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Friday, 17 July 2015

Comparing and testing permanent markers for craft purposes

I recently had a client contacting about markers, wanting something that would be able to write on wood without smudging or smearing. It had to be of high quality and permanent. Sometimes the wood would be painted and other times not. Sadly she had wasted money on a substandard marker and got uneven lines that had darker and lighter spots in it at random. This could be the ruin of any project. So how do you know what to buy? Good quality markers do not come cheap and if you are going to pay good money, you want good quality. With this incident in mind, I decided to put a few high end markers to the test to give you an idea of what they are capable of. These are all available in store on if you click here.

I found this square piece of masonite in my stash. Obviously one of the kids had gotten hold of it and left their mark. I will simply ignore this since it will not make a difference to us whatsoever. I decide to prepare one side of the wood with primer. I will paint half of it white and the other half will be painted black. The reason for this is that these are the two greatest contrasts. If a marker will show on black, it will show on any color. However, you need to be able to compare it to its appearance on white to know how true it remains to its initial color.

I use a wide flat brush to quickly gesso the white half.

I use the same brush to paint the black half in a black primer. It is now left to dry before I bring the markers anywhere near it. Wet paint will be absorbed by the felt tipped pens and the markers will be ruined. Dry paint is safe.

I draw a line with each marker in succession from the black through the white. The markers I tested from left to right are as follows:

Here I zoomed in for you to see the results more clearly. The left side is now on top and the right is at the bottom.

I then turned the wood over to repeat the same exercise at the back on the raw, untreated wood. The markers were used in the exact same sequence as above:

Here you can see that I have maintained the integrity of the sequence.

As a last excercise, I decided that the line I made with the Posca Brush Tip marker did not give you a clear impression of what it was capable of. I therefore wrote the word Love followed by a heart with this marker. Truth is that this is the one that stole my heart of all the markers in the test. But you will be able to judge better what you need for your own projects. I hope this helped a little at least.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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