Best Paint Markers: Top Paint Pens to Use on Mugs

We got to say, paint pen mugs are all over the internet these days. They are super easy and fun to make with just a few supplies and markers. At the same time, you can give your dull and boring coffee mugs a really cool makeover using Sharpie paint pens. Plus, you can use a variety of colors to add beautiful details to your mug.

So, if you have a basic mug at home that needs transforming or you want a DIY project, read this simple tutorial for a paint markers mug and make a cute little personalized mug for yourself or a loved one. All you need is a mug, a few supplies, and some water-based paint markers.

Best Sharpie Paint Pens to Use on Mugs

How to Make Your Own Paint Pen Mug

To make your own Sharpie mug, you will need:

1. A white cup or mug.

You can choose one that’s lying around in your kitchen, or get one at a thrift store, dollar store, supermarket, or any online store. We’ve tried a variety of mugs and any type will work great for your painting project.

2. Choose a paint pen.

Getting your paint markers right is an important decision because you wouldn’t want the art to fade away from your mug surfaces. For the highest quality results, it’s better to choose an oil-based paint Sharpie as the regular one can come off even after you’ve baked it. As for the color of your paint markers, you can keep the colors minimal with just one color; black markers are is usually the perfect choice for this. Or else, you can even go with a combination of different colors and shades if you want to make your mug more vibrant. If you have trouble choosing an ideal paint pen, we’ve got a few great suggestions later on in the article.

3. Start with the paint drawing

Once you pick your paint markers, zero in on the art design you want on your cup. You can just go for simple typography, doodles or any other art design you think goes well with the mug. Browse through Google Images or Pinterest for inspiration, if necessary. Before you start the painting, do some trial runs on the paper, so you get it right because it’s almost impossible to get the ink off mug surfaces if you go wrong.

4. Dry the mug.

Once you’re done with the painting, make sure to dry out your mug overnight, or at least for a few hours. In case you want to be double-sure, you can re-sketch on the mug and dry it again before you place it in the oven for baking.

5. Let the baking begin.

Baking the mug before using it is essential to ensure that the Sharpie ink doesn’t come off. After drying the mug, bake it in the oven for about thirty minutes at a temperature of 350°F. The mug should be placed in the oven before the oven gets all warmed up and taken out only after it has completely cooled down. This is to see that the mugs don’t get any cracks. Like the drying process, even baking can be done twice to ensure the paint pen set in well and water won’t wash your art design off the mug.

6. Care and wash your paint pens and mug.

Though these mugs can be washed in a dishwasher, there are high chance that the ink may wear off sooner when using the dishwasher. So, it is better to hand-wash it carefully so that the art design lasts longer.

So, this is the process you must follow to make a paint pen coffee mug that’s completely personalized according to your likes and favorite colors. You can also coat it with a layer of mod podge or clear spray paint to keep the painting intact. But who would want these chemicals to go into the mouth?

Still, if you want to go with it, make sure you apply a coat only over the art design and not at the rim of the mugs because you wouldn’t want the harmful chemicals going into your body.

Best Paint Sharpie Markers

Now that you’ve learned how to create a Sharpie mug on your own, let’s have a look at some of the best paint markers you can use. We’ve already mentioned that oil-based paint markers are great for mug surfaces, and there are quite a few paint pen options available in the market. The best paint pens listed below might help you narrow down the option and make a decision.

Here is a list of the 2 best paint Sharpie markers that you can use to create vibrant, bold designs and artwork.

1. Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, Medium Point, Bright Paint Colors

SHARPIE Oil-Based Paint Markers, Medium Point, Bright Colors, 5 Count...
  • Colorful ink is perfect for rock painting,...
  • Quick drying oil based ink resists fading,...

For those who want to decorate their mugs with images and typography-based designs, this medium paint marker set is a good bet for your painting needs. The markers are not too thin, which enables you to fill in the art designs with color. In addition to paint pen Sharpie mugs, these colors are also ideal for rock painting, scrapbooking, window, fabric, and poster surfaces.

The ink in the markers is oil-based and water and smudge resistant. Plus, the markers are also long-lasting and wouldn’t fade away easily. The paint pens come in five colors – Orange, Aqua Blue, Pink, Lime Green, and Purple, all of which give a contrasting, opaque, and glossy look to your art.

Before you use the paint pen, make sure you keep the tip upright, push it against your finger, then recap and shake it once again before pressing the tip’s surface a few times.

  • Durable
  • Doesn’t smear
  • Maintains the bright hue even after baking
  • Colors can change if baked above 350 degrees
  • Not ideal for outlining

2. Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Marker, Medium Point, Black Ink Paint

Now, these paints are perfect for those who just want to stick to art designs in classy black. The oil-based opaque paint marker by Sharpie is Xylene-free and is resistant to both fading and water.

The marker works on the valve-action technique which allows the paint to flow freely while painting. We tried the markers, and the set works exceptionally well on different surfaces like ceramic, glass, stone, metal, and pottery. And unlike other colored markers, these work extremely well on the cup’s surfaces, owing to the darkness of the resin.

The markers come with medium-point tips, making them perfect for font-based designs and other drawings on the mugs.

  • Works smoothly
  • Dark and glossy finish
  • Smear-proof lines
  • The paint-based ink can be a little thin for some people’s tastes


These are a few markers that you could use for your next painting project. Just choose a set with a great tip based on your preferences and the design you chose for your DIY paint pen mug. 

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11 thoughts on “Best Paint Markers: Top Paint Pens to Use on Mugs”

  1. Thanks for the brief but informative diy guide. This will help me personalize Christmas gifts for my family and friends!

  2. Very lovely article, some prefer to pay for a personalized mug but others prefer to do it themselves, I stick with the second 🙂

  3. This is a good personalized gift idea. I would definitely try this and make some for myself and friends.

  4. Very informative post, I like sharpie mugs there always look cute and colorful. I will using this tutorial to turn my basic mugs to sharpie mugs. I prefer the sharpie oil paint markers it’s so colorful.

  5. You’ve just given me a cool personalized gift idea to give to my friend on her coming birthday. I would definitely try this DIY sharpie mugs. I think I would try Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, Medium Point, Bright Colors. I like that they come in 5 different vibrant colors. As what you have mentioned in your post, it is not only used for sharpie mugs but also “ideal for rock painting, scrapbooking, window and poster arts.” This a very good deal.

  6. Thanks for the tips. My daughter is going to try out all three (I prefer the oil-based paint marker myself) for her school project. I’m gonna tell her to take note of the baking temp (not higher than 350 for the medium ones, got it).

  7. I didn’t know that mugs at home can come to life by exuding vibrance by just using simple tools. Now, drinking coffee in the morning wouldn’t be the same anymore. Thanks to this helpful article of yours.

  8. I always enjoy sharpies on mugs but never knew how to decorate mine.Will be following the steps in this tutorial. The sharpie paint marker all 15 color set will be very colorful.

  9. Thanks for the wonderful review! I’ve been considering whether to buy Sharpie or not. I like the packaging and the price is considerable so I might give it a shot.

  10. I was not expecting pens to be honest. With that said, this can be a very nice gift to my nieces ha ha.

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