Move Beyond the Blackboard with these Quality Liquid Chalk Markers

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

There’s no reason chalk drawing should be consigned to a fond, faint childhood memory. After all, the possibilities of an easily washable, blendable drawing tool are too great to ignore. Cue liquid chalk markers: a sophisticated alternative to traditional blackboard chalk, sans the noxious, messy chalk dust. Use chalk markers to decorate photo frames, mirrors, windows, dry-erase boards, and many other nonporous surfaces (when drawing on an actual chalkboard, you’ll need to determine whether or not it is nonporous—we recommend testing first in an inconspicuous place). What you can create with chalk markers is limited only by your imagination—and, of course, the quality of the markers at your disposal. To help you find the best ones for your project, we’ve assembled a list of favorites for artists of all ages and skill levels.

More from

Marvy Uchida Bistro Chalk Markers and Sets
These water-based markers are among the most reliable we’ve used. The flow of ink is smooth and steady, and it erases easily from most surfaces with a damp paper towel or cloth. Colors appear opaque rather than streaky, and they deliver thick and even coverage. The ink is nontoxic and resilient: You can leave your art up for months and the color won’t fade, nor will it smudge if wet. Finally, we like that the Bistro line comes in loads of colors that you can buy individually or purchase in groups of four harmonious colors such as pastels or metallics. Nibs are available in 3-, 6-, or 16-millimeter sizes. 

Marvy Uchida Bistro Chalk Markers

Price: $2.81–$12.36

Buy Now

VersaChalk Liquid Chalk Markers

Slightly less costly than our top pick, these chalk markers are ideal for classrooms. Each is loaded with nontoxic, odorless, and dust -free ink that releases effortlessly after a few shakes and a pump of the tip. These tips are reversible, so you can choose between a bullet and a chisel; we recommend adult supervision for this, as the process can be quite messy. The ink dries in minutes to an opaque finish and wipes off nonporous surfaces with little effort. Not available individually, these are sold in a set of 10 classic colors, sets of 8 in metallic or neon hues, and a 5-piece all-white set. Choose between a 5- and a 3-millimeter tip.

VersaChalk Liquid Chalk Markers

Price: $11.99–$18.99

Buy Now

Craft Smart Fluorescent Medium-Tip Chalk Marker Set
These are super-vibrant chalk markers that provide eye-catching, long-lasting fluorescent-like color. Each marker has a medium-size nib that is durable enough to withstand long-term use and projects that require a lot of coloring. Be sure to shake well and press down for a while to get the ink flowing. This set comes with eight colors, including white, that look particularly striking on dark surfaces. The ink flows well but isn’t runny, and you can go back over your lines without causing streaks.

Craft Smart Fluorescent Medium-Tip Chalk Marker Set

Price: $17.99

Buy Now

Molotow Chalk Markers and Sets

Molotow markers are expensive, but they are refillable and feature replaceable tips, so if you plan on using chalk markers frequently, you might end up saving in the long run. You can use these German implements on many nonporous surfaces to create temporary marks, but they also show up very well, and permanently, on canvas and other fabrics. The ink is quick-drying, and most colors can be blended without losing their properties. These pens are sold individually, in three nib sizes up to 15 millimeters, or in sets of six colors—choose between basic and neon.

Molotow Chalk Markers

Price: $9.05–$86.93

Buy Now

Sharpie Chalk Markers

This is a good, basic set of everyday chalk markers. Unlike many competing products, they don’t require you to shake or prime them before use. They write smoothly on nonporous surfaces and wash off easily with a wet cloth. The colors are bold and flat, and the palette is limited to primary and secondary colors, so you won’t be overwhelmed when shopping. Purchase them in sets of three or five colors, or buy white markers in sets of two.

Sharpie Chalk Markers

Price: $4.26–$20.22

Buy Now

Brought to you by the oldest and most widely circulated art magazine in the world, ARTnews Recommends helps you make the choice that suits you best from products in hundreds of art and craft supply categories. Our offerings are based on intensive research, interviews with artists and craftspeople, and the accumulated experience of the site’s editors and writers. We provide trustworthy and helpful advice about materials to artists ranging from beginner to professional.

1. ARTEZA Liquid Chalk Markers

Arteza’s markers feature a liquid chalk formula designed to stun, with rich pigments that you can see from afar. These feature a single writing end, but the tip is reversible: Use the included tweezers to pull it out and choose between a chisel tip or a rounded tip. The nibs resist fraying and hold their shape as you apply pressure. You get 42 colors, from 26 bright ones to 16 earth-toned ones. Best of all, the tips are replaceable so you can save on buying an entire new set down the line. Feel free to use these on whiteboards, car windows, or tinted glasses, as the water-based formula is easily washable and nontoxic.

ARTEZA Liquid Chalk Markers

Buy Now

2. Crafty Croc Liquid Chalk Markers

Winner of the TillyWig Sterling Fun Award, given to children’s products, this thick marker holds at least double the amount of ink of standard-width chalk pens, for substantially longer use. The colors are very bright, verging on neon, which may be a little too loud for some (personally, we think they brilliantly complement a blackboard surface). The nib is reversible from slanted to round, which makes this pen ideal for use on restaurant, bar, and coffee shop menu boards. The liquid chalk is reasonably washable, with some caveats. If applied for only a few hours, a wet washrag or paper towel will easily remove it. Those who intend to leave their signage or drawing visible for more than a month will have to use something stronger, such as diluted bleach.

Crafty Croc Liquid Chalk Markers

Buy Now

3. MRNKI Liquid Chalk Markers

These are durable liquid chalk markers with a good shelf life and super-concentrated ink that provides bright, long-lasting colors. Each marker has a reversible nib; just flip it around to switch from a chisel to a round tip. The round tip makes a line about an eighth of an inch wide, which is perfect for intricate designs. Apart from a complement of primary and secondary colors, as well as unusual shades such as Olive Drab and Peach Nectar, this set also includes metallic silver and gold. The colors are a bit lighter than advertised, but the difference is not great. These pens are designed for use on nonporous surfaces, such as glass or plastic, and are not suitable for certain kinds of chalkboards. Always test before you write on a new surface! One drawback: You need to wait about a minute after drawing for the chalk to properly dry.

MRNKI Liquid Chalk Markers

Buy Now

4. JumpOff Jo Liquid Chalk Markers

The liquid chalk in these markers is very opaque, which ensures even coverage with little layering. There’s no harsh odor, leaking, or runny ink with these markers. This set includes a really impressive 48 hues, including six neon colors and four metallics, at about half the cost of Arteza’s set. Use them on any nonporous surface, including metal, glass, and plastic. Like the other liquid chalk markers on this list, they are not intended for slate blackboards. The reversible nib’s chisel tip is perfect for cursive writing, while the round tip is ideal for bold lines. Cleanup is as easy as a damp sponge.

JumpOff Jo Liquid Chalk Markers

Buy Now

5. Chalkola Liquid Chalk Markers

The classic pastel colors in this package set it apart from the ordinary; the soft shades are a great alternative when bright or neon hues won’t do. The colors are creamy, vibrant, and opaque, and they wash off nonporous surfaces and skin easily with no staining. Like most liquid chalk markers, they come with reversible nibs. Before use, the nibs included in this set seemed overly thick, but they turned out to be surprisingly neat when used. Reach for these pens when the project calls for an icing-sugar palette.

Chalkola Liquid Chalk Markers

Buy Now

Best of

Click here to see more up-to-date holiday deals!

Click here to read the full article.