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Love acrylic paint but fear the mess? Choose a set of acrylic paint markers, which allow you to draw controlled, crisp lines that look like paint and are generally more opaque than those made by solvent-based markers. Acrylic paint markers can be used on paper and canvas, of course, but they also work well on other surfaces such as glass, wood, and ceramics. You can use them with traditional acrylic paint, especially for highlights, fine lines, and other detail work. And they’re available in a variety of tip sizes so you can vary your lines with ease – no brushes or water needed. Most use water-based inks that are easy to clean when wet and water resistant when dry. Find the best paint marker set for your projects below.
Uni-Posca Markers & Paint Sets
Our favorite paint markers strike the right balance between price, consistency and ease of use. They seamlessly deposit an ultra-opaque, incredibly pigmented, water soluble paint while still being wet and water resistant when fully dried to a matte finish. This happens quite quickly when left alone, making them ideal for layering. They leave temporary marks on non-porous surfaces and are permanent on porous materials such as wood or paper. Suitable for users of all ages, Posca markers are sold individually in 29 colors or in sets, with seven tip sizes to choose from, from 0.7 millimeters to 2.5 millimeters. Remember to shake before use and apply pressure to the tip to release even, even lines.
WE LIKE TOO
Pébéo acrylic markers
If you find Posco’s color palette too restrictive, consider the Pebeo product, which is more of an art marker. There are 47 colors to choose from – sold individually or in select sets such as blues, primary colors or “precious colors” – and each has excellent resistance to light. While the feather selection is smaller than Posca’s, with just three sizes, we love the nice, big 4-millimeter option. These markers dispense paint with control – thanks to a built-in pump mechanism that produces optimum flow – so accuracy is easy to achieve. This paint is compatible with a wide range of surfaces including metal, plastic, canvas and wood. It can be cleaned with water when wet and is permanent when dry. Note that the drying time is relatively long: it can take 10 to 30 minutes to be dry to the touch, and up to 12 hours to fully cure.
ALSO A GOOD CHOICE
Montana Acrylic Markers & Sets
Another great option for fine art, Montana’s Light-Resistant Matte Paint Markers come in 36 colors. Like our other options, the ink in these markers is easy to clean with soap and water when wet. Seal it with Montana varnish after it dries for a water and abrasion resistant finish. The markers are available in some unique hues such as Sahara Beige, Malachite Light, Shock Kent Blood Red, and Shock Lilac, you might want to check out Montana if you like the unusual shades. Like Pebeo’s markers, these feature a pump valve system that regulates liquid content to help achieve precise application. Since the tips are very responsive, you can vary your pressure to create different effects. Montana markers are also great for the eco-conscious as you can replace their tips; however, they are only available in two sizes: extra-fine (0.7 millimeters) and fine (2 millimeters).
CHOICE OF EDUCATORS
Elmer’s Painters Opaque Paint Markers, Set of 28
Best used for crafts (they’re a popular choice for rock painting), Elmer acrylic markers feature a short, thick, rounded tip that works well for all kinds of lines. Once dry, the paint is virtually permanent and leaves a shimmering finish. It provides opaque coverage, but perfect, even flow can be slightly more difficult to achieve than with more expensive brands, forcing users to give the tip the right amount of pressure. If you don’t mind the subtle streaks, these markers are a good budget and kid-friendly choice, washable when wet, quick-drying, and non-toxic. You also need to prime them once, which helps reduce damage. This set of 28 markers offers a range of colors and tips for you to experiment freely.
Molotow One4All Acrylic Paint Marker Set
The most expensive marker on our list, Molotow’s tool offers the most remarkable pigmentation and vibrancy. Like some of its competitors, these acrylic markers feature pump valves that help ensure a continuous and even flow. But the opacity is unmatched: one pass is enough to produce a crisp, dense line. In addition to offering top notch performance, these markers are well balanced and durable. The paint goes a long way, and since each marker is refillable, you can feel comfortable restocking your tool while reducing waste. Although the paint is water-based, it dries almost instantly, so you’ll have to be a little more careful with these markers than with some of our other picks. This basic set of 10 colors will get you started.