Are Brush Pens Good On Wood? What You Must Know

Choosing the correct one for your wood DIY projects could become challenging with so many pens to choose from. There might be a wooden item you’d like to decorate, and now you’re left with the question of whether using a brush pen would work.

Brush pens work excellently on wood, as it acts like a stain and still allows you to see and appreciate the wood grain through the color. By following the few crucial and correct steps when taking on a project with brush pens on wood, you are sure to have a successful DIY project!

Using a brush pen on wood can make for an elegant-looking project, and it’s not difficult at all! Continue reading with us as we discuss everything you need to know about brush pens on wood!

What You Need Before Using Your Brush Pen On Wood

Before starting with your project, you will need a few things to prepare correctly. By knowing precisely what you need, you will successfully be able to complete your project to the fullest.

Let’s take a look at the things you will need for using a brush pen on wood:

Your Wooden Sign Or Plank

You will, of course, need your chosen wooden sign or plank. It can either be repurposed or premade.

Many stores sell wooden plants that are ready to be hung, and it could be an excellent choice for you if you’re not as good in the handyman department as you would be in the creative department!

Transfer Paper

Transfer paper will make transferring your chosen design onto the wood much more effortless. You can use white transfer paper for darker wood and darker transfer paper for lighter colored wood.

Transfer paper will make for a complete and well-rounded design. This will be the best choice for you if you are a perfectionist!

Your Oil-Based Brush Pen

You will need to make use of an oil-based brush pen. It is crucial that you do not use a water-based brush pen, as it will smudge after it has dried on the wood.

Any color oil-based brush pen will work for your project, and you can even use it for coloring purposes, and not only for writing purposes. The choice is up to you, but keep in mind that an oil-based brush pen will benefit you most if you plan on using It on wood.

A Multi-Purpose Sealer

If you plan on placing your piece outdoors, it would be in your best interest to add a protective sealant. It would be best to use a water-based multi-purpose sealant, as it has no odor, and you will quickly be able to wash off the paintbrush.

Water-based sealants are great to use on many types of surfaces, including wood, metal, glazed ceramics, plaster, and terra cotta. So the best thing of all is that you will be able to use this sealant on any other type of project as well!

A Paintbrush With An Angle

Any type of paintbrush will work to apply your sealer, but an angled one would be best. An angled paintbrush is much easier to work with and doesn’t feather.

If you do not have a paintbrush, you can purchase an artist-quality one for your sealer, as your sealer are water-based and can easily be washed off. This way, you will also have a paintbrush for your other DIY projects to come!

How To Use Your Brush Pen Correctly On Wood

Writing on wood is a fantastic way to get in touch with your creative side and make something personalized in only a few hours. You can choose to letter a name, quote, poem, or even draw something. The possibilities are endless.

Let’s take a look at all the steps you need to follow using a brush pen to make the most out of your DIY project!

Practice Your Designs First

If you’re planning on writing or coloring onto a gift or an ornament, you don’t really have any room for making mistakes.

This is why it is crucial to take every precaution you possibly can! It will benefit you if you practice your design on your transferring paper before you make the transition onto the wood.

This will give you lots of time to make changes and decide on the color combinations you prefer for your project.

Consider The Type Of Wood

Finding the correct type of wood will make all the difference, especially when you use a brush pen. You would want to achieve a smooth-looking finish without any gaps or bumps. Pine, maple and birch wood are all trendy choices because they are easy to work with because of their smooth surface.

Oakwood would be more challenging to work on because of the porous material. Creating a consistent and well-rounded design that’s not interrupted by gaps or bumps could become problematic.

Step-By-Step Guide To Use A Brush Pen On Wood

Let’s take a look at the steps you need to take when using a brush pen on wood:

Step 1: Preparing The Surface Of The Wood

The success of your project will depend on well you prepare the surface of the wood. You need to varnish your piece of wood. You can choose to use a fast-drying polyurethane for all the varnishing steps.

Ensure that you allow the varnish to dry thoroughly before adding any lettering or designs with your brush pen. Using varnish will prevent the ink of your brush pen from bleeding, and it will also make it significantly easier to correct any mistakes, should you have any.

Step 2: Add Your Designs Using Your Brush Pen

It is vital that you do a test patch on your piece of wood to make sure you don’t see any bleeding and the marker goes on smoothly.

If everything looks good to go, you can use your brush pen and trace your letters or designs onto the wood.

Step 3: Apply Your Final Sealant Coat

Paint your sealant over your designs or letters. Make sure that you try it first on your test patch. You can either use a glossy or matte finish, but any finish will do the trick! You can also choose to coat it using a high gloss resin if you prefer.

It is advised to use two or three coats of acrylic finish to seal your piece of wood fully before adding the resin coating if you choose to go in that direction.

Your design is finished! By following these above steps, you will get the best out of your brush pen, and the sealant will make for a well-rounded and professional piece!


Brush pens are more than good on wood. They are excellent! Using a brush pen on wood can be challenging, but if you follow the correct steps and educate yourself on the project before taking it on, you are sure to give a wonderful gift to anyone!


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