Best Pens for Writing on Glossy Paper

Quite a few of my best selling downloads are DIY Birthday Gift/Guest Book posters where you print out and write on them.

They look stunning printed onto glossy or satin paper (especially the gold effect versions). But it can be hard to write on those paper types without smudging. So what are the best pens for writing on glossy paper?

Please note that some of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, which means if you buy I get a (very) small percentage of the sale. If you would prefer not to support this site in that way, just go to Amazon and do a search for the pens yourself.

I decided to put it to the test :)

Testing Pens on Glossy Paper

I gathered together some different pen types and tried them out on glossy photo paper.

The danger with glossy and satin paper is that most pens will smudge badly. For example this is how a gel pen looks if you wipe over the ink too soon.

Not great! The Gel pens were very easy to smudge. Next I tried Sharpies. I used Ultra fine - the fine point is best especially if you have printed up a smaller version of my guest posters. I had black sharpies - but there are color ones available too.

They weren't bad. If you were careful to let the ink dry they didn't smudge - but you can see a tiny amount of smudging when I was less careful. You can see the dot above the i for example is a little smudged.

Next I tried Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens and these were absolutely the best for this purpose. I definitely recommend them on glossy paper. I got almost no smudging even if I wiped over the ink straight after writing. I think in a party situation these would work very well indeed.

They come in lots of colors, and also black. I love what one customer did to her 40th Birthday gift poster using these pens. Many thanks to Stephanie for letting me share!

So my recommendation? The Staedtler Triplus Fineliner came out the winner for me. If you need a pen to write onto glossy or satin effect paper then this is the one I would use.

Did you try a different pen? I would love to hear how it worked out for you.