Fountain pens are incredibly versatile. Many use them for writing, sketching, drawing, calligraphy, and decorating. These pens come with various inks and ink colors, but there are no inks that can quite match the intensity, color variations, and permanence of acrylic inks. For this reason, many fountain pen users find themselves asking, can you use acrylic ink in fountain pens?
Acrylic ink should not be used in fountain pens unless the pen is designed for it. Acrylic ink is very thin acrylic paint and will damage or permanently destroy most fountain pens. Some modern fountain pens are built to use acrylic ink, but they must still be maintained well.
Acrylic ink is very attractive, but it is designed for paintbrushes, dip pens, airbrushes, and stamps. Fountain pens should be used with fountain pen ink, as they are quite delicate and can be easily and permanently damaged by inks that are not meant to be used in them. Let’s look at whether or not acrylic inks can be used in fountain pens, what happens if you do use acrylic ink in a fountain pen and if there are any fountain pens that can handle this type of ink.
Can You Use Acrylic Ink In A Fountain Pen?
Acrylic ink is very thick, very vibrant, very saturated, and comes in a wide variety of colors.
This ink is water-resistant when dry on paper, and it is very quick-drying and permanent.
For these reasons, many fountain pen users may try to use acrylic ink in their fountain pens, but this is usually a mistake. Acrylic ink is not meant for use in fountain pens.
Acrylic ink is a very heavy, saturated pigment suspended in liquid acrylic resins. It is essentially the thinnest form of acrylic paint. It is very thick, dries very quickly, and has a lot of suspended particles.
Fountain pens are designed to work with relatively thin, free-flowing ink, with not too many particles suspended in it, and takes a little while to dry when exposed to air.
For these reasons, acrylic ink is not well suited for fountain pens and can cause permanent damage to fountain pens.
Most fountain pens will only work with ink that is specifically designed for use in fountain pens. Most other inks will simple seize the pen and may cog it permanently.
The quick-drying nature of acrylic ink, and the fact that it is nearly waterproof, mean that it is likely to dry within the nib and feed of the fountain pen and can not be easily washed out.
The acrylic ink will dry in thin layers within the fountain pen’s inner workings, slowly building up to form a permanent plug in the pen that will not allow ink to flow freely from the pen, effectively disabling the pen permanently.
Acrylic ink should not be used for fountain pens unless the pen has been built for using this type of specialized ink.
Even if the acrylic ink has been thinned or diluted, it should not be used in a fountain pen that is not designed to use it.
There are some modern fountain pens that are designed to work with acrylic ink, as this ink is very desirable and is excellent for most applications.
These specially designed fountain pens are made to be disassembled easily, which allows for thorough cleaning of the entire pen. Even the nib of these pens can be taken apart for cleaning.
These are the only fountain pens that can use acrylic ink. All others should avoid it entirely.
Does Acrylic Ink Damage Fountain Pens?
Acrylic ink is very thick and very quick drying. It is intended for use with brushes, dip pens, airbrushes, and stamps.
For these applications, acrylic ink is ideal and a brilliant medium to use.
For fountain pens, however, acrylic ink can be a killer.
Acrylic ink will work for a while in every fountain pen, but it will not be very effective, and after a few days, or maybe a few weeks, the acrylic ink will render the fountain pen useless.
This type of ink is designed to be fast drying and waterproof. Fountain pens are meant to have ink stored within them.
This means that if the seals on the fountain pen are tarnished or do not make a perfectly tight seal, the acrylic paint will harden into a block of plastic within the pen’s chamber.
Fountain pens have a small amount of ink that is leftover on or in the nib after the pen has been used. If acrylic ink is used in the pen, it will dry very quickly on the nib of the pen and build up a layer of acrylic on it.
Fountain pens have a feed that lets the ink flow from the chamber of the pen to the nib of the pen for leaving marks on paper. If acrylic ink is used, a small layer of it will dry within the feed every time the pen is used, and it will build up to clog the feed entirely.
Acrylic ink is not water-soluble. This means that it can not be cleaned out of the fountain pen without the use of powerful chemicals that will damage the pen in the process.
Acrylic ink will permanently damage most fountain pens that it is used in. Using acrylic ink in a fountain pen will clog the pen quickly, rendering it useless, and flushing the pen with solvents will irreparably damage the pen’s inner workings.
Are There Any Fountain Pens That Can Use Acrylic Ink?
There are some modern fountain pens that acrylic ink can be used in.
Fountain pens that are designed specifically for thick, quick-drying inks are high-capacity pens that can be completely disassembled for cleaning.
These pens are made from very hardy materials, such as hard metals and tough plastics, that can be cleaned with solvents and sonic cleaning devices.
The nibs of these pens and the feed mechanism can be entirely taken apart for cleaning as well, ensuring that if the acrylic ink clogs any part of the pen, it can be opened up and cleaned, allowing the pen to be used again.
These pens are so tough and can be cleaned so easily that they can even use extremely thick mediums such as gouache.
Which Pens Can Use Acrylic Ink Well?
The best pens to use with acrylic ink are dip pens.
A good dip pen can be as useful as a fountain pain and even more versatile and much tougher. There are no mechanical parts that can go wrong with a dip pen, and the nibs are replaceable and very cheap to buy.
These pens are a brilliant alternative to fountain pens, and if you are set on using acrylic ink, a dip pen is the way to go.
It will handle very similarly to a fountain pen, and it will be able to handle the acrylic ink with ease!
Acrylic ink is versatile, strong, thick, and beautiful to use, but it should not be used in normal fountain pens.
Acrylic ink will permanently clog and irreparably damage most fountain pens if it is not cleaned out of the pen immediately after use.
Acrylic ink is fast drying and water-resistant. This means that it will dry very quickly in the fountain pen chamber, or more likely in the feed and nib of the fountain pen.
Once the ink is dry in the pen, it can not be flushed out or dissolved with water. Using other solvents or chemicals will damage the pen.
This means that acrylic ink will harden inside the pen, and can not be removed without damaging the pen, thus clogging the pen and rendering it permanently unusable.
There are some fountain pens that can use acrylic ink, but even these pens must be completely dismantled and cleaned with solvents or sonic cleaning devices after using acrylic ink.
Acrylic ink is wonderful, but not for fountain pens! Stick to ink that is meant for fountain pens, and your fountain pens will last you a lifetime!