8 Best Paint Markers for Wood in 2023

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

best paint markers for wood

Wood became the top material for arts, crafts, carpentry, and many DIY projects. Besides its durability, it can be modified into various shapes, repainted, and upcycled many times over.

If you are looking for the best paint markers for wood, listen up because I am sharing eight sets that helped me create illustrations and hand-lettering on porous surfaces. For this list, I factored in the ink type, nib size, and colors included in the set. Here’s why:

Type of ink

Copic and similar types of alcohol markers can write on wood, except they will not appear very vibrant or opaque. Oil-based and water-based acrylic paint markers are your best bet. Even with lighter hues like yellow and cream, these types of ink make for solid colors against darker wood tones.

Nib size

Most paint pens and markers are available in extra fine, fine, medium, broad, and extra broad tip sizes. Generally speaking, finer nibs are mainly used for creating intricate patterns and details, as well as lettering.

Broader nibs, on the other hand, are excellent for coloring large surface areas. Since they render thicker lines, they are appropriate for sketching on massive objects, especially if you are designing fonts or illustrations with chunkier outlines that are meant to grab one’s attention from afar.

Colors

If you can’t decide between choosing a set of four and a set of forty, try to think of all the designs you want to create and consider their common themes.

Unless you are using all the colors for illustrations, there is no point in getting multi-color sets. A handful of the markers will quickly dry up ninety-nine percent of the time!

By accounting for these three features, you can narrow down your options, but you can refine your choices further if you consider other factors. Let’s save that discussion for later and proceed to review the paint pens and markers for wood crafts, furniture, and many other types of surfaces.

3 Premium-Rated Picks

ARTISTRO Acrylic

No. of colors: 12

Tip size: Medium

Ink type: Acrylic

JR.WHITE Acrylic

No. of colors: 12

Tip size: Medium

Ink type: Acrylic

Niutop Acrylic

No. of colors: 24

Tip size: Extra fine

Ink type: Acrylic

Top 8 Paint Markers for Wood

1. ARTISTRO Acrylic Paint Pens

  • No. of colors: 12
  • Tip size: Medium
  • Ink type: Acrylic
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What sets Artistro paint pens apart from competing brands is their proprietary nylon nibs. This material not only prevents the ink from clogging but also allows it to flow smoothly; it’s for this reason that I’m recommending this pack of 12.

To activate the ink, I shake the pen vigorously and pump the nib—it’s pretty simple to use. Speaking of nibs, the medium tip size is quite versatile as it is suitable for sketching, lettering, and coloring. Plus, it lets me fill a surface with paint without taking too much time.

Regardless of the surface written on, the ink dries very quickly to prevent smudging. Apart from that, I also love the matte finish as it conceals the imperfections on the wood surfaces better than a glossy one. Thanks to the non-toxic and odor-free ink formula, I don’t have to work outside or put on a mask to use these markers.

As for the color selection and quality, I like that the wood paint pen set includes a mix of warm and cool hues, as well as metallic silver and gold pens. However, I need to apply multiple coats to make the paint more vivid on dark-colored wood. On light-colored surfaces, however, the ink appears vibrant with just one coat. In any case, I’m happy that the colors are not streaky.

PROS
  • Nylon nibs prevent the ink from clogging and also allow it to flow smoothly.
  • Simple to use (shake, pump, and write)
  • Useful for sketching, lettering, and coloring
  • The ink dries very quickly to prevent smudging.
  • Non-toxic and odor-free, includes metallic silver and gold pens
  • The colors are not streaky and produce a matte finish.
CONS
  • Users need to apply multiple coats to make the ink more vivid on dark wood.

2. JR.WHITE Acrylic Paint Pens

  • No. of colors: 12
  • Tip size: Medium
  • Ink type: Acrylic
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Using these acrylic paint pens is easy-peasy, even for children. For starters, the child’s small hand can grip the chunky pen barrel comfortably. Moreover, JR.WHITE’s acrylic ink is formulated without harmful chemicals or nasty smells.

That said, even adults can join the fun. These are my favorite permanent markers for wood mainly because their acrylic paints have high opacity. As such, I don’t have to coat the surface multiple times to make the colors stand out against dark backgrounds.

The best part is that the paint flows very smoothly—no blobs or spatters. Consequently, the kids and I can work on art projects mess-free. This saves adults the trouble of having to clean up after.

Equipped with a medium nib, these markers are suitable for all sorts of writing and sketching. Besides wood and rock painting, I can label glass jars in the pantry, organize plastic containers, or design scrapbooks with vibrant patterns.

Another nifty feature is that the barrels are made of a transparent plastic material, so I can see how much acrylic paint is left.

Too bad my set ran out of ink after a couple of months. I wish the manufacturer would consider adding more, so I don’t have to buy a new one every so often.

PROS
  • A child’s small hand can grip the chunky pen barrel comfortably.
  • Formulated without harmful chemicals or nasty smells
  • The colors stand out against dark backgrounds.
  • No blobs or spatters
  • Versatile, as it works on glass, plastic, and other mediums
  • Made of a transparent plastic material to show how much acrylic paint is left
CONS
  • Not very ample ink capacity

3. Niutop Acrylic Paint Pens For Rock Painting

  • No. of colors: 24
  • Tip size: Extra fine
  • Ink type: Acrylic
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Offering 24 unique colors, the Niutop is quite literally at the top of my list due to its oven- and dishwasher-safe ink formula—a must-have feature for decorating metals, ceramics, and glassware.

But since I’m reviewing these paint pens for wood furniture and other items with similar materials, let me start with the main highlight: All the colors in the set look vivid against dark and light backgrounds.

With light, mid, and dark tones of every color, these pens allow me to create 3-dimensional illustrations by incorporating shadows and highlights. Thanks to the moisture- and fade-resistant ink, I can make gorgeous outdoor ornaments using these paint pens.

Featuring extra-fine tips, the pens are the obvious choice for detailing and sketching on smaller wood slabs. I used them on my wood trays, and the ink came out looking vibrant without smears.

What’s more, parents will have no trouble removing the pigment with some water if it accidentally gets on their furniture.

According to the product description, these pens need only a few pumps to dispense the ink. To be fair, the acrylic paint runs very smoothly, but pressing it constantly contributes to the fraying of the nib in the long run. Anyway, it’s not a big deal, since this set has surpassed my expectations with its number of colors.

PROS
  • Oven- and dishwasher-safe ink formula
  • Vivid colors, suitable for metals, ceramic, wood, etc.
  • With light, mid, and dark tones of every color for shading and highlighting
  • Can resist moisture and fading while being washable
  • For detailing and sketching on smaller wood slabs without smearing
CONS
  • Nibs tend to fray.

4. Asani Paint Pens Acrylic Markers Set

  • No. of colors: 12
  • Tip size: Extra fine
  • Ink type: Acrylic
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If I’m going to use one pen for writing on wooden plaques, it would be the silver or gold from this set. Not only do these two metallic markers give off a bright sheen, but they also pop out against dark-colored objects.

Those two just happened to be my favorite. Rest assured that the other colors in the set are all well-saturated and high in opacity. I use all of them when I make seasonal home decor made of plastic, glass, fabric, and many other materials.

Based on experience, these pens for writing on wood can be activated in a few shakes and pumps. They dispense ink continuously without leaving any streaks when adding a few more coats. Even better, they dry up within a minute or less. Without a doubt, I think this set is well worth the price.

So, let’s talk about what I don’t like. First, the caps are too tight, and it takes a bit of force to remove them—though it’s reassuring, since it can prevent the ink from drying out. Second, the colors of the ink do not match the ones on the caps. Because of that, I had to make swatches before applying them on wooden surfaces.

PROS
  • The metallic markers give off a bright sheen.
  • The other colors in this set are all well-saturated and high in opacity.
  • Activates in a few shakes and pumps
  • Dispenses ink continuously without leaving any streaks after multiple coats
  • Dries up within a minute or less
  • Compatible with glass, plastic, and more
CONS
  • The caps are too tight.
  • The colors of the ink do not match the ones on the lids.

5. SHARPIE Oil-Based Paint Markers

  • No. of colors: 5
  • Tip size: Fine
  • Ink type: Oil-based
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I bought these Sharpie wood markers because their inks are high-quality oil-based paints. Their ability to resist fading, moisture, and abrasion far better than their water-based counterparts make this set an excellent choice for any outdoor object.

Apart from the intense color saturation, these multi-surface paint markers produce a beautiful gloss finish. Whether it’s embellishing an old guitar, organizing plastic bins, or labeling plant tags, the results look consistent.

I’m impressed that the dried paint does not chip off whenever I try scratching it with my nail. It just goes to show how well it adheres to wooden surfaces.

As expected of a known marker brand, the fine tip is designed to withstand constant use. No matter how long I sketch and color using them, the nibs can retain their shapes and render lines with crisp edges.

At the same time, the size enables me to write legibly even on small labels. Not to mention, the ink flows very fluidly. Plus, it only takes about three coats to produce solid colors—that’s less work for me!

While these markers are safe for children, I don’t recommend letting them use without your supervision. Keep in mind that oil-based paints take more time to dry, so things can get messy. To be clear, that’s just how this type of ink works, and it’s not a product defect.

PROS
  • Smooth flow and safe for children
  • Produces a beautiful, consistent gloss finish
  • The paint does not chip off, fade, or lose intensity due to moisture.
  • The fine tip can withstand constant use.
  • It only takes about three coats to produce solid colors.
CONS
  • Oil-based paints take more time to dry.

6. Overseas Permanent Oil Based Paint Markers

  • No. of colors: 48
  • Tip size: Medium
  • Ink type: Oil-based
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In my experience, it’s rare to find a brand of oil-based furniture paint markers that offers a wide selection of colors. For me, having more hues to play with always gets my creative juices flowing.

With the Overseas set, I get several shades of yellows, reds, blues, greens, browns, purples, and different metallic hues. Of course, this allows me to design wooden objects using interesting colors.

And like any paint pens, these markers let me turn just about any surface into my canvas. Vibrant and opaque, the inks provide adequate coverage in just a few coats. Furthermore, the formula does not contain any xylene and toluene.

Thanks to the medium-sized nibs, I can fill large surfaces with colors a lot faster and make thicker fonts. More importantly, the tips are highly durable. Even if I press the pens down multiple times to activate their inks, they can retain their form.

Using these markers requires some care, since the ink’s consistency seems a bit more watery compared to other oil-based paints. At any rate, I don’t think it should cause any concern.

Even if I make a mistake, I can clean off the paint with turpentine or mineral alcohol. That’s why, even with this flaw, I recommend this set for pros and beginners, young and old.

PROS
  • Design wooden objects using interesting colors
  • Turn just about any surface into a canvas
  • Provide ample coverage in just a few coats
  • Does not contain any xylene and toluene
  • The tips are highly durable.
  • Can clean off the paint with turpentine or mineral alcohol
CONS
  • The ink’s consistency seems a bit watery.

7. AKARUED White Paint Pen Set

  • No. of colors: 1
  • Tip size: 2mm to 3mm Medium
  • Ink type: Water-based acrylic
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Believe it or not, an all white paint pen set can go a long way. As for me, I have been using this inexpensive pack of eight for wood projects on dark or busy surfaces.

These markers give solid coverage that contrasts well against the wood grain, and they come in handy for touching up chipped-off paint on an old piece of white furniture. Apart from that, they are useful for incorporating highlights into my illustrations to evoke a sense of depth.

There is no need to shake the pen violently to get the ink out. In conjunction with the water-based acrylic ink, the tip runs effortlessly across paper without skipping or bleeding, and I think it’s awesome that it performs the same way on non-porous surfaces.

The medium nibs enable me to sketch fancy large hand-lettering on wooden signposts, chalkboards, canvas, or any material for that matter. Meanwhile, the quick-drying ink helps me keep my work neat.

No doubt, it’s a nice set to complement my growing collection of pens. It has been months since I last made my illustrations, and the color remains bright.

But it seems the markers do not have a lot of ink in them. I hope that the manufacturer considers filling them with more acrylic paint. Take that as a compliment—I love these pens so much!

PROS
  • Contrasts well against the wood grain
  • Comes in handy for touching up chipped-off paint on wood, canvas, etc.
  • For finishing off multi-colored illustrations with highlights
  • Useful for incorporating highlights into illustrations
  • No need to shake the pen violently to get the ink out
  • No skipping or bleeding with quick-dry, durable ink
CONS
  • The markers do not have a lot of ink in them.

8. Mitoymia Paint Markers

  • No. of colors: 18
  • Tip size: Medium
  • Ink type: Water-based acrylic
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After testing this Mitoymia set on different surfaces, I discovered that its water-based acrylic ink works best on wood and other non-porous items. The colors appear opaque, vivid, waterproof, and glossy, and these four qualities are crucial in making artwork that can stand the test of time.

Aside from their thick and smooth consistency, these acrylics take some time to solidify and adhere to the surface. But for me, I see this as an advantage, as it gives me ample time to blend two or three colors. Knowing that this set has 18 different hues, I can add gradients to create an illusion of depth.

With medium-sized bullet nibs, these markers help me draw, color, and write with precision. Since these tips are made of nylon, they are soft yet durable, which allows them to hold their shape no matter how crooked the surface is.

Lastly, I want to praise the design of the markers. It’s easy to see how much ink is left thanks to the semi-transparent plastic barrels. Plus, priming them takes only a few shakes and pumps.

Of course, these markers are not perfect. Right off the bat, light-colored acrylics require more coating on dark surfaces. Also, not all colors are true to their labeling. For instance, the red paint appears orange. Otherwise, I think these are excellent wood markers for crafts.

PROS
  • Work best on wood and other non-porous items
  • Opaque, waterproof, and glossy with a smooth finish
  • Gives ample time to blend two or three colors
  • Help you draw, color, and write with precision with medium nibs and 18 hues
  • Durable nylon nibs with semi-transparent barrels
  • Priming them takes on a few shakes and pumps
CONS
  • Light-colored acrylics require more coating on dark surfaces.
  • Red paint looks orange.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint Markers for Wood

permanent-markers-for-wood

Safe use

As someone who is constantly on the hunt for markers to use on wood, I prioritize safety, and I recommend others do the same. With prolonged exposure, a foul chemical odor can give one a headache.

Fortunately, it’s easy to check whether the paint pen set is free from harmful substances and fumes just by looking at the label. Besides the obvious keywords like “non toxic and odor-free,” some brands indicate that their products do not contain xylene and toluene.

Smooth ink flow

Arts and crafts can be a relaxing hobby. But if the ink is too watery or if it keeps skipping and bleeding, then you are bound to make mistakes. For cleaner lines and smoother colors, the paint for wood art should have a thicker consistency. You can read user reviews to see if anyone has complained about runny inks.

 Durable tips

It’s impossible to make neat and crisp lines with frayed nibs. Unfortunately, marker and pen tips are prone to breaking when they come in contact with hard and rough surfaces.

By nature, wood surfaces are hard and rough for pens and markers, even when sanded. For this reason, you need to make sure that the tips are durable enough to withstand these conditions.

User-friendly design

Nothing is more unnerving than spending long hours trying to figure out how to use paint markers and pens to write on wood. Ideally, these tools should only take a few shakes and pumps to activate the ink.

Nib types

Depending on the type of artwork you’re creating, pick between fine, medium, and broad nibs. Thinner tips will lend themselves better to detailing and sketching, while bigger ones suit coloring and filling in large surfaces better.

Number of colors

If you’re looking for a small set to complement or replace the paint you already have, a package containing six to twelve markers should be adequate. Otherwise, look for products with a wider color spectrum, such as those comprising 24 to 48 pens. These will allow you to blend, shade, and highlight drawings more effectively.

Ink type

When it comes to paint markers, you’ll come across water and oil-based ink, each with its own advantages. Oil-based pigments last longer and are harder to remove, but they tend to come with more unpleasant smells.

These also take longer to dry, so for those who want quick-drying ink that resists fading, consider adding a sealant over water-based paint.

Will Permanent Markers Stay on Wood?

markers-for-wood-crafts

Yes, especially if you seal the surface after writing on wood with paint pen. Any sealant or water-based Mod Podge can do the trick.

How Do You Keep Paint Pens From Bleeding on Wood?

You can use a paint pen to write on wood without bleeding by sanding the surface you want to work on and applying two coats of Elmer’s glue. After that, you can start writing.

How Do You Store Paint Markers for Wood to Ensure Their Longevity?

Be sure to store your markers in containers horizontally. If you have a spare wooden wine rack with slots for individual bottles, you can use it to organize your pens and markers according to colors or tip sizes!

Can Paint Markers Be Used on Other Surfaces Besides Wood?

Yes, you can use paint pens and markers to write on wood, metals, fabrics, rocks, ceramics, plastic, glass, and many other surfaces.

Where to Buy Paint Markers for Wood?

Specialized art supply shops and hardware stores carry different brands of wood color pen sets, but you can also find them in online retailers.

Conclusion

Depending on the type of wood, most blocks and planks come in different shades that can make for a great “canvas.” However, ordinary alcohol-based marker inks cannot effectively conceal the wood grains.

In this article, I tested and reviewed all the sets I could get my hands on to know which brands offer the best paint markers for wood. To help you draw and fill the surface with bright colors, their inks feature vibrant and opaque inks for superb coverage.

5/5 - (2 votes)
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