Best Pens for Writing on Wood [2024]: The Only Guide You Will Need

Best Pens for Writing on Wood [2024]: The Only Guide You Will Need

Image Product Features Price
LAMY ST Multifunction Tri Pen

LAMY ST Multifunction Tri Pen

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SHARPIE Oil-Based Paint Markers

SHARPIE Oil-Based Paint Markers

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UNI-POSCA Paint Marker Pens

UNI-POSCA Paint Marker Pens

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Paint Mark Quick-Dry Paint Pens

Paint Mark Quick-Dry Paint Pens

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If you’ve ever tried writing on a wooden surface, you’ve probably realized that not all pens are up to this task. 

Whether you’re creating wooden art or need a writing instrument for your wood DIY projects, we’ll help you efficiently inscribe whatever you want on top of any type of wood. In this guide, we’ll unveil the best writing instruments for this purpose that don’t skip or bleed through the grains of wood, so you can find the best pen for writing on wood according to your needs.

As seasoned experts in the realm of pens, we've meticulously tested numerous contenders to bring you the best pens in this category. So, sit back and enjoy the ride as we guide you through the realm of pens that efficiently write on wood.

Best Pens for Writing on Wood

In the section below, we’ve covered our top recommendations that are suitable for writing on wood. So, let’s get to it because we have a lot to cover. 

Best Overall - LAMY ST Multifunction Tri Pen

LAMY ST Stainless Steel Multi Function Tri Pen





Black, Stainless steel


27 g (with ink)


145 mm

Pros & Cons


  • Two ballpoint refills and a mechanical pencil 
  • Durable and efficient pen
  • Available in two finishes, matte black and stainless steel


  • The clip tends to move around
  • A long pen, which may not be very suitable for those with smaller hands

As your first option, we’re giving you the remarkable LAMY ST Multifunction Tri Pen, a perfect blend of functionality and design. The ingenious twist mechanism allows you to change between the various features, ensuring that the one you need is always at your fingertips.

This outstanding writing instrument houses two ballpoint refills, in blue and red ink variety, and a mechanical pencil. You can use the mechanical pencil for sketching or outlining your wooden surface before you continue with the pens, or for marking certain spots where you need to cut or drill. It also has a fourth feature under the push button, which is an eraser you can use to correct your outlines.

Its sturdy stainless steel construction ensures that you’ll use this pen for years to come and solidifies its refined aesthetic. Whether you’re journaling, taking notes, or creating intricate designs on wood, this pen does it all. From the first time you use it, it will become your go-to companion that offers unparalleled versatility without compromising on style.

Best Value - SHARPIE Oil-Based Paint Markers

Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers








18 g per pen


139.7 mm

Pros & Cons


  • Suitable for various surfaces, such metal, pottery, wood, rubber, glass, plastic, stone, etc.
  • Highly pigmented, vibrant, and opaque colors 
  • Various tip shapes and sizes available
  • Features a valve enabling consistent flow rate
  • Can be used on rough surfaces
  • Resistant to peeling, fading, abrasion, and water
  • Quick-drying and permanent
  • Non-toxic formula


  • Limited color selection compared to other brands
  • You can’t mix the colors
  • Improper storage can lead to clumping and drying
  • Some pens may have a strong scent

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that works on any type of surface, including metal, pottery, wood, rubber, glass, plastic, stone, and so on, the Sharpie should definitely be on your list. These medium-tip markers come in various vibrant colors that create great designs on both light and dark surfaces. 

Effortlessly drawing on rough and dusty surfaces, they’re resistant to abrasion, fading, smearing, water, and peeling. Their quick dry time is another great feature that further reduces the chances of smudging. 

Boasting a non-toxic formula, these pens are great for use by both adults and children, however, some people feel that the Sharpie has a strong scent. Regardless of that, these writing tools feature a unique built-in valve that controls the flow of paint and ensures that you get a consistent dispersion while using it. 

Last but not least, they have a leak-proof design which ensures that you won’t experience any unwanted leaks when you securely cap the marker.

Best Luxury - UNI-POSCA Paint Marker Pens

UNI-POSCA Paint Marker Pens







18.3 g per pen


120 mm

Pros & Cons


  • Wide color selection
  • Color mixing is possible if you use them correctly
  • Waterproof, permanent, and smudge-resistant ink
  • Suitable for various surfaces
  • Smooth application
  • Non-toxic and safe to use by both children and adults
  • Ink doesn’t bleed during use


  • You need to shake it occasionally while using it
  • Higher price point
  • The water-based markers may have a lower durability
  • The felt tips may wear out over time

The Uni Posca marker pen is another great choice for writing on wooden surfaces. Their outstanding versatility, topped with the non-toxic formula, is what makes these writing tools truly stand out from the crowd.

With the Uni Posca markers, you’ll enjoy a smooth and uninterrupted flow of ink that’s resistant to leaking, pooling, or dripping, and on top of that dries quickly, providing you with a top-notch writing, drawing, and sketching experience. The ink’s waterproof properties make your creations resistant to water and guarantee that they’ll stand the test of time. 

An added benefit is the wide variety of color options, each imbued with elegant matte finish properties as soon as they dry, which elevates your creations’ finished look. 

This trusted brand has had a long-standing reputation in the community in terms of the quality and performance that each pen provides, so you can expect only the best when using the Uni Posca. 

Honorable Mention - Paint Mark Quick-Dry Paint Pens

Paint Mark Quick-Dry Paint Pens



Paint Mark


Black, blue, brown, dark green, light blue, orange, red, white, yellow, gold, silver, metallic blue, metallic green, metallic, and others 


12 g per pen


133.16 mm

Pros & Cons


  • Affordable 
  • Great ink quality
  • Vivid colors that don’t fade and get streaky
  • Can work on a variety of surfaces, not just wood
  • Easy to use on DIY projects


  • Can dry up when left open for too long

We couldn’t finish our best pens for writing on wood list without including the Paint Mark Quick-Dry Paint Pens, the epitome of versatility in terms of the different surfaces these pens can be used on. An excellent choice for writing on rougher materials, such as wood, and smoother materials, such as ceramics, they offer the best of both worlds and offer great value for their price. 

They use oil-based ink that provides thick and smooth lines and simply glides across the surface without leaving streaks or smudges behind. Perfect for contouring and drawing precise shapes, they are the ultimate writing tools for crafty people.

You’ll find them in various vibrant colors that work perfectly for writing on wood and come in a manageable size which makes them ideal for working on longer projects. Their only downside is that due to using oil-based paint, you’ll need to periodically pause your project and shake the marker to ensure a consistent ink flow. 

Remember that proper storage is essential for these pens, since the tip can dry really fast if left uncapped. If you’re looking for a pen that offers all the features of more expensive brands, but comes at an affordable price, the Paint Mark Quick-Dry Paint Pens should be on your list.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Pen for Writing on Wood

The pen market offers a wide array of pens that are suitable for writing on wood, each with a unique set of attributes. To find the best pens for your particular needs, let’s cover some of the most important characteristics of pens that write on wood.

Paint Type

The first thing you need to look out for is the type of paint the pen uses. The paint type used by your writing tool will define its durability, ease of use, and drying time. By understanding the nuances of each pen type, you’ll be able to choose the one that works best for your needs. 

Generally, there are two types of paint that work best for writing on wood – water-based and oil-based paint.

Water-Based Paint Pens for Wood

Water-based paint flows easily across any surface, including wood, since it comes out of the pen readily. Its thin consistency enables you to mix and match colors easily, and facilitates shading while also reducing the likelihood of clogging or clumping, which isn’t the case with its oil-based counterpart. 

They’re generally more hassle-free, don’t have a strong odor, and are easy to clean up in case of accidental marks on unwanted surfaces. In such a case, you only need to apply a mild detergent to effectively remove the paint, while the dried marks can easily be scratched off.

It’s important to mention that even though this type of paint offers a smoother experience, you may experience some bleeding on woods that are more porous. When compared to its oil-based counterpart, it’s less vibrant and durable, so if that’s a must for you, you should opting for the oil-based ones.

Oil-Based Paint Pens for Wood

When it comes to achieving durability, opacity, and vibrancy of the lines and color when writing on wood, oil-based paint pens are the clear winners. They excel in long-term preservation of color and quality but typically require shaking before and sometimes during writing, so keep that in mind. 

The downside of using them is that they emit a rather strong odor which can bother children or individuals sensitive to scent, however, you can mitigate this by working in a well-ventilated area or opt for odorless brands.

Proper storage is essential for these types of pens since they’re more prone to clumping and drying up. But if you take good care of them and store them properly, you’ll have reliable writing tools that write smoothly on wood.

Different Tips on Paint Pens for Wood

The tip of the pen is the most important part of your writing tool, therefore it warrants careful consideration. Since it impacts the performance on the wood so much, the shape, size, and materials it’s made of really matter. Just as you would select the nib that best works with your handwriting when choosing the best fountain pens, it’s just as important to select the perfect paint tip pen for writing on wood.

Tip Shape

The tip shape is essential for a pen's ability to write specific details and markings on wood. If you want to cover a larger area when writing, opt for a pen that allows for maximum area coverage and vice versa. 

The tip shapes you can expect to encounter include bullet, brush, and chisel, and you should explore different types of tips for writing on wood to see which option works best for your needs.

  • Bullet tip pens are rounded, full, and great for drawing thick lines or coloring. They’re some of the most commonly used tip shapes since they are versatile, readily available, and work great on wooden surfaces. 
    • Brush tip pens are similar to paintbrushes, so the more pressure you apply, the wider the stroke becomes. They’re ideal for creating intricate details, however, they’re more likely to bleed when writing on wooden surfaces and are also more difficult to use by individuals who aren’t used to using paintbrushes. Just keep in mind that utilizing a brush pen on wooden surfaces may cause the brush fibers to create unexpected lines and jagged edges.
    • Chisel tip pens have a slanted edge which enables you to draw both thick and thin lines, depending on the angle that you use. They’re ideal pens for calligraphy because they write crisp lines, or you can use them as highlighters.

    Tip Size

    The tip size can affect how your writing looks regardless of whether you’re writing on wood or some other material. Fine tips offer a great level of precision and are suitable for doing highly detailed work, especially on wood, but are not ideal for larger projects that might involve a lot of color filling.

    In such cases, you’d need broader tip pens, which are perfect for creating large signs or filling out large areas with color. Medium-tip pens are the ideal in-between option since they enable you to cover larger areas with less effort.

    Tip Material

    The final factor to consider is the material the tip is made of since it defines how durable your pen actually is. Given that wood is an abrasive surface that can easily wear down your marker, it’s best to choose a tip that can withstand the wear and tear that comes from writing on wood.

    While felt is a highly used material for making markers, it tends to wear out when used on surfaces like wood. Plastic tips have greater firmness compared to felt pens and are much more suitable for writing on wood. 

    However, since we want to ensure that the pen you’re using will last you a long time, it’s best to use a nylon tip for the purpose of writing on wood. These tips are flexible yet firm and are less prone to wear down when writing on wood. 

    Tips and Tricks for Using Paint Markers Correctly

    Compared to traditional markers, paint markers for wood need a higher level of maintenance, so let’s go over some essential tips and tricks you’ll find useful. 

    • Shake the pen before each use. This step is especially important for oil-based paint pens since it ensures the proper dispersion of the paint through the marker and prevents interruptions in the ink flow as you’re writing on wood. Don’t forget to keep the cap in as you shake the pen to avoid a potential mess. Shake the pen for about a minute – failing to do so can result in the formation of bubbles, which will prevent a smooth paint flow.
    • Hold the pen in an upright position when removing the cap and press the tip of the marker down with your finger once. This action removes the air from the paint pen and helps to activate the marker for the first use. You won’t need to repeat this step the next time you use the pen. 
    • Sand down the rough wood. If the piece of wood you’re working with is particularly rough, sand it down before you start writing on it to prevent getting splinters. Moreover, a highly textured surface can damage your marker or lead to uneven paint dispersion, which is another unwanted scenario. 
    • Gently press the tip of the marker onto a piece of paper or paper towel before starting to write on the wood. To prime the tip of the marker for its first use, it’s ideal to allow the paint to flow from the tip of the pen down on a piece of paper. This prevents excessive paint from dripping onto the wood surface, which can result in smudges or blobs. It’s important to do this before each use, regardless of whether you’re using an oil-based or a water-based marker. These steps will contribute to a seamless and refined experience each time you’re using your writing tool.
      • Apply gentle pressure when using your writing tool. Using excessive pressure to write on wood can result in an excessive pool of paint, and you may even end up damaging the tip. It’s best to glide the pen smoothly across the surface as you’re writing or coloring on the wood.
      • Dab the tip on a paper towel in case the paint flow stops. Restart the pen on a different surface to prevent unwanted smudges and blobs.
      • Shake oil-based paint pens as you’re using them. These types of pens may need to be shaken every once in a while to ensure proper paint flow, just make sure to place the lid back on before shaking.
      • Add the cap back on as soon as you’re finished using it. To prevent the paint from drying, wipe off the excess paint from the tip, and replace the cap once you’re done writing. Then you can store the pen at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
  • Store each pen based on the recommendations from the manufacturer. The storage preference of writing tools can vary, so you can either store them horizontally or vertically. To ensure optimal longevity and performance, check the recommendations from the manufacturer.
    • Use isopropyl alcohol if the tip has dried out. If you accidentally leave the cap open, the tip of the pen may dry out, but this shouldn’t be a reason for concern. Simply pour a small amount of isopropyl alcohol into a container and dip the tip in it to help the ink loosen up. However, this step doesn’t always guarantee success, so it’s best to prevent the marker from air exposure in the first place by always adding the cap back on after each use.

    How to Write on Wood With Paint Pens: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

    Before you start using your new writing tool, it's important to learn how to use it on wooden surfaces. Let’s start with these essential supplies that will help you get the best results when writing on wood with high-quality paint pens, and continue with other useful advice. 

    • Old newspapers or a protective tarp to prevent the surrounding area from unwanted messes
    • Lightly dampened cloth to wipe away excess paint or smudges
    • Paper towels for starting your pen and for quick cleanup
    • 140 - 180 grit sandpaper for sanding down the wooden surface if necessary
    • Primer for creating a foundation layer
    • Graphite pencil for sketching your design or outlining your letters
    • Sealant spray for finishing your work

    Location, Location, Location

    Before you start doing any work, it’s essential to create a good working environment by situating yourself in a well-lit and well-ventilated room or outside, and laying down a protective tarp on the ground. Keep the dampened cloth and paper towels within reach to wipe off accidental smudges, and you’re ready to start.

    Prep is King

    Before you start writing on your wooden surface, you may need to prepare it by sanding it down with 140 - 180 grit sandpaper to achieve a smoother texture. After you’ve sanded the surface, wipe it down with a damp cloth and wait for the wood to dry completely.

    Prime Away

    Next, you can apply a coat of primer to promote the adhesion of the pain to the wooden surface and wait for the wood to fully dry. This step isn’t mandatory, but it will ensure that whatever you write on top lasts much longer.

    To Sketch or Not to Sketch, That Is the Question

    If you think it’s necessary, you can sketch the drawing or outline any letters you’ll be writing with a graphite pencil before going in with the marker. This will reduce the chances of making any mistakes once you start applying the paint.

    Pen Prep and Prime

    We’ve already mentioned that it isn't advisable to start writing immediately because that may result in accidental spills and smudges. It’s best to shake the pen vigorously for at least a minute or two, but for more precise recommendations, check the manufacturer’s label. Remember to keep the cap on while you’re shaking the pen and hold the pen upright after you remove the cap. Press down on the tip of the pen with your fingers for a few seconds, and then you can prime it by pressing the tip onto paper towels or newspaper until the paint starts to flow smoothly.

    Draw, Write, and Paint

    It’s finally time to start writing on your desired wooden surface. Follow the outline or sketch that you made previously, or do a free-hand drawing or calligraphy. If you notice that the flow is slowed down, re-shake and re-prime the pen as necessary. As soon as you finish, remember to put the cap back on to prevent the tip from drying. 

    Clean and Clear

    Should unwanted mistakes occur, wipe them with a damp cloth while the paint is wet, apply a detergent and scrub it, or gently remove it by scraping it with a craft knife. 

    Smooth Sealing

    An optional step is to apply a sealant to the completed work to safeguard it and shield it from potential damage that is sure to happen over time. You can omit this step if you don’t think you need it.

    Safe Storage

    Once you’ve finished your work, it’s time to store your tools. Ensure that the tip of the pen is clean and store the pen in a place away from direct sunlight and at room temperature. Some pens are best stored horizontally, others vertically. Visit the manufacturer guidelines for proper storage techniques.

    Ideas for Projects Using Paint Markers on Wood

    After you’ve purchased your paint markers, you’re probably wondering how you can use them. We’re delighted to share that these writing tools can be used for a lot of creative and engaging projects, and we’ll help spark your imagination by sharing a few ideas.

    • Create log sections with inspiring messages or picturesque landscapes. This is a great idea for people who are into arts and crafts. Any log that you make can be used as a coaster, displayed on the wall, or just showcased in a corner of your home.
    • Embellish the handles of kitchen utensils. You can easily customize everyday objects that you use around the kitchen and give them a personal touch.
    • Customize the drawers of dressers or side tables with intricate designs and patterns. This is a great way to spruce your children’s rooms and make them more vibrant with the help of your artistic expression.
    • Decorate wooden picture frames. Upscaling an old wooden picture frame and adding a new photo is a wonderful gift idea for a dear friend.

    While these are just a few examples of how you can use paint markers to enliven the decor and utensils in your home, the list of projects you can do around the home using paint markers is practically infinite and only limited by your imagination. Once you start painting with these tools, you’ll never stop thinking of new and creative ways that you can use them.


    You can find the best pen for writing on wood if you only know where to look, and our guide on top pens to look out for is the best place to start. While all the pens that we reviewed had some unique features, the one that really stands out from the rest as our top choice is the LAMY ST Multifunction Tri Pen. 

    It's great design and versatility make it an ideal pen for professionals and enthusiasts looking to create unique projects. The medium-sized tip allows you to create substantial glossy lines and embellish any wooden surface, making it a solution for all your writing needs on wood.

    We hope that throughout this guide, we’ve expanded your knowledge about the different types of pens that can be used to write on wood, and that you’re one step closer to picking the right pen for yourself. If you have any pen recommendations that aren’t on our list, we invite you to share them in the comment section below. 

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