Making a White Streak

White Paint Marker for Drawing on a Latex Balloon

Left side Sharpie | Right side Galaxy

The search continues to find the best economic white paint marker that works on latex balloons.  Recently I’ve had the opportunity to purchase a white Sharpie paint marker from a local craft store.

Sharpie markers are the duct tape of the balloon industry. For decades balloon artists have used permeate quick-drying markers to draw on latex balloons. So when Sharpie introduced the white paint marker, it made sense to try it.

Sharpie VS Galaxy

To start, both “markers” really are paint pens and are not your typical ink markers.  Like a marker, they have a felt-tip, but these markers are filled with ink while paint pens are filled with paint.  When a paint pens dry on a latex balloon and rubbed, the paint flakes off. Whereas an ink marker, either the ink smears or in the case of a Sharpie marker does nothing.  In testing, both the Sharpie and Galaxy paint marker wrote smoothly and covered nicely on a black latex balloon.  However, there are differences between the two.

Let’s look at the design of each.  To use the Sharpie white marker requires shaking to mix the paint and solvent then inserting the felt-tip into the pen to fully activate the paint marker. Once activated, you just needed to shake the paint marker periodically to keep the paint mixed. The Galaxy paint marker is like a marker.   Just remove the cap and write. No shaking, no special activation needed.

The difference is between the lines

White paint markers are used to enhance dramatic effects on a balloon design like eyes or accents on a drawn diagram. It’s like coloring with paint markers, you just need to stay in the lines you have drawn.

When using the Sharpie paint marker, I found if I touch the black Sharpie outline the solvent in the Sharpie paint marker reactivated the black ink and would smear into the white, thus giving me a gray area.  Once I did this, I would either let it dry and paint over it, or just keep coloring until the area was whiter.  I did like the coverage is provided.  When I needed to paint a large area white, it worked nicely.

The Galaxy paint marker I’ve used for years and know that if I accidentally color over a black line, it covers it. The line is still visible, but the Sharpie ink is not activated. So no smearing occurs.  You can apply a second coverage of paint once it dried; if you don’t wait it is not as white. The Galaxy is great for working on smaller designs just for this reason. I would recommend it for those people doing line work.


The Sharpie paint marker is great for covering large areas and is good for adding second coverage when need.  This would be a great paint marker for décor twisters.  The Galaxy marker is great for line work and for people who need a white paint marker that is forgiving.  If you accidentally color over a white line, you are not going to have a gray smudge. Overall, both will write on a latex balloon and dry quickly.  It is how you are going to use the paint marker that determines which is best for you.

Learn how to Draw on a Balloon

Magical Balloon-dude Dale”s — Faces, Faces, Balloon Faces teach how to draw faces on balloon sculptures. This 32-page book will teach beginners to advanced entertainers the art of drawing faces on a balloon.

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1 thought on “Making a White Streak”

  1. Great conversation! I’ve used the Edding and other paint markers. I’ve never liked the shaking, mixing and priming. Sounds like I should try a Galaxy marker. Thanks!

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