The Ultimate Guide on How to Properly use Chalk Markers

by DTC Thrasio

Have you ever wondered how cafes, like Starbucks, make those beautifully lettered chalkboard signs welcoming you into the store? Maybe you’ve tried to make your own with regular chalk.

You might have noticed that regular chalk doesn’t stay on the board very well and you’re covered in chalk dust. To make your own beautiful cafe signs you’re going to need liquid chalk markers. They are able to give you crisp lines that are erasable without having your hands covered in chalk dust. 

Here is your introduction on how chalk markers can take your chalkboards to the next level with one of the hottest art tools on the market!  

What are Chalk Markers? 

When most people think about chalk, they see the old-school, dusty, white sticks of chalk. Chalk markers are cleaner, more vibrant, and easier to use because the ink is made out of liquid chalk. Liquid chalk is a highly opaque medium that offers complete coverage. This allows you to draw over existing colors to add highlights and details. Liquid chalk markers make more precise lines than regular chalk as you can hold it like a pencil which works well for hand lettering. 

Surfaces for Chalk Markers 

Chalk Markers are very versatile with what you can put them on. For erasable artwork, you can use them on non-porous surfaces, like chalkboards and glass. You can easily use them to decorate your car windows and they will wipe off. All you will need to erase them is a wet washcloth whereas chalk markers are permanent on porous surfaces, like wood or cork, making it more difficult to wipe off. 

Tips for Drawing with Chalk Markers 

Now that you know what chalk markers are and what surfaces they can be used on, it’s time to put some chalk markers on a chalkboard and get to drawing. 

Here are 6 quick tips for when you are drawing with chalk markers: 

Tip #1: When getting started, keep the lid of the chalk marker on and shake the chalk marker for 30 seconds. This will help to mix the liquid chalk and get it moving towards the tip. 

Tip #2: To revive the chalk marker, after shaking it, press the tip onto a hard surface to help it get saturated with ink. You can get drawing, but for it to work the best, hold it at a 45 degree angle while drawing. 

Tip #3: When storing the chalk markers, they should be stored upright with the cap at the top. Make sure that the cap is tight. 

Tip #4: Liquid chalk doesn’t dry instantly. Be careful when drawing, so you don’t smear your artwork. 

Tip #5: When erasing mistakes make sure that the liquid chalk is a little bit dry before wiping with a wet cloth so you don’t smear your work.  

Tip #6: Each pigment reacts differently to different surfaces. To make sure that the color will work with the surface you have chosen, spot test it before you get started. 

Recommendations for Chalk Marker Beginners 

When starting out with chalk markers, start with drawing simple sketches and geometric shapes. This will help your hand feel more comfortable with chalk markers. The best surface for starters is chalkboards because they will help you to get a good feel for how chalk markers work. Keep a wet cloth on hand to make any corrections while you’re drawing. 

How to Paint with Chalk Markers

When it comes to liquid chalk markers, you’re not just limited to drawing. You are able to paint with chalk markers if you don’t have chalkboard paint on hand. All you’re going to need is chalk markers, a chalkboard, paint brushes, a palette, and water. 

4 steps to painting with chalk markers: 

Step #1: Give the liquid chalk marker of your choice a good shake. Press the chalk marker tip on the palette 3 to 5 times to pump a good amount of ink onto the palette. 

Step #2: Pick up the liquid chalk with a paintbrush. If you wet a paintbrush with water, the ink consistency will give you a semi transparent color application that will take a little longer to dry. When using a dry paintbrush, it will give you an opaque color that will dry quickly.  

Step #3: It is best to paint layer by layer and allow for the ink to dry first. This will help you to see how many layers you will need to achieve your desired color. 

Step #4: When the ink is dry, you can start filling in the outline with a second layer of color or apply any highlighting you would like to add. 

Final Thoughts 

Once you have liquid chalk markers you’ll never want to go back to normal chalk. You’ll be able to impress your friends and coworkers when you create beautiful chalk signs that can be used for meetings or parties. Or you can just use them for your own creative needs. Whatever you use chalk markers for, you will be able to make artwork that no one has ever seen before. 

Contributing Writer: Madeline Collins