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Troubleshooting your Life of Colour Paint Pens

Trouble shooting, what are we talking about here? There’s always the string of everlasting questions and sometimes we hesitate to ask the how, when’s and why’s in the world of paint pens. No need to hesitate here because we are more than willing to help anyway we can and your feedback and constructive criticism is always valued. Let’s start with some commonly asked questions and answer them now with the best of our knowledge.

Trouble shooting, what are we talking about here? There’s always the string of everlasting questions and sometimes we hesitate to ask the how, when’s and why’s in the world of paint pens. No need to hesitate here because we are more than willing to help anyway we can and your feedback and constructive criticism is always valued. Let’s start with some commonly asked questions and answer them now with the best of our knowledge.

Why are my pens appearing to be watery and uneven in colour when I try to use them?

blue rock

The image above on this “rock in progress” shows different tones of colour on the rock. Let’s take a look at what’s happening and how to fix this issue.

Firstly this blue classic colour was a pen that has not been used at all today and I removed the lid and just went ahead painting the rock with it. The paint that has come from the pen is very uneven in colour due to the simple fact I did not prepare the pen for use, the labels on each of our Life of Colour pens are a constant reminder to care for your pens.

Take a close look at the instructions in the picture form below. Shake, burp, prime, paint, lid. Before initially putting your pens to use you may have followed these steps but do you always remember to shake and prime before every use? Take some advice from the pro’s- shake that baby before use, during use and after if you want. Pens cannot be shaken too much the ball bearings inside do all of the hard work for you and a well shaken pen will ensure your paint is well distributed. Remember- shaken not stirred!

My colours keep running together. How do I stop this?

There are a couple of possibilities that are going to answer this problem. Wet rocks! Whilst if you know how to utilise a wet rock it is most commonly your worst enemy. A wet rock waters down the appearance of your paint and also creates a bleeding effect where colours will run together with blurred lines. Being impatient! Be kind to yourself and your own work, whether you are an artist in the making or an experienced entrepreneur of art. Paint pens work best if allowed to dry between coats, tasks and layers.

What’s the best storage solution for my pens?

There are plenty of storage solutions available for your paint pens. You could get creative using cardboard rolls, repurpose a shoebox or pencil case. If that’s not your style you may want to look at a craft box , tackle box (hubby won’t mind) or a specifically designed paint pen case available online or in your local art and craft store. Whatever your choice may be we do suggest a few essential points; Away from direct sunlight; around room temperature. (Do not want them in hot or cold conditions); Lay them flat to prevent total paint separation.

The nibs in my 1mm pens keep getting blocked - why, what can I do to fix them?

Let’s take a look at the common problem with the 1mm nibs, impatience. I for one am the biggest guilty party in this issue always trying to rush into the next task, I’m a “doer” not a “waiter”. When we rush layers of paint and try to add outlines, features onto our work that we have not let the paint set - the fine tip paint pen will pick up some of this paint in the nib which will in turn glog and eventually create a major problem. Another common cause for this is over pumping your pen and not cleaning the nib afterwards. So now we know what went wrong. The next question is how do we fix this? Remove your nib -leaving your pen upright in a cup and place the nib into a cup of hot (not boiling) water and leave it until you can see the nib has cleared, pat it dry and replace it into your paint pen. Treat it like new and shake, prime etc and you're ready to go!

I have dry felt nibs in my paint pens- what do I do?

It is very important to look after your paint pens and always replace the lids properly to prevent them drying. Our younger artists sometimes forget or lack the finger strength to do this properly. It pays to double check every time after use. Remove the nib (gently pull or use tweezers) and place the nib into a cup of hot water (not boiling) leaving your paint pen standing upright in a cup to prevent paint loss, doing this should recondition the nib. After some time pat the nib dry and place it back into the pen. Follow directions as if putting the pen to its first use.

Why is my pen leaking?


Pens can leak when they have had the pump valve over pumped, the nib is blocked, the nib inside of the pen has been fitted incorrectly or the top of the pen is partially unscrewed.
Clean your nibs (as described above) whilst you have the top of the pen off make sure the two plastic caps are flush in the pen this will prevent leaking.
The top of the pen should be screwed down tightly.
It is not necessary to continually pump your pen for paint flow- doing so will result in blotching and will give the appearance of a leaky pen.

The nib on my 1mm pen split what did I do wrong?

There’s a couple of valid answers to this question-the most common being rock choice. When a rock is very rough on the surface it will create a sticking point that your paint pen will get stuck in, just like rough sandpaper. If this happens too many times the tip will become mis-shaped and eventually split. Another common reason for split nibs is being heavy handed. If you find that you are having to press hard to get your pen to work then you may have an underlying problem going on (unprimed pen or blocked nib)

Can I buy new nibs for my pens?

This question has an easy answer - yes you can! But before doing so you should make sure that you need to. Possible reasons for needing to replace pen nib

1. The nib in the 1mm is broken or split

2. The nib in the 3mm has worn down flat

3. The nib in the 3mm has dried hard.

So you’ve tried all the troubleshooting options and have decided you need to buy new nibs as your pen still has some liquid gold inside, the leading question now is, Where are the nibs available to buy?

Life of colour online store of course! Over here!

Get busy and fix those issues you have - don’t give up! 

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