A paint marker is a type of marker used to create permanent writing on a variety of surfaces such as paper, metal, stone, rubber, plastic and glass.
Unlike most permanent markers, the ink is an oil-based paint and generally requires agitation before use, similar to an aerosol can. In addition, the line is very opaque and, unlike alcohol-based inks or other permanent inks, it does not fade with exposure to UV rays and covers all other underlying colors. Painting these types of markers is not really permanent, as it can be removed using high pressure cleaners or paint thinners such as acetone.
Paint markers and permanent markers usually contain toxic xylene or toluene compounds. Like spray paint, these markers release volatile organic compounds, which can be dangerous when not used in a well-ventilated area or with a particulate mask. Gloves may also be worn to prevent absorption through the skin.
Another type of paint marker is the solidified paint pen. It is a type of marker, often contained in a torsion tube, which is a cylinder of semi-hardened oil paint with a pointed tip. As we write with, the point wears out and must be advanced to continue writing. The marker leaves a mark similar to that of chalk. It is useful for marking on wet or oily surfaces. It is sold under the brand name MeanStreak in the United States and generic versions are also available online. It is manufactured by Sanford, the manufacturer of Sharpies, but there are many brands and types of solidified paint pens.
Paint pens are used for a variety of purposes. Their most general use is on windows, and they are often used to advertise sales or discounts aimed at attracting potential buyers. Restaurants often hire a professional artist to “paint” with markers on their windows. Another popular use is for tire lettering, where car enthusiasts use markers to customize the look of their tires.