Artists and children of all ages love to get out their paints and play with designs, especially when there are new projects to try out. But, there is often the downside of setting everything up and avoiding mess. That is why paint markers and paint pens are so popular these days. There are sets for users of all ages that provide easy-to-use pens for use on a range of materials. This growth in popularity led to many brands creating their own sets – either for kids to have a cleaner way to get creative or for adults to play with stone, fabric, glass, or metal painting. With so many to choose from, which are the best paint markers for you?
In this guide, I have highlighted 17 of the best paint pens and markers. Some are aimed more at kids, others at adults, and many sit somewhere in between. You can see a brief introduction to the pros and cons of each to help you make your choice. I also included a guide what you can do with them, and how to pick the best set of paint markers for your needs.
ARTIQO Paint Pens
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers
Penguin Paint Pens
The Best Paint Markers for your Next Project
Let’s start with a series of paint marker sets that are for general use. You will find a range of colors for work on different materials. But, there are differences in quantity, the type of paint, and the nibs.
1) Reaeon Paint Marker for Rock Painting
Let’s start with one of the more simplistic sets. I prefer some of the others because they have more colors and may be more practical. However, 18 pens is a great starting point for newcomers and the colors are a lot of fun. The fine point nib means that you should be able to create detailed designs on small stones and other items. But, this water-based acrylic is water-resistant rather than waterproof. It might be a good idea to varnish any rocks.
1) A good starter set before trying something bigger
2) Pretty easy to use with a nice fine nib
1) Not completely waterproof
2) Emooqi Set of 12 Colors Paint Markers
I was drawn to this next set because of some of the promises about the quality. Also, I like working with a medium nib for better coverage. You get 12 colors this time for greater variety, including some metallic options. They are waterproof, odorless, and nontoxic with EN-71 certification. These paint markers are acrylic oil based ink and create a vivid color. Works well on multiple mediums, such as: paper, fabric, metal, stone, marble, rubber, ceramic, wood, glass, plastic.
1) Waterproof, odorless, and nontoxic
2) 12 colors including some metallic ones
1) Some users report leaking paint when opening the cap
3) ARTIQO Paint Pens for Rock Painting
While these are sold as pens for rock painting, but they’ll also work on canvas, wood, paper, metal, glass, ceramic, plastic, and even tire. They are quality of the oil based paint. There are 15 colors this time, are oil-based paints that dry quickly, are water-resistant, and look great. The medium tip is nice for some bold designs on rocks and ceramics. I also like that you get a free e-book with designs for inspiration. Some users say that they didn’t get instructions on how to use the pens, but it comes with an e-book with 25 design ideas.
1) Good quality paint for rock painting and more
2) A nice free guide with 25 design ideas
1) No instructions in the box, it comes with an e-book
4) FUMILE Acrylic Paint Pens
This is a set I want to love more than I do. If there weren’t so many comments about consistency issues, this could have been my top pick. There are 36 colors in the box, making this the most comprehensive set yet. The various tons of acrylic are fun and waterproof. There is also the bonus of the extra-fine nib for detailed work. But, there are some consistency issues where some tones get watery or “soupy”. This tends to be worse with the metallic options.
1) The widest selection of colors in this guide
2) A nice fine nib for detail work
1) Consistency issues with some watery mixes
5) MayMoi Acrylic Paint Pens Reversible Tip
My favorite thing about this set is that you have reversible tips – which is unique to this guide. You can swap out the more standard round tip for a chisel tip for a different effect. This is great for those looking to play with patterns and designs once they get more accomplished. There are 24 colors in total for a nice selection and they are all quick-drying acrylic paint. The problem is that some people struggle to get them started. Persistence does pay off.
1) The reversible tips for different effects
2) A nice selection of colors
1) Patience is necessary when starting out
6) Arteza Arcylic Paint Markers
These paint markers are considered to be the top best with having a fine point plastic tip to allow you to be able to complete any project you may be working on. Arteza acrylic paint markers are water-based ink art supplies that will enable you to use them on rocks, rock, canvas, ceramics, glass surfaces, wood slices, stone, plastic, and fabric. They also have with replaceable tips which can increase their lifespan. Not only will these paint markers be perfect for your project, but they are also safe and nontoxic, along with fast drying, bendable, acid free, and very low odor; they are also known not to fade as they are UV-resistant. In addition, many customers who have purchased these paint markers state that the colors are stunning and vibrant and make an excellent marker for large work, as well as they are ideal markers for such a reasonable price for the set of 40 markers. Many others have said explicitly that these paint markers made by Arteza are a 10 star that they have chosen this brand over brands they have been using for years; also that when using these markers, you will have a matte finish, but if you want more of a glossy satin finish then you need to go over it giving it multiple layers.
After reading the reviews and seeing that almost all of them are great reviews, these markers would make a great affordable purchase, especially if you are new to using paint markers; these would be perfect to start out with. Finally, however, few customers have stated that when purchased these paint markers, not all of them have worked and stated that these markers are not a great use for professional use unless you are working on small pieces; if not, then these would be great for children to doodle with.
1) Work on multiple surfaces
2) 40 different colors to choose from, with vibrant and metallic options
3) Nontoxic, fast drying, bendable, acid free, low odor, UV-resistant
1) May not be ideal for professional use or large scale because of the size of their tip
7) Artistro Paint Pens
These paint pens by Artistro are acrylic paint pens made perfect for being used for rock painting, stone, glass, ceramic, mugs, wood, metal, fabric, or canvass while having an extra-fine tip of 0.7 millimeters. Artistro paint pens are made odor-free as well as non-toxic they cause no mess, and with the fine point tip makes these perfect for detailing. Additionally, these paint pens are entirely waterproof as long as you bake or seal the paint after you are done with your project. Customers who have bought these paint pens by Artistro have stated that these are the best flowing paint pens to use, as well as stating that they are fantastic paint pens that are very precise. Customers have also said that not only are the pens great to use for any project but that they are a beautiful set of pens when bought; the packaging is excellent.
Many have stated that these paint pens must be shaken very hard when you first receive them in order for them to start working, which is what usually has to be done to any type of paint marker or pen that you are to purchase and try to use for the first time. The tips of these markers happen to be incredibly durable, as it has been stated in the reviews from a customer who has purchased and tried out this product; it is also said that these water-based ink work better than any oil-based pens that are out there. After knowing all of this about these paint pens, it is safe to say that these would make an excellent purchase, especially if it is your first time using paint pens. Finally, although many customers who have purchased these paint pens have said great things, a few customers have stated these paint pens are not for professional work as well as when bought half the pens were dry.
1) Water-based ink
2) Waterproof as long as you bake or seal the paint after you are done with your project
3) Odor-free as well as non-toxic
1) Mat not be ideal for professional use
8) Molotow ONE4ALL
Molotow ONE4ALL paint markers work on almost all surfaces that you need to use them on, that includes indoors and outdoors; these paint markers are waterproof, along with the ability to not fade their colors from the sun. Additionally, the tips on these paint markers are able to be exchanged along with the paint being solvent-free and diluted with water and acetone. Customers who have bought these paint markers have stated that they are unique and very durable, as well as happens to be an excellent quality paint marker that you can purchase. However, even though many customers who have bought and used these paint markers have stated that they are great, few customers have said otherwise, stating that the markers dry out fast. Customers have also noted that these paint markers clog too often as well as having a stiff tip.
1) Work well indoors and outdoors
2) Waterproof and fade resistant
3) Marker tips are exchangeable
1) Some customers report the paint markers dry out quicker than expected
9) Penguin Paint Pens
These paint pens made by Penguin art supplies are the perfect craft markers if you are wanting to paint on wood, glass, porcelain, rock, or ceramic, and they are also non-toxic. In addition, Penguin art supplies paint pens will allow you to switch the tip, which will be giving you either a finer or thicker tip allowing you to either have a fine line or a thick line depending on what you need to finish your project. These paint pens come in bold colors, as well as a pouch that will zip up and allow you to store the pens and keep them together. Customers who have bought these paint pens have stated that they are fantastic if you are trying to paint details into your project as well as it has been said that these are excellent quality for the price that they cost. Finally, however, even though customers who have purchased the paint pens have said many great things, it is also stated that the paint is very thin and does not work on rough surfaces.
1) You can switch the tip, which will be giving you either a finer or thicker tip
3) Come with storage bag with zipper
1) Paint is very thin and does not work on rough surfaces
10) Niutop Paint Pens
The paint pens by Niutop and perfect acrylic paint pens for rock painting, or if you are wanting to draw on stone, glass, wood, ceramic, a canvas, fabric, metal, or any other DIY crafts, you may want to do. These paint pens give off vibrant colors while having an extra-fine tip that will allow you to have a smooth straight writing being water-based ink that is non-toxic and acid-free, which will also dry quickly. When you purchase these paint pens made by Niutop, there will be 24 different colors that you may choose from to use. Customers who have bought these paint pens have stated that they have a creamy and smooth flow when you use them; customers of the product have also noted that these paint pens make no mess. It has also been stated that these paint pens happen to come with a very nice tip that happens to be great for fine detail, whereas other paint markers or pens usually come with tips that aren’t suitable for detail.
These paint pens, according to customers, will not disappoint you and will leave you very pleased with your purchase of them, as well as you will be able to use them with such ease. Even though it is stated in this product’s description that once you bake your project after using these paint pens, the paint will not come off with water, customers have left reviews showing that it is true. For example, after drawing on a plate with these paint pens, the customer baked the plate and then put the object into the dishwasher to test the paint, and it did not get removed. So we can see that this products description is accurate and also see that these would make a good purchase when deciding on what paint markers or pens you would like to buy since we can see by the reviews that these do a great job with whatever it may be you are needing them for. Finally, however, after all the pros and positive statements made about these paint pens, many customers have said that the pens were dried when they received their purchase.
1) Suitable for fine detail
2) Water-based ink that is non-toxic, acid-free, and also dry quickly
3) Creamy and smooth flow when you use them with no mess
1) Some customers have said that the pens were dried when they received their purchase
11) Uni-posca Paint Markers
Uni-posca paint markers are extra-fine point pens while being having no alcohol and being odorless and water-resistant; when you purchase these, they will come in a set on 12, giving you 12 different colors that you will be able to work with. With these paint markers, you will be able to write or draw on almost any surface that you want to, those things being glass, wood, plastic, mirrors, metals, and pictures. Additionally, when you are purchasing these paint markers, if you buy from Uni-posca, they will give you a full refund if there are problems with the markers; all you have to do is contact them. Customers who have purchased these have said that they make an excellent paint marker for those who seriously love art, as well they have said that these happen to be the best paint pens that you could buy. However, despite the positive statements that some customers have expressed many great things, nothing is being said wrong about these so far.
1) Have no alcohol, are odorless and water-resistant
2) The company will give you a full refund if there are problems with the markers
3) Work on multiple surfaces
1) Smaller set, with only 12 colors
The Best Paint Markers for Kids
If you prefer the idea of a more child-friendly set with fewer colors and some nice chunky pens, you might like the sound of the following items. These sets are a great introduction to paint markers for kids, and some have some fun additional features in the box.
1) US ART Supply 8 Color Crazy Dots Markers
The great thing about this product is that it is clearly a kids’ option. There are none of the unusual tones, just a series of familiar bold colors for child-friendly work. There are 8 in total to provide variety and color recognition. The style of the marker is a thick crayon-like shape with a large nib for a big dot of paint. It may be a simplistic idea, but it is a good starting point. Before moving onto something more grown-up.
1) They are thick and easy for small children to use
2) They help with color recognition
1) They are a bit limited with that big dot for a nib
2) Dot Markers Kit By Vaci Markers
Next, we have a very similar kit with the same approach to the pens. Younger children can hold each of the 8 colors with ease and use the thick nib on a range of projects. Again, the paint is child-friendly and washable in case of mistakes. What I love about this kit is that there are 10 stencils in the pack. Kids can use these shapes to test out the colors and add more defined images to their work. There are 5 distinct animals and 5 vehicles. Parents will also appreciate the free PDF activity book for inspiration.
1) 8 easy to use markers
2) Bonus stencils for more fun
1) Parents say they aren’t that durable
3) Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers
Sharpie is a name that kids of many ages love – as do many adults I know. So, a set of Sharpie paint pens is a great way to transition from childish markers to something more grown-up. The color range is similar, with 8 bold colors. The oil-based paint is of good quality with a nice thickness and tone. There are some great comments about the potential for window art and stone painting. Just be aware that this is a medium-point pen, so not the best for detailed work or text.
1) A familiar name with high-quality paint
2) A steppingstone between kid’s paint markers and adult paint markers
1) The nib could be thinner
The Best Paint Markers for Metal
Finally, I want to show you a couple of more grown-up options. Kids will find these a bit boring, but I think they are a great additional product for metalwork or for detailed decorative items. They may also be of use for commercial work that needs a high-end finish.
1)Phosea Paint Pens White Markers
There is only one “color” in this pack – a vibrant white. White paint pens are good for minimalist work, highlights on other designs, or for text on darker materials. So, you can use these extra-fine pens to great effect on dark metal, ceramics, and more. I think they would be great paint markers for wood. It is a good quality acrylic and I have seen some nice photos of items created with these pens. You get 6 of the same white paint marker so you shouldn’t run out any time soon.
1) The strong white paint is effective with a good consistency
2) They work well on various materials
1) There is no variety in the 6 pens provided
2) Overseas Black Paint Markers Pens
I love the look of the fine white script created by the pens above. But, I can also see the appeal in having a similar set in black. This is a similar set with a small selection of the same high-quality pen. This time, this is black oil-based paint and a medium nib. This won’t give the same amount of detail, but is still effective on ceramics, canvas, metal, and more. This is another that is quick-drying, but only promoted as water-resistant.
1) A strong black oil-based paint for bold lines
2) A nice effect on different materials
1) The nib is thicker this time
3) Sakura Pentouch Paint Markers
The pen touch paint markers made by Sakura have a medium pen point and come in a pack of 5 when you purchase them while maintaining a low odor and being waterproof along with being fade resistant. The five-piece set that you will purchase will contain the colors gold, silver, copper, white and black. To get the paint markers to work, you will have to shake the markers quickly, and the paint will then flow to the tip. These paint markers happen to allow you to write on wood, glass, plastic, porcelain, paper, as well as metal; they also happen to be xylene free and are also permanent to the objects they are applied too. Customers who have purchased this product and used them have said that the specific paint markers are the best paint markers they have ever used; it has also been noted that they are excellent metallic markers. However, these paint markers by Sakura happen to have several good reviews; some customers have stated that these paint markers are really thin and the paint like to drip like water when you are using them; it has also been noted that some of the markers, when purchased did not come with the tips.
1) Excellent metallic markers
2) Are waterproof along with being fade resistant
1) Customers have stated that these paint markers are really thin
2) Limited in color choices
My Top Pick for the Best Set of Paint Markers
It is tough to pick an outright winner here. I am going for the ARTIQO Paint pens for rock painting because they seem to be the most reliable option for adults and teens. The color range is great, they aren’t too difficult to use, and the paint is of good quality. However, I have to give an honorable mention to the Sharpie set because there is instant appeal for different ages. You may not get the same variety, but there is no doubt that this familiar set will help encourage those new to stone painting and paint pens more generally.
What are Paint Markers?
If you are unfamiliar with paint markers, the simple explanation is that you have a pen filled with oil or acrylic paint. Essentially, this liquid takes the place of regular ink and comes out of a nib/brush at the end. Users can then hold the marker like a pen for better control over detailed work. You can swap between colors as needed, remembering to replace the caps like on a normal marker. Users that get the hang of the process with a quality set of pens can achieve some great results.
How do You Use Paint Markers?
One of the biggest issues that paint pen users deal with is the process of getting the paint out. The method is pretty much the same for all pens. You need to shake the pen to get the paint moving, then press down on the nib a few times to encourage the paint out. From there, you should be able to create the strokes and lines you want.
Can You Use Paint Markers for Stone Painting?
Many of the sets listed below are promoted as paint marker sets for stone painting. Stone painting is a craze that is still very popular. You can find pebbles from the shore and paint designs on them with the fine nibs of the paint pens. The more colors you have, the more intricate the images. You can then varnish the stones for protection and place them outside as garden ornaments, or gift them to friends and family.
Can You Use Paint Markers on Metal?
Many companies boast about the range of materials that are compatible with the best paint markers. Stone, ceramic, canvas, and glass are all common. Canvas work means you can paint on shoes if you want to customize a cheap pair. There are also some that are suitable for metal, but there are no guarantees on the effectiveness and results. Some of the grown-up fine-tip markers listed above may be a good choice.
What to Look Out for When Choosing the Best Paint Markers.
Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of the 17 best paint markers I have found, I have this little buyers’ guide. This should help you compare products and make a better choice.
1) The number of pens
First of all, you need to look at the number of pens available. Sets that are that have 24 colors are a good place to start for adults because this is pretty standard for items like colored markers and pencils. 36 piece sets will offer a vast range of colors but may be overwhelming at first and some colors may go unused. Kid’s sets with around 8 bold colors are a great starting point for youngsters.
2) The range of colors
It isn’t just the number of colors to look out for but the variety of the set. Some sets have various blues and greens that may not be that dissimilar. It helps to see the full range before buying for an idea of how they will suit your designs. Many brands will branch out into alternative colors and metallic tones. Silver, gold, and bronze can look great. However, there are sometimes consistency issues.
3) The thickness of the tip
The thickness of the tip is just like that of a normal pen or marker. Fine nibs replicate fine-liner pens for detailed work and writing. This is great for high-end finishes on commercial items. Thicker nibs mean broader strokes of color. Some of the kid’s options are particularly chunky for ease of use. There are also medium options for a nice mid-way point. Also, take a look at the shape as there are some nice chisel-shaped ones too.
4) Storage and security for long-term use
Whatever set you choose, you need to be sure that the marker will last as long as possible and not dry out. This means a secure cap that won’t come loose. Color-coded caps help too, as does the ability to place the cap on the end of the marker so you don’t lose it. Then you need a nice box or case to put them in. Boxes are better for keeping the pens upright and making them easier to use.
5) Ease of use on different materials
Finally, there is the issue of the marker’s functionality with different materials. Stone painting is one of the most common applications, and some sets below are sold for this aim with some bonus guides. But, they should also be suitable for canvas, ceramics, and glass. Metal isn’t mentioned so often, but there are pens out there.
Paint Markers are Great Fun so Why Not Add a Set To Your Art Collection
It is always fun to try new things and the best paint markers can bring a lot of joy. Some are frustrating to get started, but this soon passes when you are painting fun designs on different materials. You can get a set for yourself with a great range of colors and even find something fun for the kids. Once you have the hang of using them, you will be surprised at how much you end up painting.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my kids however, that is typically a challenge with how limited their attention span can be and how messy it gets. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and creating fond memory for all of us.