Thursday, December 29, 2016

How to Prevent "Sharpie" Permanent Markers from Blurring When Sealed

After I found my perfect paint pen for rocks (which did not blur when sealed), I received a blog post comment which suggested "applying a layer of Elmer's Glue on the Sharpie Art, allowing to dry, before applying spray sealant."

I decided to try this out for myself but instead of using a spray sealer, I used two of my preferred brush-on sealers.

My first test used a Sharpie ultra fine point black permanent marker. I printed the words "Sharpie test" on my stone and followed it with a thin coat of white glue. After the glue dried, I applied a thin coat of Delta Ceramcoat brush-on sealer.

White glue applied over a Sharpie marker before Delta Ceramcoat sealer
Result: Neither the glue nor my sealer blurred the words written on the stone with a Sharpie permanent marker pen.

For my second test, I used colored Sharpie permanent markers and drew a simple design on a pitted stone. Once again, a first coat of white glue was thinly brushed over the design. Then after the glue dried, I used Americana Duraclear brush-on sealer.

White glue applied over Sharpie markers before Duraclear Satin Varnish
Result: Neither the glue nor my sealer blurred the design drawn on the stone with various colors of Sharpie permanent marker pens.

I'm happy to report that white glue (e.g., Elmer's) used over Sharpie permanent marker pens did indeed prevent blurs when applied prior to both formulas of my clear sealers. (Note: I used this trick on small stones and cannot say how well it works with large painted rocks.)

Give this tip a try for yourself and let me know what you think.


  1. Thanks for doing the rock bottom basics for us ;-] I suppose you would have to make sure those rocks don't go outside and get wet.

    1. You're welcome, Bon. If the rocks had a couple coats of sealer, I think they could go outside. But weather is harsh and eventually more sealer would have to be applied. Maybe testing the glue/sealer combo is an experiment you or I should try. :-)

  2. A coat of Mod Podge works as well.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Sherry. Mod Podge has occasionally turned certain of my Sharpies an orange color and has been unpredictable for me.