“Charging” the Paint Pen Tip
Before using any paint pen, you should shake it vigorously and make it rattle. This breaks up any clumps of paint inside from storage and will make it flow much smoother. Also, if coming from a cold environment, warm it on your hand a bit until its room temperature or slightly warmer. This will also help with a smoother application. If you have just freshly opened a paint pen, the tip will be “uncharged”.
As you can see from the photos above, it is still white. To use, grab a piece of scratch paper and push the tip into it several times until you see the paint start to flow. The tip depresses by design so do not panic. However, once the paint starts flowing, be careful not to push down again as it will pump the pen out. If you pump it out when it is already flowing, you can leave a blotch on your work.
You can see what the charged pen tip looks like after above. Once it is already charged, it will write as if a regular sharpie. Sharpies tend to be high quality as well so the felt tip provides just enough resistance that you can draw for an hour without pumping it. You can even resume painting after the next day without pumping it again, but it will not flow out and leak unless you pump the tip too much. The same idea goes for the Krylon gold leafing pen and other paint pen brands.
Test the Tip Before Using
Needless to say, make sure to do a test before applying on any surface. If applying on a case side panel or a metal plate, you can try it on the underside of a similar metal finish first.
As you can see, the fine tip is not as fine as you would think. Since these are basically marker felt tips, they can be pretty thick for finer details. Stick with Extra Fine if you want to draw and it should give you enough versatility on most small to medium size projects (like a keyboard plate or a mid-tower case side panel). The fine and medium can be used for filling in larger spaces, or as area/edge coloring. A painter’s tape would be handy to isolate some areas before using the thicker brush.
The Krylon 18-karat gold leafing pen has a chisel tip rather than a round tip. Since it is primarily for leafing purposes or for full coverage rather than detail work. As mentioned previously, although the gold colors between Sharpie’s and Krylon’s are close in person, when photographed they look different. The Krylon’s is flatter but highly reflective at some angles.