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Do Sharpies Work on Glass? (Answered)

Sharpie, one of the most trusted brands in stationeries worldwide, markers are used for several purposes. From using everyday papers to making creative artifacts, sharpies provide great value to all sorts of artists. 

Here’s everything you need to know before starting your next glass project.

Do sharpies work on glass?

Sharpies work on glass. You can use permanent sharpie markers on glass products. Both oil-based and water-based sharpie permanent markers are effective on glass. However, the ink is not permanent. After using a sharpie, you will have to bake your glass products for longer-lasting results.

Sharpies work on several surfaces. The nonpermanent sharpies are for temporary uses, while the permanent markers are for long-term projects.

There are so many variants of sharpie markers that it is hard to remember the purpose of the different ink types. No worries because we have discussed the different kinds of sharpies below.

Sharpie markers:

Sharpie markers work on glass. You can write or paint on glasses using sharpie markers. There are two basic sorts of sharpie markers, non-permanent and permanent.

Non Permanent sharpie markers work on glass, but only for temporary purposes. Permanent Sharpie markers are more resilient and stay on glass for a longer time.

Metallic sharpies:

Sharpie metallic permanent markers work on glass. In fact, they are great for decorating glass jars. Sharpie metallic permanent markers come in fine point, extra-fine point, and medium point variants.

All these variants work on glass. The oil-based metallic markers work better on glasses than water-based or alcohol-based sharpie markers.

Sharpie paint:

Sharpie paint markers are all oil-based. The sharpie paint markers and pens are permanent. These paints and markers work fine on glass.

White sharpies:

All oil-based markers write on glass, so do Sharpie oil-based permanent white markers. You can use nonpermanent variants on glass, but they will come off easily.

Sharpie chalk markers work on glass, but for temporary use only. With a damp cloth, you can easily wipe it off. 

Oil-based sharpies:

All oil-based sharpies work on glass. Sharpie oil-based permanent paint markers come in 4 variants. They are fine tip, extra-fine tip, medium tip, and bold tip.

All of the variants work on glass, but artists have their personal preferences.

Regular sharpies:

Regular Sharpie markers come in two variants. They are nonpermanent markers and permanent markers. Both the markers work on glass.

Non Permanent markers come off easily from glass with a simple wipe, whereas permanent markers stay on glass for a longer period. 

Sharpies do work on glass, but you will be disappointed if you expect it to last for years. Over time, handling and rubbing the ink will come off no matter how well you preserve it.

Does sharpie work on glass ornaments?

Yes, sharpies work on glass ornaments. Sharpie markers are waterproof that stay on glass, each type creating different visual effects. However, you should always choose permanent markers to do the job.

Sharpie has a set of markers that work on glass ornaments. Sharpie regular permanent markers work great on glass ornaments. The ink does not get off instantly and gives off a nice matte effect.

Sharpie metallic permanent markers work fine on other specific surfaces. The extra-fine sharpies do better than fine tip sharpies.

The sharpie pens come in two variants, water-based and oil-based. The water-based permanent markers apply a nice effect on the glass ornaments. But when the ink of water-based markers tends to come off quite easily if rubbed.

The oil-based permanent sharpie markers work the best. They work fine on most of the glass ornament surfaces. The oil-based ink holds on to the surface more than other permanent markers.

Four reasons why sharpies work on glass

Sharpies work on several surfaces that include glass, plastic, ceramic, wood, pottery, and more. The use of pigments and dyes determines to what degree of permanent a marker will be.

Sharpies have been made with keeping the everyday people in mind and their everyday activities. Here are four reasons why sharpies work on glass.


Most of the everyday markers used in classes or offices are easily washable. This is because the ink used in them is water-soluble. Sharpie water-resistant markers have water-insoluble pigments.

These water-insoluble pigments make sure the ink is not washed away by water.

Permanent ink:

The nonpermanent sharpies are used for temporary uses. They work on glasses just like they work on whiteboards. However, they are not permanent.

Permanent Sharpie markers contain chemicals like xylene and toluene. These two chemicals combine in the pigment and give permanent sharpies or sharpie ink a longer retaining time. That is why they work on glass.

Fade-resistant and smear-proof:

All the sharpie pens and markers are fade-resistant and smudge-proof, with some variants being more resistant. For this reason, you can do your artwork on glasses using sharpies with no fear of damaging them.

The alcohol-based and water-based sharpies dry faster than oil-based sharpies.

Oil-based ink:

Sharpie oil-based paint markers write on any surface. The water-resistant and fade-proof technology makes this ink suitable to write on glass surfaces.

The oil-based ink stays on glass longer than water and alcohol-based inks.

Does Sharpie wash off of glass?

The washing off of sharpie ink depends on the characteristics of the sharpie markers you are using. There are different sharpie markers for both temporary and permanent use.

Sharpie temporary markers are for everyday office and school use. You generally use it on white papers or whiteboards or for marking glasses, ceramics, plastics, mugs, etc.

Temporary sharpie markers easily wash off of glasses. Give a little scrub under water, and it will come off.

The permanent sharpie markers do not come easily off of glasses. They are meant for permanent work that you do not want to come off. There are two variants of sharpie markers, oil-based and water-based.

The oil-based sharpie permanent markers do better than water-based Sharpie markers. This is because the water-based sharpie markers are more prone to decaying than oil-based markers.

Both the markers do not wash off of glass, but the ink will eventually come off over a long period of time.

What kind of Sharpies write on glass?

You should always remember that you should never use a sharpie on the inside of glass or containers that come in contact with food. Sharpie inks are not food-safe, and they should be used for decorations only.

Here is a list of sharpies that write on glass.

Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Marker:

Sharpie oil-based paint markers work on several glass items such as glass ornaments, mugs, glass bottles, windows, etc.

Sharpie Metallic Permanent Markers:

Sharpie metallic permanent markers work great on glasses. They are preferred for decorative works.

Sharpie Markers:

These markers are permanent, and they write on glass. They are smudge-proof.

Sharpie Metallic markers:

These markers write on glass but come off easily. They are great for temporary use, like drinking glasses.

Sharpie Water-Based Paint markers:

Sharpie water-based paint markers write on glass, and they are best to use on glass storage and canisters. These markers highlight your pantry space and make your workings much easier.

How to preserve sharpie on glass?

Sharpies write on glass, but the right sharpies stay on glass for years. To preserve your precious creative artworks, you need the right tools.

The materials you will require are rubbing alcohol, microfiber, oil-based sharpie paint markers, coating.

Use oil-based paint markers:

Oil-based paint markers are permanent. The ink of these markers is more stubborn than water-based or alcohol-based markers. Even though the last two dries fastest, oil-based markers live the longest.

Clean the surface:

Before painting on the surface, give it a good rub with rubbing alcohol. This is because the greasy and dirty surfaces do not preserve sharpies. Let the glass dry for some minutes.


This is a must if you want your drawings to stay permanent. After you have done painting, let the glass dry for 30 minutes and then apply more layers of ink.

Redesigning ensures your ink will stay for a long time.

Bake at 350 degrees:

After applying two or three layers of sharpie, let the glass dry overnight. Bake your glass pieces at 350-degree Fahrenheit for 15-30 minutes.

Let the glass cool in the oven, and wearing oven gloves, take the glass out.

Apply coatings:

You can use Polyurethane sealer as the finishing touch. It works great on the glass surface and will make your art stay for long.

For glass pieces that will regularly come in contact with water, mildly hand wash the glass with cold water. Do not put them in the dishwasher. 

Final Thoughts

Sharpie markers are picked for their reliability and versatility. Not all the sharpies write on glasses as good as the oil-based paint markers. Although the inks are marketed as permanent, they will come off if you do not take proper steps to preserve them. So, grab your sharpie and keep creating!