Monday, October 24, 2016

The Perfect Paint Pen for Rocks

I finally found a pen to use on rocks that doesn't blur with sealer!

For awhile I've been searching for the perfect paint pen (marker) to use on rocks. The problem has been the ink smears and blurs when a sealer is applied and the nib has been too thick for a nice, thin line.

It's been suggested I try a Posca pen so I purchased a brown Uni Posca Extra Fine Marker. I was looking specifically for a pen which could make a thin line in a brown color. (Most Posca pens I've seen come in sets of various colors and I didn't want to spend money on an entire set until I knew how they would perform on rocks and stones.)
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I watched this helpful YouTube video to learn about my Posca pen before using it - "Getting Started with Posca Pens - Part 1":

This is what the tip of my Posca extra fine marker looks like:

To test the pen, I painted a small, slightly pitted stone with acrylic paint. I then used the brown Posca marker to draw some simple facial features on the rock.

So far so good. I was happy with the light brown color and the thin lines the marker created.

Next, I brushed on Mod Podge as a first coat of sealer and the Posca marker lines held up beautifully on the rock - no blurring/smearing.

(Note: I prefer to use Mod Podge as a first coat sealer because there seems to be less of a reaction with paints. The Mod Podge is then followed up with Americana DuraClear Satin Varnish. Click here to learn more about how I seal my painted rocks.)

I then experimented by using the pen to add lettering to a rock. Because I'm a left-handed writer, I push the pen rather than pull it across the rock. The result was little dots of ink where the nib "dragged" against the rock. However, I was able to paint over the ink dots and sealed the stone with no adverse effects.

Another experiment involved using the Posca pen on a polished stone. Usually paint and pens will not adhere to polished stones, however, the Posca marker performed beautifully and did not smear with the application of Americana DuraClear Satin Varnish.

I'm hoping the Posca marker is the answer to my search for the perfect paint pen (marker) for rocks. However, using the Posca pen on three stones is not enough to declare it a success. I question how long the pen will last, will it leak, will the texture of rocks and stones affect the nib.

As I continue to use the Posca pen, I will update this post with any additional positive or negative aspects about the marker.

11/12/18 Update: Yes, Posca pens are wonderful to use on rocks. In fact, Posca pens and mandalas are meant for each other.

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Please leave a comment with any tips, praises or problems you've had with Posca pens. I'd love to hear what you think about this product.

Helpful Links:
Posca Instructions for Use
Brown Extra Fine Point Posca Pen
Individual Posca Pens for Sale in Various Colors
Set of 12 Extra Fine Point Posca Pens in Various Colors
Use Paint Pens Instead of a Brush for Detailing

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© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks