How To Fix a Fountain Pen That Is Too Wet
fountain pen too wet

If your fountain pen is too wet, it can be difficult to use. You may not be able to write as neatly, because the lines are thick and difficult to control. The ink may also take too long to dry, causing it to smear easily across the paper or onto your hands. Although this might be frustrating, this is an issue that you can most likely resolve on your own. 

How Can You Fix a Fountain Pen That Is Too Wet?

There are a variety of reasons for a fountain pen to be too wet. Below, you can find a list of the most common causes and possible solutions. 

Use a Better Ink

Oftentimes, a fountain pen is too wet due to the type of ink being used. For instance, people who are new to writing with a fountain pen may pick the wrong type of ink, they may be using a cheaper, lower quality ink, or a type of ink that is formulated to be wet. 

There are many high-quality, dry-flowing inks on the market, such as the Pelican Edelstein

Evaluate the Quality of Your Paper

Fountain pen & handwriting paper

Certain types of paper will not absorb fountain pen ink as well as others. Many notebooks are meant to be used with traditional ballpoint pens, so the paper may not take fountain ink well. While this may sound like your fountain pen is too wet, in reality, the paper is the real problem. 

Most household paper, such as notebooks and printer paper, is made with a lower GSM (grams per square meter) than what is ideal for fountain pens. Using a higher GSM paper will guarantee a better writing experience. 

Dilute Your Ink

If you are planning to use a specific color or type of ink that is not dry flowing, it is possible to dilute it. While this is not recommended because it can cause more issues with your pen, it is still an option if you’re willing to take the risk. 

Glycerin can also be used to reduce the flow of ink if your fountain pen is writing too wet, but adding too much might ruin the pen.

Check if Your Pen Has a Wet Writing Nib

Many people prefer the look and feel of writing with a wet pen, so your pen may have a nib specifically designed to be wetter. If this is the case, you may be able to replace it with a standard nib that is designed to be drier.

Everyone has a personal preference for how wet or dry they would like their pen to write, and it may take trial and error to determine what works best for you. 

If you are also dealing with a pen that is too dry, view our article on fixing a dried-out pen

Narrow the Gap Between the Tines

It is very easy for the tines of a pen to misalign due to a sudden change in air pressure or temperature. Even if your pen is brand new, it could still have misaligned tines due to a factory error. This could lead to an increase in the ink flow, causing the fountain pen to be too wet. 

It is possible to visually inspect the tines to see if they are misaligned using a magnifying glass. Upon inspection, one tine may appear higher or lower than the other. Fortunately, you can adjust the tines on your own

Check the Feed of the Pen

Fountain pen leaking ink on table

As a fountain pen ages, the feed system can eventually stop working as well, leading to a fountain pen that writes too wet. It can be difficult to determine whether or not there is an issue with the pen feed, so you may need to visit a nibmeister to get your fountain pen repaired. 

Consult with a Nibmeister

While there are a variety of issues that can cause a fountain pen to be too wet, a nibmeister will likely be able to determine the cause and hopefully have a solution for you. With years of knowledge and expertise in fountain pens, they will have access to specialized equipment to repair your pen.

A nibmeister can assess and repair the feed of the pen, the cartridge, or the nib. If it is a valuable pen, repairs can cost less than the original price of the pen itself. 

While it may seem like a niche specialty, you can easily find a nibmeister online. 

Assess the Cartridge Convertor

Sometimes a cartridge convertor is made of low quality and can cause a fountain pen to write too wet. Or, your pen may have an ink cartridge that is too large or too small. You can visually inspect the cartridge to see if it’s leaking ink. In this case, you may need a nibmeister to repair it. 

Is Your Pen Leaking Into Its Cap?

If you’re worried that your pen is too wet because it’s leaking into the cap, this may be because the nib of your pen is damaged. This is another issue that a nibmeister can address. 


There are a variety of reasons for a fountain pen to be writing too wet. If using a different type of ink or paper does not resolve the issue, there is likely an issue with the pen itself. 

You can solve many of these issues on your own, such as trying a different nib, adjusting the tines, or, if you’re willing to give it a shot, diluting the ink. When in doubt, a professional nibmeister will be able to address and resolve any major issues you may be facing. 


Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about new articles