As one of the oldest forms of art, the origins of painting can be traced back thousands of years. Methods and materials have progressed significantly since then, giving us canvases and convenient paint tubes. However, there's an even newer type of tool that has risen in popularity over the past several years which makes painting more convenient: paint markers.
While nothing can replace the satisfaction of traditional painting, these tools can be pretty fun. And, unlike their traditional counterparts, they don't require you to clean palettes or brushes afterward. Paint markers are a type of marker pen that dispenses opaque paint through a nib to write on a variety of porous and non-porous surfaces.
The most common varieties tend to be water-based and solvent-based. While both are advertised as permanent, there are some distinct differences to keep in mind. Solvent-based products, which are sometimes referred to as oil-based, typically produce a better flow of paint but also feature a strong, unpleasant odor. Water-based products, on the other hand, are odorless and generally safer for most users.
We've curated a selection of the best paint markers, which includes sets that are solvent-based and water-based. Uni-Posca Paint Markers, for instance, is a water-based marker set that is popular among many kinds of artists for their high-quality paint and versatility.
Check out our full selection of the 8 best paint markers, below.
These paint markers will help you embellish arts & crafts projects with colorful designs.
Uni-Posca Paint Markers (Medium Tip, Set of 8)
Illustrators, painters, and multimedia artists love Uni-Poscas for their high-quality pigments and versatility. Available in X-Fine, Fine, and Medium nib tips, these odorless and bleed-proof paint markers are ideal for marking paper, matboard, wood, styrofoam, metal, plastic, vinyl, glass, and more.
Montana Acrylic Markers (Fine Point, Color Set B, Set of 12)
Montana Acrylic Paint Markers are available in a wide range of opaque, matte colors. Set B in fine point includes blue, green, brown, red, and yellow hues that are lightfast, waterproof, and abrasion-proof. They can be used on most surfaces, including canvas, wood, metal, walls, and glass.
Decocolor Paint Markers (Broad Tip, Set of 6)
Decocolor Paint Markers are solvent-based and dry instantly, making them ideal for creating signage and posters. Additionally, all artwork made with Decocolor pens can be easily removed with turpentine, when needed.
Molotow One4All Acrylic Markers (2 mm Tip, Set of 6)
The biggest draw of Molotow One4All Paint Markers is that each one is refillable. So, while you pay more upfront for the utensil, these high-quality marker pens can be more cost-effective and definitely more environmentally friendly in the long run. Plus, their UV-resistant, lightfast, and solvent-free paint easily marks most indoor and outdoor surfaces.
Krink K-11 Acrylic Paint Markers
American brand Krink offers a beautiful set of 10 water-based markers with 9 ml capacity and a 3 mm double-sided bullet tip that is best suited for writing on smooth surfaces, such as paper, plastic, or canvas.
Kuretake Zig Posterman Paint Markers (Medium tip, set of 8)
Kuretake Zig Posterman Paint Markers are ideal for creating graphic signage work, especially on wood signs and chalkboards. Not only are they highly opaque, but they are also waterproof, so your artwork can survive rainy days.
Sakura Pen-Touch Paint Markers (Fine Tip, Set of 7)
Sakura Pen-Touch Markers feature archival-quality ink that can adhere to most surfaces, including glass, wood, porcelain, plastic, paper, and metal. They're also low-odor, fade-resistant, waterproof, and xylene-free.
Sharpie Water-Based Paint Markers (Set of 5)
Sharpie pens have been an office staple for many years, and now they have a convenient water-based paint marker to keep as well. This set of five includes black, white, blue, red, and yellow marker pens that are great for writing on paper, canvas, or windows. For artists who use these pens for detailed work on canvases, it is recommended to allow a couple of days of drying time after applying.