Is there such thing as a pen that "paints" on wood?

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Forum topic by backyarder1 posted 04-23-2010 12:06 AM 25204 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 3969 days

04-23-2010 12:06 AM

I am trying to do some lettering on birdhouses and I am finding it difficult to paint letters as thin as I need to for them to fit. Is there such thing as a paint pen or stain pen? Can I use a sharpie and just coat it with a few coats of poly? Any advice or suggestions from the experienced woodworkers on this site would be appreciated.

-- Betsy, Melbourne, Florida, USA

9 replies so far

View David "Lucky Dawg" Brown's profile

David "Lucky Dawg" Brown

440 posts in 3194 days

#1 posted 04-23-2010 12:12 AM

Yes there is both!
Try Hobby Lobby and Walmart stores!
Walmart sells Minwax stain pens!
Also you can go to the automotive dept. of Walmart or
an automotive store will have touch up pens for for cars.
Hope this helps!!!!!

-- dumpster diver delux

View Sean's profile


156 posts in 3817 days

#2 posted 04-23-2010 12:12 AM

yes, they have them at art stores….they go down to the size of a pencil point.

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

View bobkberg's profile


439 posts in 3275 days

#3 posted 04-23-2010 12:13 AM

There are paint markers used by Auto junk yards for marking parts – That’s fairly close to what you’re describing.

A quick google search for “paint markers” shows LOTS of matches.

Good luck,

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


408 posts in 3223 days

#4 posted 04-23-2010 12:15 AM

Krylon makes a series of paint pens in their “Short Cuts” series that will work on wood. You can find them in a some crafts stores or on line.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View MrsN's profile


987 posts in 3727 days

#5 posted 04-23-2010 12:19 AM

sharpies will work, but they will bleed if applied directly to wood. Put a coat of poly then sharpie then more poly. In general the ink shouldn’t run, but I once used an off-brand sharpie and it did run, so maybe test it before you use it on a bird house. sharpie also makes a paint pen, you should find it near where the sharpies are in stores.
There are both stain pens and paint pens. Craft stores have them in several places. In the “woodworking” section of my local Michaels and JoAnn Crafts they have both types. there are paint pens also located in the regular paint section, the artistic painting section and the kids section. I would read the labels to make sure they will work for an outdoor bird house. neither store has a good website but amazon has the type I get Look Here
I really like the paint pens. I use them to outline things that I have painted like puzzle scenes or cars. They paint really well so they are nice to use for writing or signing projects.
I don’t remember if i have seen paint or stain pens at the woodworking or home improvement places, they might have stain pens in with their finishes, but I don’t think I have seen them.
Good luck

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4329 days

#6 posted 04-23-2010 12:36 AM

Here’s what I use: American Accent

They are also available in metallic colors.

-- 温故知新

View backyarder1's profile


56 posts in 3969 days

#7 posted 04-23-2010 12:36 AM

Thanks everyone. Looks like that was a no brainer. I appreciate all the responses!

Hope you all had a great earth day. I know I did!

-- Betsy, Melbourne, Florida, USA

View BOB67CAM's profile


269 posts in 3273 days

#8 posted 04-23-2010 12:52 AM

i figured id add to mrsN’ post, sharpies will run if laquer is applied over them, just a heads up ;)

-- if you dont have it, build it, especially when its a stupid idea

View ArtFromNY's profile


1 post in 2188 days

#9 posted 12-17-2012 03:12 PM

There is a site selling empty refillable paint pens with chisel type nibs about 1/8” wide. They seem easy to fill with whatever you need to apply. They are good for staining and if you use the edge of the nib you can get a fairly narrow line. They don’t work well with latex but are ideal for stains and some low viscosity paints. is the site – geared to crafters but if the product fits . . . .

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