Monday, February 15, 2016

To Bake or Not to Bake: test results (updated)

Okay, so last time I wrote about a marker I picked up to test out for use on cups, bowls, etc.  You can read about that here.

I hadn't wanted to wash the bowl I'd got my daughter to draw on, so I tried it out on a large mug I already had.

I'm glad I didn't try and wash that bowl.  The "permanent" Painters marker washed right off.

So I bought a couple of plain white serving platters to continue testing, then did a bit of research.  I decided to try several different types of marker that I have, then bake one of the platters.  I then tested the durability by first hand washing them, then putting them through the dishwasher.

Here are the results.

First up, here are my platters and my selection of markers.

As you can see, I've got quite a few Sharpies.  Actually, mine are the plain old regular Sharpies with fine tips.  My daughter passed on her large chisel tip Sharpies, as well as a couple of brush tip Sharpies.

I've also got the Painters marker from before, a couple of Studio brand metallic markers that are similar to the fine tip Sharpies, plus I picked up a pair of Studio brand dual tip markers in gold and silver.  These are the type that, like the Painters marker, need to be primed first, by pushing the tip in several times until the ink gets absorbed and begins to flow.

I made things easy for myself by simply writing out the names of the different types of markers on both platters.

The Painters marker wrote well, with a nice deep black and clean lines.  I was also very happy with how the Studio dual-tip markers wrote.  They flowed beautifully, had nice crisp lines and good, metallic colour.

The Studio metallic markers, on the other hand, sucked on this surface.  The gold looks more yellow, and the silver is barely visible at all.

The brush tip Sharpies were a bit unusual to work with, but the colour and coverage was pretty good.  The other Sharpies were... okay.  The black isn't as opaque and crisp as the Painters.  The red and yellow in the flowers were nice.  For the leaves, I used two different greens, with a darker green outline filled with a lighter green.  The second green smudged the inner line for the leaves' vein away, making it look like it was never there.  The chisel tips did not have very good coverage, though the colours of all the Sharpies stayed nice and bright.

 On taking the photos, I noticed this, though.  I managed to smudge some of the gold with my hand on both platters.  I had done the Painters marker first, then the dual tips, then turned the platters to do the others.  I must have smudged it while writing in the black Sharper on the other side.

So, something to remember; when using the dual tip markers, they need a bit more time to dry than expected.

Once the platters were marked up, I left them to sit overnight.  Except I got busy, and overnight ended up being a couple of days before I could go to the next step.  Baking one of them.

After looking around online, I decided to bake one of them at 425F for about 35 minutes.  I put it in before preheating the oven, because I figured it would be safer that way.  Once the oven was preheated, I set the timer to 35 minutes.  When the time was up, I shut off the oven and left the platter there to cool slowly.

It's pretty clear which one of these was baked!!

While the brush tip Sharpies held up well, the chisel and fine tip did not hold up at all.  Pretty dramatic.

I was really happy to see how well the dual tip and Painters markers held up.  The gold and silver kept their metallic shine quiet well.

I think my biggest surprise was the silver metallic marker.  It became more visible, and changed into a pinkish colour.

I left these overnight before I moved on to the next step: hand washing.


I put both in the sink and started washing the baked platter first.  I was not at all gentle about it, either.  The brush tip pink started to come off, so I just rubbed harder until it all came off.  The brown brush tip didn't even fade, but the Sharpies all faded just a bit while hand washing.

Then, as I rinsed off the soap, I saw the water hitting the platter below.  The water stream was hitting the end with the metallic marker, which had already washed off.  As I watched, the last letters of the Painters marker just lifted off and went away.  As in, the letters still kept their shape as they lifted off.  Unlike the dual tip markers, which began to spread as soon as the water touched them.

By the time I finished washing it, there were just the faintest traces of Sharpie left in a couple of places.

That left one last test.  The dishwasher.

I put them both in, even though the one was basically clean already.  I wanted to see if the tiny bits of pink and black I could see would wash off or not.

They didn't.  The unbaked platter still has the tiniest specks of colour left in a couple of places.

Let's take a closer look at the baked platter.

Here is the ordinary black Sharpie with fine tip.  It faded a little more, but otherwise held up to the dishwasher rather well.

The coverage and opacity is rather poor, though.

The Studio metallic markers were pretty much unchanged.  So while their colour did not transfer well, and the silver, which was barely visible at first, darkened and changed colour, once baked, it stays.

I am really happy with how the Painters marker held out.  It comes in a variety of colours, and if they all hold out as well as the black did, I will be very pleased.

The instructions on the package says "permanent", but says nothing about using heat to make it permanent.  Given how well it writes and how the opacity holds out, I'm really glad that baking it worked.  I'll happily pick up more of these.

I think I'm happiest with the gold and silver Studio dual tip markers.  They write beautifully on the surface.  The lines are clean and crisp and the opacity holds up really, really well.  The photo does not do the metallic shine justice.

These guys are winners.

They are also Dollarama purchases.  I can't even find them online!  I don't know if they're exclusive to  Dollarama or what, but when I do a search, I'm finding everything but this particular brand.  Which is weird.
Maybe I need to stock up when I get the chance, just in case!!

Update - March 8, 2016:  Thank you, Panya, for sending me info and links in the comments!  These markers are as EK Success metallic writer pens.  Along with her link to a silver one on Amazon, I found it in the colours, green and purple. (Get Crafting! affiliate links)

And finally, the other Sharpies.


While the black managed to stay, the colours just ... didn't.  The bright blue chisel tip changed the most.  I think that's kind of a brown now.  The green outline (also chisel tip) became blue.  The red fine point markers turned orange.  The yellow disappeared.  The greens for the leaves turned blue, then went away.

There you have it.  A range of markers and colours, baked and unbaked, hand washed and dishwasher tested.

It now makes me wonder about all those Pinterest photos of gorgeously decorated dishes, cups, etc.  So many of them are said to be done in Sharpie, and most do not mention being baked at all.  How did they hold up, AFTER the photos were taken?  The one site I found that did a test used only black Sharpie on plain white plates, baked.  The person used a large tipped marker (not sure if it was chisel, but most likely) to fill in large, bold letters, unlike the simple letters I did.  It held up extremely well, while mine didn't, though at least the black fine tip and brown brush did did hold up better than the bright colours.

After this test, I wouldn't use Sharpies at all.  I'll stick to Painters (which comes in a range of colours) and Studio dual tip metallics (they didn't come in any other colours).


Panya said...

Those metallic markers are made by EK Success/EK Tools [I've seen both names].

I thought this was the brand's site:

When I tried to check, it said it was down for maintenance, and when I tried to find a cached version it took me to the Simplicity site: [so maybe the brand is owned by Simplicity?]

I also found it on Amazon:

Anna Krupnik-Boudreau said...

Thank you so much!!!