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. Cue liquid chalk markers: a sophisticated alternative to traditional block chalk, sans the noxious, messy chalk dust. Use chalk markers to decorate photo frames, mirrors, or windows. What you can create with chalk markers is limited only by your imagination—and, of course, the quality of markers at your disposal. To help you find the best ones for your project, we’ve assembled a list of favorites for hobbyists, educators, and children.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.