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What Is A Paint Marker?

A paint marker pen is similar to an everyday marker pen, although instead of regular ink, it uses oil based paint. Due to the use of paint, they can write permanently on all sorts of different surfaces such as plastic, metal, stone and glass, but have the ease of use and creative control of a pen rather than a paintbrush.

Paint markers have become increasing popular in the decoration and illustration art community, allowing for unique and vibrant designs to be added to all sorts of different items, like surfboards, plates, cups, windows, signs and many more. The ways they can be used are essentially unlimited, and provide a perfect tool for the creative to turn everyday objects into unique pieces of art.

To activate a new paint marker, you need to shake the pen to mix the ink, similar to an aerosol can. Once the marker is held upside down, with the tip pressed down, the ink will flow and you can begin to start your creation. Most paint makers can take a bit of shaking and a few presses of the tip to get the paint going, but they are a very simple tool, with a great finished result.

Paint markers come in a variety of colours whether you're looking for primary colours, pastel, metallic and even fluorescent. Most brands also have a wide range of tips to choose from, allowing you to create different thicknesses of lines, fill more canvas space quicker or even layer colours on top of one another (make sure each layer is dry first!).

For more information on which paint marker is best for you, see our paint marker buying guide, and then our paint marker ideas for inspiration.