What kind of paint is in Posca pens? Everything you need to know

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Posca pens have become an irreplaceable staple for artists, both amateurs and professionals, for their exquisite, vibrant pigments.

But exactly what kind of paint is in Posca pens, and what keeps drawing creatives to these iconic paint markers time and time again?

I’ll tell you all you need to know in this short guide.

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What kind of paint is in Posca pens?

Posca pens contain non-toxic, water-based acrylic paint, a unique, first-rate formula that has continued to stand the test of time since it was first introduced by Uni Mitsubishi in 1983.

In a nutshell, Posca paint is acrylic paint at its very best. It’s rich, dense, and beautifully opaque, making it a favorite among creatives with high standards and a love for innovative art supplies.

Currently, Posca features over 50 paint marker colors, including classic, metallic, glittery, and fluorescent hues. In addition, because of its high-quality water-based composition, Posca paint is smooth as butter and very flexible.

It can be used to achieve bold matte lines and or watered-down gradients — and everything in between. Posca pigments are also praised for their ultra-quick drying properties, lightfastness, and adaptability to multiple surfaces.

Thanks to this level of versatility, Posca pens match all artistic languages and project types, whether you’re heart is in painting portraits, calligraphy, graffiti art — or doodling while you’re on the phone.

Check out our guide on how to use Posca pens to learn more if you’re just getting started!

Is Posca paint safe on skin?

Is Posca paint safe on skin?
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Posca paint is an alcohol-solvent-free paint that is skin-safe and easily washed off with soap and water.

Note: I’m not recommending you use these for body painting, though!

The main take is that you can rest assured that these acrylic paint markers won’t do any harm if in contact with skin (it will happen) and can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike.

While younger kids can use Posca pens, too, I think the whole shake-dab-and-draw thing may be a little too much for toddlers. But, if you do decide to have your child try these out, I would just advise keeping an eye out to avoid any “hey-check-out-my-blue-tongue” scenarios.

Besides being safe on skin, Posca paint is also animal-friendly! Fun fact: Beekeepers around the globe use these iconic markers to identify, mark, and keep track of queen bees in beehives!

As for permanence, we have a full guide to whether or not Posca markers are permanent on different surfaces.

Is Posca paint odorless?

Is Posca paint odorless?
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

One of the perks I ab-so-lute-ly worship Posca pens for is their odorless paint.

Crafting with art supplies that release toxic odors bothers me a lot, especially when working on lengthier, large-scale projects. If you can relate, take it from me. Posca pens are the way to go.

You won’t need a craft mask or worry about ventilating your space due to sharp, toxic smells. This also makes Posca pens perfectly safe for crafting anywhere, indoors or outdoors.

They’re also chemical-free, making them kind to the environment, and suitable and safe for crafters of all ages.

How to preserve Posca pens and paint

How to preserve Posca pens and paint_what kind of paint is in Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

To extend the shelf life of your Posca pens and preserve the quality and consistency of paint for longer, I advise doing a few simple things:

  • Tighten caps securely after use
  • Store pens horizontally vs. vertically to avoid clogging tips
  • Shake your pens well before use to even out paint distribution
  • Store markers in a cool, dry spot
  • Never store markers with caps facing down
  • When crafting, combine shaking pens and dabbing tips to keep paint flow active
  • Occasionally rinse tips under lukewarm water to prevent crusty nibs
  • Use your markers every now and then to prevent paint from drying out

These simple tips will help you maintain the quality of your Posca markers and paint for a longer period of time.

Posca acrylic paint vs. Alcohol-based paint

Posca paint red_what kind of paint is in Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

When it comes to picking out colorful art pens, many hobbyists often opt between acrylic paint markers and alcohol-based art markers.

Alcohol-based art markers are popular since they’re accessible, easy to use, and usually more affordable. They’re also very versatile and can be used for a bunch of creative hobbies, such as calligraphy, illustration, scrapbooking, and cardmaking.

However, despite some similarities, alcohol-based art markers and acrylic paint markers are very different — especially if it’s Posca we’re talking about.

Check out the comparison chart below to see how these two types of art markers compare and what each has to offer.

Posca acrylic paint markers

Activating paint_how to use Posca pens
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  • Water-based, non-toxic
  • Odorless
  • Quick-drying properties
  • Does not bleed
  • Longlasting vibrancy
  • Lightfast
  • Washes off skin with soap and water
  • Permanent on diverse surfaces
  • Effective on porous and non-porous materials
  • Can be pricey

Alcohol-based art markers

Alcohol-based art markers
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  • Alcohol-based
  • Usually, more toxic/strong scent
  • Dries quickly
  • Tends to bleed
  • Not as lightfast as acrylic Posca pens
  • Solvents may be required to wash off
  • Not as resistant to heat and humidity
  • Best for non-porous surfaces only
  • A wider range of price options

That’s it for this quick guide covering everything you need to know about Posca pen paint! If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below.

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