How to refill Posca pens in just a few simple steps

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Refilling Posca pens with brand-new acrylic paint is a super clever way to repurpose your markers when they’ve hit a dead end.

It’s a creative way to replace colors or create your own custom hues, all while saving some cash and reducing waste.

Best of all, the process only takes a couple of minutes (I promise). Keep reading to learn how to refill Posca pens in just a few easy steps!

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How to refill Posca pens

The good news is that refilling Posca pens is very easy to do. Also, the results are great, and you’ll have a blast trying it out; I guarantee you it’s really entertaining.

Before showing you how to refill Posca pens, make sure you have the following materials to get things rolling:

  • Posca pen(s) you want to refill
  • Water-based acrylic paint
  • Pliers
  • Tweezers
  • Paper towels
  • Small paintbrush or mixing stick
  • Dropper
  • Two bowls (one to hold small pieces and another to mix paint)

Note: In this tutorial, I refilled my Posca pen with a new color I created vs. the pen’s original pigment.

Step 1: Disassemble your Posca pens

Posca pen stained tip_how to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Select the Posca pen you want to refill.

You may want to do this to revive a stained tip that can no longer be primed due to dryness or lack of paint or to create a completely new color.

Removing Posca pen barrel_how to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Remove the pen tip with your fingers.

Then, use a plier to unscrew the plastic nib holder from the pen barrel. Note that you’ll need to twist “backward” or clockwise. Take your time with this step.

Unassembling Posca pen barrel_how to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Be sure not to apply too much pressure with your pliers as you squeeze to keep parts intact.

Rubber tip in Posca pen_how to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Next, you’ll need to remove the pen’s valve.

Remove this part with the help of a tweezer or a small plier since it’s hard to grasp with your fingers.

Removed Posca pen pieces_how to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Gather all your pen parts (barrel, nib holder, pen valve, tip, and Posca pen ball) in a bowl/container for cleaning.

Step 2: Prep and wash your Posca pens

Posca pen barrel ball_how to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

When washing these pieces, be very careful with the smaller parts. For extra precaution, use your sink plug during this step.

The tiny metal ball and pen tip can very easily go down the drain. Wash these carefully and store them in a bowl on the side.

Washing Posca pen barrel_how to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Next, wash the pen barrel thoroughly with lukewarm water to remove dried and/or crusty paint residue.

Washing Posca pen with water_how to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Repeat this step with the plastic pen valve.

Washed Posca pen pieces_how to refll Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Once your pen parts have been washed, place them in your bowl and transport them back to your craft desk.

Ensure you’ve decluttered the area and protected your work surface to avoid paint stains.

Step 3: Refill your Posca pens

Choosing paint to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Select your acrylic paint. You can work with a single pigment or multiple to create new hues.

Mixing paint to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Mix your paint in a bowl with a small paintbrush/mixing stick (whether one or more colors) to smoothen it out and ensure it’s clump-free before it’s transferred into the barrel.

New Posca pen refill paint color_how to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

I like to dip my finger in the paint mix to check for consistency before pouring it into the barrel. Remember, you can add water in small amounts if your paint is too clumpy.

And don’t worry if you get dirty. Posca markers are permanent on some surfaces, but it’s easy to remove Posca paint if you act quickly.

Dropper to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Test the paint thickness with your dropper to ensure it flows well for transferring.

Inserting Posca pen ball_how to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Drop the small, metal ball bearing into the barrel.

Refilling posca pen with dropper
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Use the dropper (or a funnel if you’re feeling bold) to transfer paint to the barrel.

Posca pen refill completed
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Fill the barrel with paint, but leave about an inch of space at the top.

Step 4: Reassemble your Posca pens

Assembling Posca pen after paint refill
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

To start reassembling your pen, insert the paint valve first.

Sealed tip after Posca pen refill
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Ensure the valve is sealed tightly.

Assembling nib after Posca pen refill
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Screw back on the nib holder. Make sure it’s fastened well.

Lastly, insert the pen tip.

Step 5: Test your new paint

Primed nib after Posca pen refill
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Put the cap on your pen and shake it a few times to prime the tip.

Remove the lid to confirm if the tip is primed properly.

Final paint color_how to refill Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Test your new pen out!

If you want your paint to be more or less opaque, disassemble your pen as instructed above and add more paint or water.

Best paints to refill Posca pens

Posca still hasn’t come up with an official refill option. So, if you’re wondering how to refill Posca pens, know that you’ll need to source paint from other brands.

Besides quality, there’s one golden rule: stick to acrylic paint. After all, the goal is to emulate the same opacity, longevity, and vibrancy provided by Posca. Learn more about what kind of paint is in Posca pens in our guide.

While this will make the experience a little different, know that there are many excellent acrylic paint sets that will perform beautifully for this purpose.

Here are two of my favorites for refilling Posca pens:

If you’re new to Posca, check out our tips for how to use Posca pens and what to draw with them to learn more!


That’s it for this guide on how to refill Posca pens! Feel free to drop questions or suggestions in the comments below.

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