1st December 2023

Using a Pen in Glass Painting.

Using a Pen in Glass Painting.
Using a Pen in Glass Painting.

Using a pen in glass painting can add a lot of detail to your work. Obviously it needs to be a certain sort of pen. I used a “N850 Pentel Permanent marker” which was fine although a little thick for finer work. I had tried several other which I thought might working including a proper (expensive) glass painting pen and a CD/DVD marker. Unfortunately these reacted with the paint.

Example of "black" detail in old stained glass window.
Example of “black” detail in old stained glass window.

As you can see this style of work isn’t new, in fact it is based on a very old glass painting technique although they didn’t use permanent markers. It can be used to add fine details in black where the rest of the section is a single colour or a simple blend.

Important. Please do a test piece before you launch into any piece of work. You will need to ensure your pen is suitable to work with your paints. There are so many combinations that it is impossible for me to say that I used the above pen with Pebeo and Marabu solvent based glass paints.

Using a Pen in Glass Painting.



Example using Marabu Paints.
Example using Marabu Paints.


  • Always test before you start working.
  • Plan which lines on your design you will pipe and which you will draw. This will mainly be dictated by where the main colour changes.
  • Never scrub the paint over your drawn markings. Use the flood fill method and encourage the paint to flow over the drawn marks.
  • If you have a large area of black the start from the edges of the colour area and encourage the paint to flow inwards.
  • Make sure your work is totally flat.
  • The technique works best with lighter colours; reds, yellow, pink and orange etc. Some of the darker blues, greens and browns don’t work at all well.
  • It’s find to use colour blends over the pen marks..

Example using LeFrank Solvent based paints.
Example using LeFrank Solvent based paints.


I had a range of results depending on which paint I was using. The LeFrank Solvent and Pebeo Vitrea waterbased paints were both perfect. The Pebeo Vitrail solvent was “OK” and the Marabu solvent was poor.

I think this style of glass painting is going to add a lot of possibilities to my work. I do intend to hunt down a suitable determinant marker with a finer point. Maybe if you find one (particulaly if it works with Pebeo solvent based paints) then you would be kind enough to let everyone know in the comments section below.

After that I will do a couple of projects incorporating this technique. Let us know how you get on!

p.s. If you want the template/design we used in this test you will find it in our designs section.

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