How to Use Posca Pens & Markers? (Guide for Beginners)

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to use posca pens & markers

If you are looking for a versatile and highly pigmented tool to create stunning drawings and illustrations, you will want to try out POSCA pens and markers. These are easy to use and can give your work unrivaled quality.

Here is an in-depth guide on how to use POSCA pens & markers. Towards the end, we will share helpful tips and answers to FAQs. So, make sure you read everything!

Step-By-Step to Use POSCA Pens & Markers for Beginners

What To Prepare

  • Your UNI POSCA markers and pens
  • Your work surface (paper, glass, plastic, etc.)
  • Scrap pieces of paper
  • Water

Step 1: Prep Your POSCAs


To activate Posca pens for the first time or get POSCA pens to work, hold them vertically and shake them up and down. You should do this for 10 seconds. While doing this, you should hear clicking noises from inside the pens’ tubes.

The sounds are from the internal mixing balls, which readies the paint to flow through the POSCA pen tips. Make sure that you keep the caps on during this step. Otherwise, the paint can come flying out, creating a mess.

Step 2: Prime Your POSCAs, Then Test Them


On paper, use POSCA markers by pressing the tip several times. The paint should flow smoothly and the lines you put down should be clear. It is best to do this step on a scrap piece of paper.

Once you have got the paint to come out, you can go ahead and use it on your final piece. If you prime the markers directly on your work, the results might be patchy and undesirable.

Step 3: Re-Prime Along The Way

Same as the above steps, so the photos would be the same

As you use POSCA paint pens, they will become less saturated. The paint might become clogged, refusing to flow out or look watery. Hence, it is necessary to reinitiate them.

To do this, simply put their caps back on, shake them for a couple of seconds, then press their tips against a piece of scrap paper to saturate them. You can do this as many times as needed throughout your entire art creation process.

Step 4: Clean Your POSCAs


After using the POSCA paint marker, you need to clean them so they can return to their original colors. Rinse the tips under running water or soak them in a glass of water. Unless you are working right next to your water tap, the latter will be more convenient.

It is especially important to remember to clean your markers when you are using them to blend colors. Paint residue can remain on the tips of the pens and ruin your piece.

POSCA Paint Marker Techniques


1. Layering

You can lay colors on top of one another with POSCA pens and markers. Just make sure you give each coat enough time to dry. You can apply a light base color, then go over it with a darker color or vice versa! A dark background, then light atop.

2. Blending

Lay down your colors, then use a brush soaked in water to blend them together. Make sure that you do this while the paint is still wet. This way, you can create seamless gradient and ombre effects.

You can use Uni Posca markers to blend colors by dispensing the paint onto a palette, tapping water into it with a brush, then transferring it to your artwork. You can also mix colors to create a custom scheme using this approach.

3. Blowing

Blow air to the tips of your pens and markers while they are fresh with paint to create a spray-paint splatter effect. This is super easy to do and will be ideal for street art!

Other Tips


How to fix watery POSCA pens?

This is a rather common problem that POSCA users run into. Thankfully, it has an easy fix. All you need to do is give your pens a shake. The pens’ internal mixing balls will come to the rescue!

How to store POSCA pens?

It does not matter whether you store the pens horizontally or vertically, as long as they are capped properly. The only exceptions are the POSCA brush pens. These must be kept flat on their sides.

How to clean POSCA pens?

Luckily, there is nothing tricky about cleaning POSCA pens. You just need to remove the tip, rinse it under tap water, wick off the excess, then reassemble it. If the tip of your pen cannot be removed, you can dunk it in a bowl or cup of water.

How to remove POSCA pen ink?

  • Glass, Plastic, Metal: Soapy water or manual scraping with a razor
  • Wood: Quick wipes with water or buffing with fine sandpaper
  • Masonry: Water scrubs with a wire brush or sponge
  • Fabric & Canvas: Soapy water rinses
  • Skin & Hair: Soapy water scrubs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Do POSCA markers wash off?

You can wash POSCA markers off of glass, plastic, metal, and fabric with the help of soapy water. But it is permanent on paper and card.

Why do you have to shake POSCA pens?

Shaking POSCA pens will activate them. It will get the balls inside of the pens’ tubes to move, mixing the paint and prepping it for use. If you do not shake the pens, the paint might not come out.

Are POSCA pens waterproof?

POSCA pens are waterproof once their ink dries. However, marks made by these pens can still fade if they come into contact with water often. For example, they will lose intensity on fabric that is frequently laundered.

How long do POSCA pens take to dry?

These pens can take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes to dry. The specific drying time depends on the thickness of the paint coats.

How to refill POSCA pens?

You cannot refill POSCA pens. However, you can try to revive them when they appear to be dead. Simply dip the tips of the pens in water.

How to seal POSCA pens on plastic?

The POSCA official website recommends coating your plastic piece with two layers of water-based spray varnish. You should make sure that it is free of dust and grease before you seal the pens.


This detailed guide has walked you through how to use POSCA pens & markers. No need to scour through confusing Reddit threads anymore! Just remember to prep, prime, re-prime, and clean your POSCAs. Store them properly to avail of them for a long time!

If you have any other thoughts to share or questions to ask regarding this topic, leave a comment down below. We are always glad to hear from our readers, so do not hesitate!

Interesting posts you may also like:

5/5 - (2 votes)

Magazine Posts

why are fountain pens so expensive

Why Are Fountain Pens So Expensive?

Carroll Leilani

Have you ever wondered, “Why are fountain pens so expensive”? Beyond just ...

how to remove ink stains from plastic

How to Remove Ink Stains From Plastic?

Laura Walker

In our daily lives, it is not uncommon to encounter ink stains ...

How much ink is in a pen

How Much Ink is in a Pen?

Laura Walker

Pens, those everyday tools we use without much thought, are a staple ...

How to Use a Diamond Painting Pen

How to Use a Diamond Painting Pen

Laura Walker

A diamond pen is many DIYers’ favorite, as it is a great ...

How to Tell Which Cross Pen You Have?

Laura Walker

How to Make a Wooden Pen? – A Detailed Tutorial

Laura Walker

Winsor and Newton Pigment Marker Review

Laura Walker

Are Ohuhu Markers Any Good? – A Quick Review

Laura Walker