How to write on ceramics?

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Ever wondered if you could write on your ceramic mug? Can you add some quirky quotes to make your ceramic look out of the ordinary? Well, the answer is yes. You can surely write on ceramics, but not all sharpies or pens would work on your ceramic piece. While some are permanent and dishwasher safe, others might wash off pretty soon. So, you need to pick an ink that dries off fast and becomes permanent.


So, how would you write on ceramics? Let us check out some quick tips and tricks to write on ceramics.


Can You Use Sharpies on Ceramics?

Sharpies come with fine point tips that are oil-based in nature. Apart from being available in a range of colors, sharpies can be used in pottery, ceramics, or any regular surface such as plastic, glass, paper, metal, stone, & others. These colors dry away quickly & don’t fade away easily even with regular use. Moreover, they are abrasion-free and water-resistant.


However, whether or not they are permanent on ceramics is a topic we will discuss in this article.


What Type of Markers Can be Used on Ceramics?

For artists that love to create some amazing graphics and designs on ceramics, the key is to use alcohol pens. The best thing about alcohol-based markers is that it is waterproof and permanent. Moreover, the ink tends to dry out extremely quickly.


If you are a great artist and can draw fast, these markers are perfect. However, given that the ink dries out fast, you might find it difficult to correct any mistakes. Alternatively, water-based ink takes a long time to dry, which gives you enough time to correct the mistakes.


Do Sharpies Stay on your Ceramic Piece?

Sharpies have multi-purpose ink, which is permanent in nature. It does stick to most surfaces but doesn’t stick to certain surfaces permanently. This is especially true for non-porous surfaces such as ceramics.


To understand how well sharpies stay on ceramic pieces, you need to understand the properties of ceramic.

Wear-resistant and hard
Prone to chipping
Porous (Becomes non-porous after glazing)
Heat Conductivity
Ideal thermal insulators
Reaction with other chemicals
Chemically inert



Sharpies of different colors that include silver, gold, or black can help you create some amazing designs on your ceramic piece. To avoid any mistakes, you can start by sketching out your idea on the drawing paper before sketching it on the ceramic. This will help your designs come out as you intended them to.


How Do You Add Permanency to Sharpie Designs on Ceramic?

Remember, sharpies aren’t permanent, and they might come off after being washed a few times in your dishwasher. So, the key is to make it permanent through baking action. Now, how do you bake the sharpie designs on ceramic to become permanent? The key is to bake your ceramic mug in your home oven for a minimum of 30 minutes while maintaining 350 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.


Make sure you place your ceramic mug in the oven before it starts heating up. Leave it inside once the baking process is complete. Remove it only after it has cooled down to room temperature. This will avoid any abrupt temperature change, which tends to cause breakage issues or cracks.


If you wish to really set in the sharpie designs in your ceramic, you can bake it twice. This will give you an affirmation that the sharpie designs on the ceramic don’t come off. Regardless, good care and gentle washing are always recommended.


Can You Write with Paint on Ceramics?

Another way you can contribute to the designs of your ceramic piece is by using paint. You can use a sharp brush or fine tip to create some unique designs or write something on your ceramic mug. The best paint variant to write on ceramics is acrylic paint. Most acrylic paints are specifically designed to be worked on unglazed ceramics.


Make sure you check the paint’s label before you make a purchase. Ensure that it is well-suited for use in ceramics. Once your paint has dried off in the mug, you can make it permanent by topping it with a high-quality clear sealant. Make sure it isn’t the yellow type. The clear sealant will add some shine to the ceramic and prevent your designs from cracking.


This sealant will stay in place when used to hold liquid or solid that is too hot or too cold.


Another way to make your acrylic paint designs permanent on a ceramic surface is to bake the same. Place your ceramic art within the oven and start preheating it to 300oF. Once the preheating timer is done, set the alarm for at least 30 minutes.


Finally, turn down your oven & allow the piece to cool down inside the oven before you remove it.


Paint Pens: Can You Use them on Ceramics?

You can create different sorts of designs on ceramics with the help of paint pens. These pens are made specifically to be dishwasher-safe. However, this is applicable only after the design is sealed with some form of sealant. These paint pens are fun and easy to use, given that there is no need for a kiln to fire the artwork and the designs you added to it.



A good choice for artists in need of paint pens is the Artistro Paint Pens. This combination of 12 acrylic colors comes with an extra-fine tip for precision.


Can Porcelain Pens be used on Ceramics?

Porcelain markers are perfectly fine to be used on any type of heat-stable surface. This includes terracotta, glass, porcelain, metal, and ceramic as well. The colors that come with the porcelain pens are safe for use in a dishwasher post oven baking.


If you think you have made a mistake when creating the designs, you can always use rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes to erase the same. However, you need to do so only before applying the sealant. Using a sealant should be the final stage of this process of creating a design or writing on ceramics.



With these tips in mind, you can create some exquisite designs with precision on your ceramic mug, bowl, vase, and more. Make sure you do not rub the surface vigorously when cleaning it to ensure the designs stay intact. When taken care of the right way, ceramic designs created with sharpies or paint pens can last for years. So, unleash your inner artist and add some uniqueness to your ceramic art.

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