airman, your experiences are valuable too. It all gives me something to think about since this is only for one pencil kit blank. The euro pencil kit is an odd size and it’s expensive so I may decide to go another way. I’ve learned from all of you though and thank you all for your input.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

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