How long do Posca pens take to dry? Results from 7 surfaces

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Knowing how long Posca pens take to dry on different surfaces will help prevent unnecessary smudging and repetitious tweaking, as well as give you a realistic expectation of workflow. 

To save you time on prep work and have you get to the fun stuff quicker, I’ve tested Posca paint on seven different materials to demonstrate how long it takes to dry on each.

My goal is to help you determine which surfaces will best suit your creative ventures and prepare you for any Posca projects you choose to take on!

Affiliate disclosure: Articles on Tiny Workshops may contain affiliate links.

How long do Posca pens take to dry?

How long do Posca pens take to dry_FEATURE
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Posca pens took between 60 seconds and two and a half minutes to be dry to the touch in my tests. Paper products dried the fastest, with ceramics and plastic taking the longest.

So how long do Posca pens take to dry on paper, canvas, plastic, ceramic, and more?

Scroll down for the results of our testing, with photos!

Here’s what you need to know before getting to the list below:

  • I used the same PC-17K green Posca marker on seven different surface types.
  • One line was created with two wet layers of paint.
  • I swiped my finger over the painted line every 30 seconds until it was completely dry (I wiped my finger after every swipe to avoid transferring wet paint).
  • Time codes are indicated in seconds (”).
  • I added a tiny “Dry!” doodle to indicate when the paint had fully dried on each material.
  • I’ve also added my recommendations of ideal drying times per surface based on my observations. This might be useful for you if, like me, you prefer to err on the side of caution when crafting!

Making Posca art for the first time? Check out our beginner’s guide on how to use Posca pens.

1. Paper

Posca paint drying on paper_How long do Posca pens take to dry
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Test material: Sketching paper (90gsm)

Touch dry time: 90” (1.5 min)

Time to fully dry: 60”- 1.5 min

My observations:

  • Posca pens dry extremely quickly on paper
  • Only a very light smudge was left just after 30”
  • The surface was completely dry between 60-90”
  • A small mark was left on the line after 60”, so I didn’t consider it to be fully dry
  • This is an excellent surface for layering
  • Using Posca pens on paper allows for an uninterrupted workflow
  • Posca paint markers are perfect for scrapbooking and illustration

2. Canvas

Posca paint drying on canvas_How long do Posca pens take to dry
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Test material: Mini canvas

Touch dry time: 120” (2 min)

Time to fully dry: At least 90”

My observations:

  • Posca paint draws very smoothly on canvas
  • Paint was still wet after 30” but had already dried up significantly
  • There was minimal residue after 90” (I didn’t count this as dry)
  • The line was completely dry at 120”
  • Paint dries very quickly on canvas, meaning you don’t have to wait long before you can add details or more layers for more opaque results
  • Because paint dries so quickly, this isn’t the easiest surface for beginners to blend colors or create gradient effects on

3. Plastic

Posca paint dyring on plastic_How long do Posca pens take to dry?
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Test material: Plastic placemat

Touch dry time: 150” (2.5 min)

Time to fully dry: At least 5 minutes

My observations:

  • It will take longer for Posca paint to dry on plastic, especially if it’s more slippery/glossy
  • The paint was still wet between 30-120”
  • The line took over 2 minutes to dry, meaning it will take longer if you apply heavier amounts of paint at a time
  • I advise waiting at least 5 minutes for paint on plastic to fully dry (more if your projects are large-scale)
  • Drying time will be impacted depending on the type of plastic you use
  • Posca paint on plastic doesn’t withstand water or friction (even if “permanent”)
  • I advise using Posca pens on plastic for indoor decorative purposes vs. functional DIY projects

4. Cardboard

Posca paint drying on cardboard_How long do Posca pens take to dry?
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Test material: White cardboard box

Touch dry time: 60” (1 min)

Time to fully dry: 1-1.5 minutes

My observations:

  • Posca paint dries incredibly quickly on cardboard
  • The paint was completely dry within the 1st minute, having smudged just a little 30” after application
  • There are different types of cardboard and cardstock, so drying time may vary depending on how smooth or rugged your surface is
  • More layers of paint may be needed for more opaque results, which also means a slightly longer drying time
  • Note that the more Posca paint you put down on thinner cardboard, the more likely it is to warp

5. Ceramic

Posca paint dyring on ceramic_how long do Posca pens take to dry
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Test material: Kitchen plate

Touch dry time: 150” (2.5 min)

Time to fully dry: 4-10 minutes

My observations:

  • Ceramic is a more challenging surface to apply Posca pens on
  • Paint dried on this surface after 2.5 minutes, but I would recommend waiting longer
  • The line took longer to gradually dry within every 30”
  • Drying time will vary according to the type of ceramic you’re drawing on (paint will dry quicker on untreated tile and brick than glazed ceramic)
  • If you’re painting on ceramic for the first time, know that smudging will happen easily, so be careful with how you place your hand and wrist while at work
  • Before getting into your final project, test out your Posca pens on similar ceramics to test opacity and determine if you’re willing to go through a bit of trial and error before getting it right!

6. Fabric

Posca paint dyring on denim_how long do Posca pens take to dry
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Test material: Light-wash denim

Touch dry time: 60” (1 min)

Time to fully dry: 1-1.5 minutes

My observations:

  • Posca paint dried within the 1st minute after application on this light-wash denim
  • The paint was practically dry after the first 30”, but it still smudged a tiny bit to consider it entirely dry
  • Applying Posca paint on this surface isn’t as smooth as with other materials, but it has the perk of drying incredibly fast
  • Note that Posca pens may take more or less time to dry depending on the type of denim you use
  • These are great markers to paint customized designs on denim pockets without stitching
  • Although Posca paint dries uber quickly on jeans, know that you’ll have to take a few more steps into account to ensure permanence

Check out our guide on whether Posca markers are permanent for best practices to preserve items longer!

7. Glass

Posca paint drying on glass_How long do Posca pens take to dry?
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Test material: Picture frame glass

Touch dry time: 120” (2 min)

Time to fully dry: 5-10 minutes (if you’re layering more paint)

My observations:

  • Posca paint can take up to 2 minutes or more to dry thoroughly on glass
  • Since glass is a glossier, smoother surface, the paint will take longer to dry vs. most materials (especially if more heavily layered)
  • Sanding surfaces or using a primer beforehand will speed up the drying process
  • Be sure to craft with dry fingers and a debris-free, dry glass surface since additional moisture will work against you
  • Remember that Posca marker tips are “pointy” vs. traditional paintbrush, so they might scratch through the paint if you’re layer is not yet fully dry
  • If you’re aiming for permanence on glass, keep in mind that additional care, such as adding a transparent sealant, is advised to keep pigments intact over time

That’s it for this quick guide on how long Posca pens take to dry! If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below.

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