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 pen dries on a latex balloon and is rubbed, the paint flakes off. In contrast, 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 markers 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.  Using the Sharpie white marker requires shaking to mix the paint and solvent, then inserting the felt-tip into the pen to activate the paint marker fully. Once activated, you need 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 unique activation needed.

The difference is between the lines

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

When using the Sharpie paint marker, I found that if I touched the black Sharpie outline, the solvent in the Sharpie paint marker reactivated the black ink and smeared it into the white, thus giving me a gray area.  Once I did this, I would either let it dry and paint over it or 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.

I’ve used the Galaxy paint marker 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 for a second paint coverage once it has dried; it is not as white if you don’t wait. The Galaxy is excellent 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 suitable for adding second coverage when needed.  This would be a great paint marker for décor twisters.  The Galaxy marker is excellent 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 streak. 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 introduce beginners to advanced entertainers to 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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