Chalk Marker 411: Tips & Advice

Liquid chalk markers are fun for just about any craft project . . . or if you run a small business, they can help create great eye-catching signs on blackboards.

In a nutshell, chalk markers work well on non-porous surfaces like tile, glass, stickers, whiteboards, plastic and metal. 

If you want to use a chalk marker on a blackboard,  consider these quick tips:

• Blackboards must be “seasoned” to work well with chalk markers. That means they have to be sealed to fill in any pores.

• One way to do this is to take a chalk marker and write all over the board—at least in the area you plan to use for the message. Then let the liquid chalk set for 30 seconds before wiping the board clean with a damp cloth.

• Read the directions carefully for any chalk marker—most brands have detailed instructions on how they need to be primed, etc. And be sure to store them in the manner required (usually, with the tip facing down). That keeps them from drying out.

We asked our parent readers for their favorite chalk markers. We took 10 brands they suggested and then did our own tests, marking glass, blackboards and porcelain to see what worked best in the real world. Which were easiest to use? Lasted the longest without drying out? The best bang for the buck?

Here are the chalk markers we’d recommend:

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